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to his execution. 





^^ublisficr in (Prtfinnr!) to Tbcx Jttajcsip. 

D ^ 3 9 5 


In the Appendix to this Volume will be found some 
valuable despatches from the Dutch Ambassadors in 
London to the States-General, in reference to the 
trial and execution of Charles I. His Majesty the 
King of the Netherlands had the goodness to direct 
that the Archives of his kingdom and family, at the 
Hague, should be thrown open to me, and that I 
might take copies of any documents I might need. I 
envy the friends of truth and learning the pleasure 
of paying due homage to this act of royal liberality : 
for my own part, I must rest content with merely 
expressing my gratitude— anything more would be 
considered flattery. Though I have not yet reached 
that epoch of the English Revolution— the reign of 
James IL— of which the true history is assuredly 
contained in the Archives of the Hague, I hastened to 
consult them, and have already obtained from them 
much valuable information, and many documents of 


the highest interest. His Excellency M. Tan (xob- 
belscroy, Minister of the Interior, and M. de Jouge, 
Keeper of the Archives, kindly gave me every facility 
and assistance in pursuing these researches. Let me 
here offer them my most sincere and hearty thanks : 
but my gratitude is not disinterested ; for in the 
further portions of my Work, I shall frequently have 
recourse to their kindness, which will need to be as 
inexhaustible as the rich treasure confided to their 




Commencement of the Civil War — The King sets up his Standard 
at Nottingham — Battle of Edgehill — Alarm in London — Action 
at Brentford — -Attempts at Negociation — Character of the 
Civil War — The Queen returns from the Continent — Negocia- 
tions at Oxford — Distrust of the Earl of Essex — Internal Dis- 
sensions of the Parliament — lloyalist Plot in the City — Death 
of Hampden — Defeats of the Parliament — The King proposes 
to march on London — Failure of the project — Siege of Glou- 
cester — Essex raises the Siege — Battle of Newbury — Death of 
Lord Falkland — Alliance of the Parliament with the Scots — 
Essex returns to London in triumph ..... 


State of Parties — Rise of the Independents — Proceedings of the 
Court at Oxford — The King concludes a Treaty with the Irish 
— Parliament at Oxford — -Death of Pym — Campaign of 1644 — 
Battle of Marston Moor — Reverses of Essex in Cornwall — 
Misunderstanding between Cromwell and the Presbyterian 
Leaders — Attempts at Negociation — Self-denying Ordinance — 
Trial and Death of Laud — Negociations at Uxbridge — Reor- 
ganization of the Parliamentarian Army — Fairfax is appointed 
General — Essex fenders his Resignation ..... 


Formation of the Army of the Independents — Cromwell retains 
his Command — Campaign of 1645 — Alarms of the Parliament — 
Battle of Naseby — The Parliament captures and publishes the 
King's private Correspondence — Decline of the Royalist party 
in the West — Flight and anxiety of the King — Victories of 
Montrose in Scotland — The King makes an unsuccessful attempt 
to join him — Defeat of Monti'ose — Residence of the King at 
Newark — His return to Oxford, and attempt to renew Negocia- 



tions with the ParHainent— His Overtures are rejected by the 
Parhament— New Elections— The King's Treaty with the Irish 
Insurgents— Its discovery— Defeat of the last Eoyahst troops— 
The King escapes from Oxford, and takes refuge in the Scottish 
Camp ........ ... 


Anxieties and Intrigues of the Independents — Residence of the 
King at Newcastle — He rejects the propositions of the Parlia- 
ment — Negociations of the Parliament with the Scots to induce 
them to give up the King and leave the Country — Consent of 
the Scots — The King is conducted to Holmby — Outbreak of 
Discord between the Parliament and the Army — Conduct of 
Cromwell — He procures the King's removal from Holmby — 
The Army marches ujjon London, and impeaches eleven 
Presbyterian Leaders — They retire from Parliament — The King 
at Hampton Court — Negociations of the Army with him — Eiot 
in the City in favour of Peace — Secession of a large number of 
Members of both Houses to the Army — Their return to 
London — Defeat of the Presbyterians — Outbreaks of the Re- 
publicans and Levellers — Cromwell becomes suspected by the 
Soldiers — They mutiny against the Officers — Cromwell's pru- 
dent conduct — The King's terror, and flight to the Isle of Wight 223 


The Rendezvous at Ware — Cromwell suppresses the Agitators, 
and afterwards reconciles himself with them — Parliament sends 
to the King, in four Bills, the prehminaiy conditions of Peace — 
The King rejects them, and secretly treats with the Scots — 
The Parliament determines to discontinue Negociations with 
the King — General discontent and reaction in favour of the 
King — Embarrassment of CromweU and the Independents — 
Breaking out of the Second Civil War — Campaign under Fairfax 
in the East and around London, under CromweU in the West, 
under Lambert in the North — Siege of Colchester — The Scots 
enter England — Cromwell marches against them — Battles of 
Preston, Wigan, and AVarrington — Cromwell in Scotland — The 
Presbyterians regain the ascendancy in London — Parliament 
resumes Negociations with the King — Negociations at Newport 
Changes in the condition of Parties — The Army removes the 
King from the Isle of Wight — He is taken to Hurst Castle, 
then to Windsor— Last eftbrts of the Presbyterians on his 
behalf — The Army marches towards London — Purging of the 
House of Commons — Trial and Death of the King — Abolition 
of Kingship 320 











On being informed of these arrangements, the King, 
relieved in his turn from all uncertainty, displayed a 
greater amount of vigour. A small supply of stores 
had been sent him from Holland, and the Queen pro- 
mised further remittances.^ The Commissioners whom 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 102. 


he had authorized to raise recruits in his name — the 
Marquis of Hertford, the Earl of Northampton, Lord 
Strange, Sir Ealph Hopton, and Sir Henry Hastings, 
— had met with some success in the western and 
northern counties/ Colonel Goring, the Governor of 
Portsmouth, had declared in his favour.^ The Cavaliers 
were rising in all directions ; they ranged the country 
on every side, forcing an entrance into the houses of 
the friends of the Parliament, and carrying off their 
money, horses and arms, with which they hastened to 
York, proud of the victories they had achieved, and 
the booty they had so easily won. Charles felt that 
such disorders would greatly injure his cause ; and, in 
order to repress them, and at the same time to excite 
the zeal of the Eoyahsts, he personally visited the 
counties of York, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and 
Lincoln, calling the nobihty together wherever he 
went, thanking them for their fidelity, and exhorting 
them to act with prudence and good order ; during 
this progress, he displayed greater energy and affabihty 
than was usual with him, taking care to converse 
even with the common people, and losing no oppor- 
tunity of proclaiming his firm attachment to the 
rehgion and laws of the country.^ These gathei'ings 
and speeches — the gentry deserting or fortifying their 
country-houses — the citizens rebuilding the walls of 
their towns — the roads thronged by armed travellers 

' May's History of the Loug Parliament, p. 224-227. 

2 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 172 ; ParHa- 
mentary History, vol. ii. col. 1440. 

'' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 213 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 189. 


— the militia exercising every day — all presented the 
appearance of open war, and furnished pretexts and 
incitements to it, at every moment, and in every part 
of the kingdom. Blood had even been shed already 
in several encounters, which had more closely resembled 
riots than battles.^ By his two unsuccessful attempts 
to gain possession of Hull and Coventry, the King 
had abeady given the Parhament cause to charge him 
with the first aggression.^ Both parties were in equal 
dread of incurring this reproach ; both were ready to 
risk all in the support of their rights ; but both 
trembled at having to answer for the future. At 
length, on the 23rd of August, 1643, Charles resolved 
officially to call his subjects to arms, by setting up the 
royal standard at Nottingham. At six o'clock in the 
evening, on the brow of the hill which overlooks the 
town, attended by eight hundred horse and a small 
body of militia, he first ordered his proclamation to be 
read. The herald had already commenced reading it, 
when some scruples arose in the King's mind ; he 
took back the paper, and slowly corrected several pas- 
sages on his knee ; then returned it to the herald, who 
had great difficulty in reading the corrections. The 
trumpets sounded ; the standard was advanced, bearing 
this motto, " Give Csesar his due ! " But no one 
knew where to plant it, nor what were the precise for- 
malities which had anciently accompanied this method 
of the convocation of vassals by their sovereign. The 

> May's History of the Long Parliament, p, 226 ; Whitelocke, p. 54. 
^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 172 ; Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. ii. col. 1456. 

B 2 


weather was gloomy, and tlie wind blew with violence. 
The standard was at length set up within the walls of 
the castle, on the top of a tower, in imitation of the 
example set by Eichard III., the latest known pre- 
cedent. On the following day, the wind had blown it 
down. " It should have been placed," said the King, 
"in an open place, where all men that would might 
freely come in to it, and not in a prison ;" and he had 
it taken out of the castle, into the adjoining park. 
When the heralds attempted to fix it into the ground, 
they discovered that the spot they had chosen was a 
hard and solid rock. With their daggers they dug a 
small hole in which they inserted the staff, but it 
would not stand, and for some hours, it was held in its 
place by the soldiers. The spectators withdrew, with 
minds disturbed by sinister presentiments.^ The 
King remained for some days at Nottingham, waiting, 
but in vain, for the country to respond to his appeal. 
The army of the Parliament was in process of forma- 
tion at Northampton, no great distance from Notting- 
ham, and already consisted of several regiments. " If 
the rebels should make a brisk attempt to that pur- 
pose," said Sir Jacob Astley, the major-general of the 
royal forces, *' I could not give any assurance against 
his Majesty's being taken out of his bed."^ Some 
members of his council urged the King to make 
another attempt at negociation. " Wliat, already ! " 
said Charles, "at the beginning of the war, nay, even 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 783 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iii. pp. 190—192 ; Lilly's Observations on the Life and 
Death of King Charles, in Maseres' Select Tracts, vol. i. p. 176. 

^ Clarendon's Histoiy of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 194. 


before it has begun ! " His friends insisted, on the 
ground of his weakness. On the 25th of August, four 
deputies — the Earls of Southampton and Dorset, Sir 
John Colepepper, and Sir Wilham Uvedale — were sent 
to London, but returned without success ; one of them, 
Lord Southampton, had even failed to obtain permis- 
sion to deliver his message personally to the House. ^ 
About the middle of September, the King left Not- 
tingham, and, in spite of his unwilhngness to remove 
further from London, on being informed that the 
western counties displayed the most zeal for his cause, 
he transferred his head-quarters to Shrewsbmy. 

For more than a week, the Earl of Essex had been 
at the head of his army. On his departure from 
London, on the 9th of September, an immense crowd 
had accompanied him, with loud acclamations, and 
much waving of orange streamers, the colour of his 
house : whoever wore any other colour, was regarded 
with suspicion, and insulted.^ At Northampton, he 
found nearly twenty thousand men assembled. A 
committee of both Houses was associated with him, 
and was to reside near him, but it was to meet under 
his presidency, and was invested with no superior 
powers to his own.^ He had instructions to transmit 
to the King a petition entreating him to return to 
London, and on liis refusal to do so, he was to follow 
him wherever he went, and " by battle or otherwise, 
to rescue his Majesty's person, and the persons of the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1458 — 1460. 
^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 246 ; Whitelocke, p. 62. 
^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1473. The committee consisted 
of twelve Lords, and twenty-four members of the House of Commons. 


Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, out of the 
hands of those desperate persons who are now about 

The petition was not even presented : the Eang 
declared that he would receive no address from men 
whom he had already proclaimed traitors.'^ At 
Shrewsbury, he had gained fresh strength and confi- 
dence. From the west and north, large bodies of re- 
cruits had at length arrived. In order to provide them 
with arms, he had, in spite of all resistance, appropri- 
ated those belonging to the mihtia of several counties ; 
and he had also seized on some supplies which were 
on their way through the west to be shipped at Chester 
for Ireland. The Catholics of Shropshire and Stafford- 
shire had advanced him five thousand pounds ; a gen- 
tleman had paid him six thousand pounds for a 
peerage, and his partizans had secretly sent him 
money, even from London. About twelve thousand 
men had joined his standard.^ At the head of the 
cavalry, his nephew Prince Rupert,* who had arrived 
from Germany in the beginning of September, scoured 
the surrounding country, and had already rendered 
himself odious by his rapine and brutahty, but formi- 
dable for liis courage and audacity. Essex advanced 
but slowly, and as though it were his purpose to 
follow rather than encounter his enemy. He reached 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1472. 

* October 16, 1642 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1484. 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 246 ; Clarendon's History 
of the EebeUion, vol. iii. pp. 217, 218 ; Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, 
p. 114. 

* Second son of Frederick V , Elector Palatine, King of Bohemia, and 
Elizabeth, sister of Charles I. 


Worcester, at no great distance from the King's head- 
quarters, on the 23rd of September, and remained 
there in complete inaction for three weeks. Embol- 
dened by this behaviour, by his success in a few 
skirmishes, and by the improved appearance of his 
condition, Charles resolved to march upon London, to 
terminate the war by one decisive blow ; and he had 
already been three days on his march thither, when 
Essex started in pursuit of him, to defend the Parha- 

The alarm was great in London ; so imminent a 
danger had not been anticipated ; the Parliamentarians 
were filled with astonishment, the Royalists began to 
bestir themselves, and the people were alarmed. But 
the fear of the people may easily be turned into anger ; 
and the Parliament did its best to effect this change 
in popular feeling. Equally firm and passionate in its 
acts and in its language, it suddenly took measures of 
defence against the King, and of severity against the 
malignants. All who had not subscribed to the 
voluntary contributions were heavily taxed, and com- 
pelled to pay at once ; the recusants were imprisoned, 
and the suspected disarmed. Requisitions of every kind 
were made ; all the stables in the city and suburbs 
were visited, and all the horses fit for service were 
seized. Fortifications were hastily thrown up ; men, 
women and children laboured with equal zeal in their 
construction ; chains were hung across the streets, and 
barricades erected ; the militia were kept constantly on 
foot, ready to march at a moment's notice.' 

1 May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 254 ; Pai'liamentary 


Suddenly, on the morning of the 24th of October, 
the report was spread that a great battle had been 
fought, in which the Parliamentarian army had been 
totally defeated, many officers killed, and large numbers 
taken prisoners. This news came from Uxbridge, a 
few miles from London, and had been announced, it 
was said, by Sir James Eamsey, a Scotchman and 
colonel of a regiment of cavalry, as he passed through 
the town in his flight. Almost at the same moment, 
other news arrived of a very different but equally un- 
certain character ; the victory of the Earl of Essex was 
stated to be complete, and the royal army in utter 
rout. This intelligence had also been obtained from 
persons who had been met, on the Uxbridge road, 
galloping in all haste to announce this wonderful suc- 
cess in London.^ 

Equally ignorant with the people as to the real state 
of the case, the Parliament directed the shops to be 
shut, ordered the militia to be at their posts and the 
citizens to await further orders ; and required from each 
of its members a personal declaration of firm adherence 
to the Earl of Essex and his cause, whatever had hap- 
pened or might happen.^ It was not until the next 
day, the 26th of October, 1642, that Lord Wharton 
and Mr. Strode arrived from the army with an official 
account of the battle and its results. 

It had been fought on the 23rd of October, near 

History, vol. ii. cols. 1478 — 1485 ; Whitelocke, p. 63 ; Clarendon's 
History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. j). 269. 

' Whitelocke, p. 64 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. 
p. 300. 

* Parhamentaiy History, vol. ii. col. 1494. 


Keynton, in Warwickshire, at the foot of Edgehill : 
there only, after a march of ten days, during which 
the two armies, thongh at a short distance from one 
another, had been completely ignorant of each other's 
movements, Essex had at length come up with the 
King's troops. Though he had left behind liim a por- 
tion of his artillery and several of his best regiments, 
among others that led by Hampden, he determined to 
fight without delay; and the King, on his side, had 
adopted the same resolution. Both were desirous of an 
engagement, Essex in order to save London, and Charles 
to put an end to the obstacles which he met with in a 
county so hostile to his cause, that the blacksmiths fled 
from the villages, to avoid shoeing the King's horses/ 
The action began at about two o'clock in the afternoon, 
and was kept up with great vigour until evening ; the 
Parhamentarian cavalry, weakened by the desertion of 
Sir Faithful Eortescue's regiment, wliich, when ordered 
to charge, went over to the enemy, were routed by 
Prince Eupert ; but, with his reckless impetuosity and 
characteristic love of plunder, he pursued them for 
more than two miles, heedless of what was going on 
behind him. He was at length stopped by Hampden's 
regiment, which came up with the artillery, and forced 
him to return to the field of battle. On his return, he 
found the royal infantry broken and dispersed; the 
Earl of Lindsey was mortally wounded and a prisoner ; 
the King's standard had fallen into the hands of the 
Parhamentarians ; and the King himself had, at one 
time, been left almost alone, and was in imminent 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 275. 


danger of being taken. Essex's reserve alone remained 
in good order on the field. Charles and his nephew 
endeavoured in vain to encourage their squadrons to a 
new charge ; they had returned in confusion ; the 
soldiers were seeking their officers, and the officers their 
soldiers ; the horses were ready to drop with fatigue ; 
nothing could be done with them. The two armies 
spent the night on the field of battle, both anxiously 
awaiting the morrow, though both claimed the victory. 
The Parliament had lost the greatest number of 
soldiers, and the King most men of mark and officers. 
At break of day, Charles rode tlirough the camp ; a 
third of his infantry, and a great many cavahy, were 
missing ; not that all had fallen, but the cold, the want 
of provisions, and the violence of the first onset, had 
disgusted a great many of the volunteers, and they had 
dispersed.^ That he might freely continue his march 
on London, the King would gladly have risked another 
engagement ; but he soon saw that it was impossible. 
In the Parliamentarian camp, the same question had 
been debated; Hampden, Hollis, Stapleton, and most 
of the officers of militia and members of the House of 
Commons, implored Essex to recommence the fight 
witliout delay: "The King," they said, "is unable to 
maintain it ; three fresh regiments have joined us ; he 
will either fall into our hands, or be forced to accept 
our conditions ; the speedy termination of the war can 
alone save the country from misfortunes, and the Par- 
liament from risks, which it is impossible to foresee." 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 33 — 38 ; May's History of the Long 
Parliament, p. 262 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 283. 


But the soldiers by profession, the officers trained in 
the continental wars, Colonel Dalbier and others, op- 
posed this suggestion ; in their opinion, it was a great 
achievement to have fought so glorious a fight with 
mere recruits ; London was saved, but their success 
had cost them dear ; the soldiers, unused to battle, 
were sui'prised and dispirited; they would not fight 
again so soon with any heartiness ; the Parhament had 
but one army, which they must train to war, and not 
risk all in one day. They spoke with authority ; 
Essex adopted their advice, and transferred his head- 
quarters to Warwick, in the rear of the royal army, 
but sufficiently near to enable him to follow its move- 
ments,^ A few days after, the King, continuing his 
march towards London, though without any intention 
of proceeding thither, fixed his head-quarters at Oxford, 
of all the large towns in the kingdom the most devoted 
to his cause. 

In London as well as at Oxford, public thanksgivings 
were celebrated : for the Parliament, as its friends whis- 
pered among themselves, had obtained a great dehver- 
ance, though but a small victory. It soon perceived 
that even this deliverance was far from complete.^ 
The royal troops, nearer London than those of Essex, 
scoured the adjacent country ; most of the deserters 
rejoined theu' regiments, having been cured of their 
first terror by the hope of booty. Banbury, Abingdon, 
and Henley, towns on which the Parhament believed 
it could rely, opened their gates to the King, without 
striking a blow. The garrison of Heading, com- 

i Whitelocke s Memorials, p. 64. * Ibid. 


manded by Henry Marty n, a cynical demagogue who 
was one of CromweU's intimate friends, fled disgrace- 
fully at the approach of a few squadrons ;^ and the 
King removed his head-quarters to that town. Prince 
Rupert overran and pillaged the country to the very 
suburbs of London.^ The city grew alarmed; the 
House of Lords welcomed pacific proposals.^ Essex 
was ordered to draw near the metropolis with his 
troops ; and in the meanwhile, it was resolved that a 
safe-conduct should be requested of the King, for six 
commissioners who were appointed to open negocia- 
tions with him. He refused to include in it one of 
their number, Sir John Evelyn, whom he had just 
previously proclaimed a traitor.* The -House of Com- 
mons now wished to break off* the whole affair. On the 
7th of November, Essex had arrived. On the 8th, the 
Lord Mayor called a general meeting of the citizens at 
Guildliall. Two members of Parliament, Lord Brook 
and Sir Harry Yane, attended the meeting, to arouse 
their courage, and induce them to march out and join 
the general's forces. Alluding to the battle of Edge- 
hill, Lord Brook said : " Certainly it is the greatest 
victory that was ever gotten ; near two thousand (I 
love to speak with the least) on their side slain, and I 
am confident not a hundred on our side, unless you 
will take in women and children, carmen and dogs, for 
they slew the very dogs and all ! If you take in women, 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 318. 
^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 64. 

^ October 29, 1642; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1. 
^ November 2, 1642; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 2—5; 
Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 322. 


cliildren, carmen, and dogs, then they slew about two 
hundred The general's resolution is to go out to- 
morrow, and do again as much as he hath done. All 
tliis is for your sake ; for he can be a free man, he can 
be a gentleman, he can be a great man, he can go where 
he will ; therefore, it is only for your sake he is re- 
solved to go out to-morrow. When you hear the 
drums beat (for it is resolved that the drums shall beat 
to-morrow) say not, I beseech you, ' I am not of the 
trained band,' nor this, nor that, nor the other ; but 
doubt not to go out to the work, and fight courageously, 
and this shall be the day of your deliverance."^ The 
hall rang with acclamations ; but the popular alarm 
was not dispelled ; the King, whose partizans kept 
him informed of all that happened, had hastened his 
march, and was now at Colnbrook, fifteen miles from 
London. The Parliament consented to send five of its 
commissioners, without insisting on the admission of 
Evelyn. Charles gave them a gracious reception, on 
the 11th of November, and said that at anyplace, even 
at the gates of the city, he would be ready to treat.^ 
When his answer was read in the House of Lords, on 
the morning of the 12th of November, Essex rose in 
his place, and demanded what he was to do, whether 
he was to continue or to suspend hostilities. He was 
ordered to suspend hostilities ; and Sir Peter KiUigrew 
was despatched to treat of an armistice. On his arrival 
at Brentford, seven miles from London, he found that 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 6 — 9. 

2 Rusliwoi'th, part iii. vol. ii. p 58 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 9—11. 


the war had recommenced ah'eady. Notwithstanding 
that negociations were pending, the King had conti- 
nued to advance, and had fallen unexpectedly on 
HoUis's regiment, which was quartered at Brentford, 
in the hope of routing it without much difficulty, and 
entering the city before any ejQfectual resistance could 
be offered. But the gallant conduct of HoUis's men 
gave time for the regiments of Hampden and Lord 
Brook, which were in cantonment in the neighbour- 
hood, to come to their rehef, and for several hours they 
sustained alone the onslaught of the royal army. The 
cannonading was heard in London, but no one under- 
stood its cause. As soon as he heard the news, Essex, 
who was in the House of Lords at the time, mounted 
his horse, and hastened, with such troops as he could 
collect, to bring off his regiments. On his arrival, 
the action was at an end; the soldiers of Hampden 
and Hollis, after great carnage, had retreated in dis- 
order ; the King occupied Brentford, but there he had 
halted, and did not seem disposed to push forward any 

London was now filled with indignation, and this 
feeling was the stronger because it was coupled with 
an increase of fear. The King's perfidy and barbarity 
formed the sole subject of conversation ; he intended, 
it was said, to take the city by assault, during the 
night, and to give up its inhabitants, with their 
families and property, to the mercy of liis rutliless 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 274. This action at 
Brentford has been a subject of great debate between Parhamentarian 
and Royalist writers ; but I think that, by carefully weighing and com- 
paring dates, I have been able to give a correct account of it. 


and licentious Cavaliers.^ Even the warmest advocates 
of the war bitterly complained of liis having thus 
brought it under their very walls, and exposed so 
many thousands of his peaceful subjects to such hor- 
rible danger. The Parliament immediately sought to 
profit by this popular feehng. It invited the apprentices 
to enhst, and promised that the time of their service 
should count as part of their apprenticeship ; the city 
offered four thousand of its militia, and appointed 
Skippon to command them. " Come, my boys, my 
brave boys," he said, as he placed himself at their 
head, " let us pray heartily, and fight heartily. I 
will rmi the same fortunes and hazards with you. 
Eemember the cause is for God, and for the defence 
of yourselves, your wives, and children. Come, my 
honest, brave boys, pray heartily and fight heartily ; 
and God will bless us."^ During a day and night, 
these new levies of militia-men and volunteers, 
marched successively out of London to join the ranks 
of the army ; and on the 14th of November, two days 
after the action at Brentford, Essex, accompanied by 
nearly all the members of both Houses, and a vast 
crowd of spectators, reviewed twenty-four thousand 
men drawn up in battle array on Tm-nham- green, less 
than a mile from tiie King's outposts. 

Here the discussion which had arisen in the gene- 
ral's council, after the battle of Edgeliill, was again 
renewed. Hampden and his friends urgently de- 
manded an immediate attack. " Never again," they 

' Whitelocko's Memorials, p. 65. 

* n>id., Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 14. 


said, " shall we find the people so firmly confident of 
victory, or under such an imperious necessity to con- 
quer." Their opinion prevailed for a moment, and 
some movements of the troops were ordered in con- 
sequence. But Essex consented to action with great 
unwilHngness ; his veteran ofiicers persisted in their 
opposition : and an incident occurred to support their 
objections. One day, while the army was drawn up 
in order opposite the royal troops, either because the 
King's forces appeared to make a movement of attack, 
or from some other motive, two or three hundred 
spectators, who had come from London on horseback, 
suddenly turned round, and galloped at full speed 
towards town. At this sight, great agitation pervaded 
the Parliamentarian ranks, discouraging pln*ases were 
uttered, and many of the soldiers seemed disposed 
to desert their colours and return to their homes. 
When the mistake became evident, their countenances 
regained their serenity, and the ranks closed again : 
abundant supphes of provisions, wine, tobacco, and 
commodities of all sorts, sent by the women in the 
city to their husbands and sons, restored confidence 
and gaiety to the camp. But Essex firmly refused 
to risk all, in rehance on popular enthusiasm ; he re- 
called the troops which had been sent forward, and 
put himself entirely in a postui-e of defence ; and the 
King, who, on his side, was in great dread of an 
attack, for he had neither powder nor ball, effected 
his retreat without obstruction, first to Reading, and 
then to Oxford, where he took up his winter quarters.^ 

' Whitelocke pp. 65, 66 ; Ludlow''s Memoirs, p. 24. 


So much hesitation and delay, against which the 
leaders of the Parliament struggled in vain, originated 
in more powerful causes than the wavering attitude 
of the soldiers or the prudence of the general. Even 
the city was full of division and uncertainty : the 
peace party there did not hesitate to proclaim its 
principles, and was joined, especially among the liigher 
class of citizens, by many men who had consented to 
the war with fear and sorrow, only because they did 
not know how to prevent it. Already, numerous 
petitions, while protesting with the utmost vigour 
against Popery and absolute power, called upon Par- 
liament to put an end to the war.^ In vain were they 
thrown aside, in vain were their authors menaced ; 
other petitions arrived from the counties, addressed 
to the Lords, who were considered more hkely to give 
them a favourable reception.'^ Petitions of an opposite 
character were not wanting ; on the one hand, the 
magistrates and Common Council of the city (who had 
been appointed by recent elections), and on the other, 
the lower class of citizens and the populace, were 
devoted to the boldest leaders of the Commons, and 
eagerly availed themselves of every opportunity to 
stimulate or support them. A tradesman, named 
Shute, came almost daily to the bar of the House, 
accompanied by a numerous train, to demand in the 
name of " the most active and most rehgious part of 
ths city," that the war should be carried on with 
vigour.^ He was received with favour, and thanked 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 43. * Ibid., vol. iii. col. 46. 
=* Ibid., vol. iii. cols. 12, 22, 37. 



for his zeal ; but when his language became too im- 
perious, when he spoke too insolently of the Lords 
and officers of the army, it was judged necessary to 
reprimand him ;^ for no one would have ventured to 
say, or perhaps even to think, that the Parliament 
would be obliged to separate from the nobles who 
were engaged in its cause, or would be able to triumph 
without their support. To give the friends of peace 
some ostensible satisfaction, it was resolved that the 
Common Council should officially put the question, 
not to the Parliament, but to the King himself; on 
him would thus devolve the embarrassment of giving 
an answer, and the answer he was likely to give could 
not fail to displease the citizens. With the consent 
of both Houses, a deputation from the Common 
Council proceeded to Oxford, on the 2nd of January, 
1643. The King smiled when they urged him to 
return to London, and promised to defend him from 
tumults. " You cannot maintain peace and quiet 
among yourselves," he said ; and he dismissed the 
deputation with his answer, sending with them a 
gentleman with orders to read it, in his name, to the 
assembled citizens. The meeting was held on the 
13th of January; an immense crowd filled Guildhall; 
Lord Manchester and Mr. Pym attended, on behrlf of 
the Parhament, to rebut any accusation the King 
might bring against them. At sight of this eager 
multitude, the Royal Commissioner became alarmed, 
and wished to be excused from reading the message, 
on account of the weakness of his voice. He was, 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 38. 


however, required to discharge his commission, and 
obeyed ; but he was forced to read the message twice, 
in different parts of the hall, that all present might 
hear liim. At the second reading, some Royalists, 
who were standing timidly near the door, ventm'ed to 
cheer, but their cheers were immediately drowned by 
^dolent murmurs. The King's letter was long, bitter 
in tone, and full of recriminations, which indicated no 
desire for peace. Pym and Lord Manchester spoke in 
reply to it ; shouts of " We will Hve and die with 
them!" greeted their words on every side; and for a 
time at least, pacific petitions were discountenanced.^ 
The attempts of the Royahst party never produced 
any other result ; but they were unceasingly renewed ; 
they kept both Westminster and the City in a state of 
continual anxiety ; but no one as yet thought of op- 
posing them by those final excesses of tyranny, which 
give parties a few days of uncontrolled power, for 
which they have soon to pay by long reverses. The 
Parhament, intent on its conflict with this internal 
evil, was unable either to display its fnU energy out of 
doors, or to direct it freely towards other contests. 

In the counties it was otherwise. There, parties 
were trammelled by no ties ; there, no general and 
decisive responsibihty attached to their acts, and no 
poHtical necessities or calculations interfered to regu- 
late or intimidate their passions. Thus, whilst in the 
neighbourhood of London, between the Parliament 
and the King, the war seemed to languish, it was car- 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 110 — 116 ; Parliamentaiy History, 
vol. iii. cols. 49 — 61. 

c 2 


ried on elsewhere, between the Parliamentarians and 
the Eoyalists, with spontaneous energy and openness, 
and was conducted in each locality on the account of 
its inhabitants alone, and almost without reference to 
what was going on between Oxford and London. A 
few months had scarcely passed, and yet the kingdom 
was covered with warlike confederations, freely formed, 
either by men of the same opinion in a particular 
county, or by neighbouring counties, for the common 
maintenance of their common cause. As a preliminary 
step, these confederations requested and received from 
the Parhament or the King, as the case might be, a 
general commission for their leaders, and authority to 
levy soldiers, to impose taxes, and to take all such 
measures as they might deem necessary to insure suc- 
cess. They then acted separately and almost entirely 
at their own discretion, except that from time to time 
they sent accounts of their position and actions to 
Oxford or London, and sohcited assistance or advice in 
case of need.^ In the absence of such local leagues, 
and sometimes simultaneously with their formation, 
some wealthy and influential gentleman frequently 
raised a small body of men, and carried on a partizan 
warfare, either in the immediate vicinity of his town 

' Of these confederacies, the two most important were, in the north, 
that of Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland, and Westmoreland, for 
the Royal cause ; and in the east, that of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, 
Huntingdon, Bedford, Essex, Lincoln, and Hertford shires, for the Par- 
liament. Next in importance was the league of the midland counties 
of Northampton, Warwick, Leicester, Derby, and Stafford, for the Par- 
liament ; and that of the south-western counties of Dorset, Somerset, 
Devon, and Cornwall, for the King. — Rushworth, part. iii. vol. ii. pp. 66, 
94—98, 119,381. 


or estate, or to a greater distance, as his boldness, 
strength, or necessities dictated/ But if, in other 
quarters, more pacific tendencies momentarily prevailed, 
they were manifested with as much independence ; in 
Yorkshire and Cheshire, the two parties, believing 
themselves almost equally strong, and more capable of 
injm^ing than of conquering one another, officially 
concluded a treaty of neutrality -^ and almost at the 
same time, at the opposite extremity of England, the 
counties of Devon and Cornwall solemnly swore, by 
commissioners, to remain at peace, and to leave the 
King and the Parhament to fight out their quarrel 
between themselves.^ But both the Parhament and 
the King severely censured such conventions ;* and 
the men who had entered into them had presumed too 
much on their mutual forbearance, for they soon be- 
came involved in the war, like the rest of their coun- 
trymen. In the wealthiest and most populous counties, 
those of the east, centre, and south-east of England, 
the Parhamentarians had the predominance ; in the 
northern, western, and south-western counties, the 
Royalists were tlie strongest ; for in those counties 
landed property was less divided, industry less active, 
the nobihty more influential, and the Eoman Catholic 
religion more prevalent. But in both these divisions 
of the kingdom, especially in that in which the royal 
cause prevailed, the weaker party was strong enough 
to hold its enemies in check ; and the Parliament had 

' See the Memoirs of Ludlow and of Mrs. Hutchinson. 
* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 448. 
^ Ibid., vol. iii. p. 434. ■* Ibid., vol. iii. p. 430. 


this great advantage, that the counties devoted to its 
interests were nearly all contiguous and compacted 
together, so as to constitute a formidable belt round 
London ; whereas the royahst counties, extending in a 
long and narrow line from the south-west to the north- 
east, from the Land's End in Cornwall to the northern 
extremity of Durham, and intersected at several points 
by districts of contrary opinions, were far less united 
among themselves, found it very difficult to communi-. 
cate with each other, were rarely able to act in con- 
cert, and could only protect the rear of Charles's head- 
quarters at Oxford, which, though a devotedly royalist 
town, was too far advanced, and lay almost in isolation 
amidst the enemy's territory. 

A war of this kind, in midwinter, and with the two 
main armies in a state of almost complete inactivity, 
could not lead to prompt or decisive results. Sudden 
and brief expeditions were made almost daily, small 
toAvns were alternately occupied and abandoned, but in 
these surprises and encounters, success and defeat were 
very evenly balanced between the two parties.^ The 
townsfolk were growing used to war, but without 
becoming practised soldiers. Some leaders began to 
earn distinction by their courage, ability, or good for- 
tune ; but no one was yet known to the whole people, 
and their influence was local, like their achievements. 
Besides, though passions ran high, the manners of the 
people were generous and mercifal ; although the aris- 
tocracy were on the decline, and the new power of the 

' See the Memoirs of Ludlow and of Colonel Hutchinson ; May's 
History of the Long Parliament, pp. 242 — 275. 


Commons was the real cause of the national move- 
ment, the country was in insurrection against the 
King and his tyranny ; the various classes of society 
were not at war, nor were they under any necessity of 
oppressing one another, in self-defence or for self-eman- 
cipation. On both sides, and in almost every locality, 
the command was in the hands of men of almost equal 
rank, trained to the same habits, and able to under- 
stand and respect each other even while they fought. 
Though hcentious, frivolous, and rapacious, the Cava- 
liers were not bloodthirsty ; and with all their stern 
fanaticism, the Presbyterians retained an amount of 
respect for the laws and for humanity which has 
seldom been paralleled in the annals of civil discord. 
Relatives, neighbours, and friends, while serving under 
opposite standards, did not break off all kindly inter- 
course, but even lent each other assistance in case of 
need ; when they met in arms, they treated one another 
with courtesy, as persons who had been recently at 
peace, and who were not yet irrevocably separated.^ 
Prisoners were usually hberated on giving a promise 
not to serve again ; if it happened that they were left 
in great destitution, even if the King saw them defile 
before him with an air of cold indifference, the greatest 
indignation was felt -^ and the frequently cruel bru- 
tahty of Prince Rupert caused so much sui'prise and 
scandal, that the very multitude spoke of him with 
aversion and disgust as an unciviHzed foreigner. Thus 

» Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 114—119 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, 
p. 19. 

^ Lilly's Observations, in Maseres' Select Tracts, vol. i. pp. 144, 145 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 64. 


the war, tliough everywhere present and maintained 
with great enthusiasm, was unattended by that furious 
violence which would have hastened it to a close ; the 
two parties, though honest in their opposition, seemed 
unwilling to strike each other with too much vigour ; 
and fighting daily occurred in all parts of the kingdom, 
without either accelerating the course of events, or 
leading the King and Parliament to cease to lose time 
in trivial debates or vain negociations. 

Towards the middle of February, however, the 
arrival of the Queen gave a more active character to 
the progress of affau's. For more than a year she had 
been in Holland, where she had displayed address and 
activity of no common order, for the purpose of 
obtaining assistance. The aristocratic party then 
prevailed in the States ; and the Stadtholder, her son- 
in-law, seconded her efforts with all his power. Con- 
fident and adventurous when her mind was troubled 
by no pressing danger, gracious and allm-ing to those 
of whom she had need, she succeeded in interesting 
the repubhcan and taciturn people of Holland in her 
fate. In vain did the Parhament, in September, 
1642, send Mr. Walter Strickland as their ambassador 
to the Hague, to remind the Dutch of the services 
which the English nation had rendered in past times 
to the liberty of the United Provinces, and to demand 
that they should at least observe a strict neutrahty. 
Strickland, after having waited a long time for an 
audience, had great difficulty in obtaining even an 
equivocal declaration ; the people openly manifested 
their ill-will towards him, and the Queen continued 


without obstruction her preparations for departure.^ 
Four ships, laden with arms, ammunition, officers and 
soldiers, sailed in her train : and Admiral Batten, who 
had been ordered by the Parliament to intercept the 
convoy, did not come up with it until it had reached 
Burlington, on the 22nd of February, 1643. Batten 
cannonaded the town. The Queen's lodgings were on 
the quay, and some of the balls fell upon the house, 
and even into the room in which she lay asleep : she 
rose in all haste, and fled into the fields, where, it is 
said, she remained concealed for several hours under a 
bank,^ Soon the country rang with narratives of her 
courage amid her dangers : Lord Newcastle came vdtli 
a body of troops to conduct her to York ; the gentry 
surrounded her with enthusiasm, burning with indig- 
nation against the traitor Batten, who, they said, had 
fired intentionally on the house which she occupied. A 
host of Catholics tlrronged to serve under her 
standard : in vain was this infraction of the laws of 
the realm denounced in the strongest terms to the 
King and the ParHament ; in vain, with a view to 
discredit or intimidate Lord Newcastle, was his army 
styled the Queen's army, and the Catholic army ;^ he 
had long been formally authorized by the King to act 
as he had done,* so he treated these complaints with 
contempt, and retained his new soldiers. He soon 

' Rush-worth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 157 — 163 ; Harris's Life of Oliver 
Cromwell, p. 250, note. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 445 ; Memoires de 
Madame de MotteviUe, vol. i. p. 273. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 444. 

* See Appendix I. 


found liimself at the head of a considerable force. 
The Queen continued to reside at York ; her anxiety 
to rejoin her husband yielding to her delight at hold- 
ing the cliief command, and presiding supremely over 
all the schemes which were already in agitation at her 
court. Montrose and Hamilton came from Scotland to 
consult with her on the means of engaging that 
kingdom in the royal cause. Hamilton, with liis 
habitual prudence and love of conciliation, maintained 
that it was possible, notwithstanding the decidedly 
hostile influence of the Marquis of Argyle, to gain 
over the Scottish Parliament. Montrose, presump- 
tuous and daring, proposed that a body of Irish, under 
the command of the Earl of Antrim, (a powerful 
nobleman in the north-east of Ireland, who had also 
come to York to offer his services), should land on the 
coast of Scotland, that the Highlanders should be 
raised, and that the Presbyterian leaders should be 
massacred ; and he offered personally to superintend 
and execute the plot.^ The Queen listened to all these 
propositions, and was secretly favourable to the most 
extravagant, but she carefully strove to please all who 
came to pay homage to her power. At the same time, 
she entered into more effectual intrigues with some of 
the Parliamentary leaders., who were either ah*eady 
disgusted with their party, or shaken in their opposi- 
tion by her proximity. Towards the end of March, 
1643, Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, governor of Scar- 
borough, who a month before had defeated a body of 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 353, 980 ; Baillie's Letters, vol. i. 
p. 364 ; May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 304. 


Royalists, promised to place the town in her hands ; 
and even Sir John Hotham did not seem disincHned 
to open to her those gates of Hull which, before the 
outbreak of the war, he had so boldly shut against the 
King. In fine, throughout the north, the Eoyalists 
were full of ardour and hopefulness ; the ParHament- 
arians, anxious and silent, wrote letter after letter to 
London, to beg for advice and support. 

The Parhament itself grew anxious. At the com- 
mencement of the war, it had hoped to obtain imme- 
diate success. The increase of taxation excited mur- 
murs •} there were rumours of conspiracies in the 
City : notwithstanding the absence of so many members 
who were friendly to peace, whenever the subject was 
broached, it found numerous partizans, even among 
the Commons. Negociations were not altogether 
broken off; it was proposed that they should be re- 
sumed, and that, as an evidence of their good faith, both 
parties should disband their armies when they began 
to treat. Sir Benjamin Rudyard supported the 
motion. "I have long and thoughtfully expected," 
he said, " that the cup of trembling which hath gone 
round about us to other nations, would at length come 
in amongst us ; it is now come at last, and we may 
drink the dregs of it — the worst, which God avert ! 
There is yet some comfort left, that our miseries are 
not likely to last long ; for we cannot fight here as 
they do in Grermany, in that great, large, vast conti- 

» Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 77. The new taxes amounted 
to 10,000/. a-week on the city of London, and 33,518/. a- week on the 
whole of the country. Clarendon's History of the Rebellion vol iii 
p. 493. 


nent, where, altliough there be war ui some parts of 
it, yet there are many other remote quiet places for 
trade and tillage to support in. We must fight as in 
a cockpit ; we are surrounded with the sea ; we have 
no stronger holds than our own skulls and our own 
ribs to keep out enemies ; so that the whole kingdom 
will suddenly be but one flame. It hath been said in 
this House, that we are bound in conscience to punish 
the shedding of innocent blood ; but, Sir, who shall be 
answerable for all the innocent blood which shall be 
spilt hereafter, if we do not endeavour a peace by a 
speedy treaty ? Certainly God is as much to be 
trusted in a treaty as in a war ; it is He that gives 
wisdom to treat as well as courage to fight, and success 
to both, as it pleaseth Him. Blood is a crying sin ; 
it pollutes a land. Wliy should we defile this land 
any longer? Wherefore, Mr. Speaker, let us stint 
blood as soon as we can."^ The motion was 
rejected, on the 17th of February, 1643, by a majority 
of only three votes f but the words of Sir Benjamin 
Rudyard were in the mouths of most good men. The 
leaders of the Commons secretly shuddered at finding 
themselves thus forced to solicit a peace, which was 
impossible except on conditions which would render it 
fatal to themselves. They yielded, however ; for few 
men, even among their friends, were violent enough to 
admit the evils of civil war as inevitable ; and on the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 80, 81. 

* There were two divisions in the House : on the first, the motion 
was supported by sixty-three votes against sixty-six ; on the second, 
by eighty-three votes against eighty-six. — Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. col. 79. 


20tli of March, after some preliminary negociations, 
five commissioners^ set out for Oxford, with instruc- 
tions to discuss, during twenty days, first a suspension 
of hostihties, and afterwards a treaty. 

The King received them graciously ; their relations 
with the Court were dignified and courteous ; the 
Earl of Northumberland, as chief commissioner, affected 
great magnificence ; he had brought with him all liis 
household, his plate, and his wine ; supplies of pro- 
visions were sent to him from London. The Eoyalists 
visited him, and dined at his house ; the King even 
deigned to accept some presents from him for his own 
table. ^ Some of the earl's colleagues, though simple 
members of the House of Commons, took pleasure in 
appearing at Oxford with equal splendour. But when 
they came to negociate, these briUiant demonstrations 
were of no effect ; neither the Parhament nor the King 
could accept the conditions which were proposed on 
either side, for they were the same which, before the 
war began, had been haughtily rejected, and they 
would have given over the consenting party, in a 
defenceless state, to its adversaries. One evening, the 
envoys of the Parliament flattered themselves that 
they had at length obtained from the King, in re- 
ference probably to the militia, a concession of some 
value : after a long conference, he had appeared to 
yield, and he was to give them his answer in writing 
on the following morning. To their great surprise, it 

' The Earl of Northumberland, Sir John Holland, Sir William Armyn, 
WiUiani Pierrepoint, and Bulstrode Whitelocke. 
^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 68. 


was utterly different from that which had been agreed 
upon ; and they learned that when the King went to 
bed, during the absence of his ministers, the gentlemen 
of liis bedchamber, who were in the Queen's con- 
fidence, had induced him to change his resolution.^ 
" If the King," said Mr. Pierrepoint, one of the com- 
missioners, to the royal counsellors, " would at least be 
induced to gratify some of the lords now attached to 
the Parliament in their demands, their influence might 
be of service to him." But Charles, haughty and 
rancorous towards liis courtiers as well as towards liis 
people, would hardly tolerate the suggestion that he 
should one day restore the ofiice of Lord High Ad- 
miral to the Earl of Northumberland ; and mtrigues 
based on an appeal to personal interests were as vain 
as their success would have proved futile.^ The King, 
like the leaders of the Commons, was not desirous of 
peace ; he had promised the Queen that he would 
never make peace without her consent ; and she wrote 
to him constantly from York to urge him not to do 
so, expressing her displeasure that negociations should 
have been opened in her absence, and declaring to her 
husband that she would leave England, unless she 
were officially provided vvdth a guard.^ A petition 
from the officers in garrison at Oxford, which had been 
secretly set on foot by the King himself, strongly 
opposed any suspension of hostiUties.* In vain did 
some of the commissioners of the Parliament endea- 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 69. 
^ Clarendon's Life, vol. i. p. 183. 
=* Ibid., vol. i. pp. 185—188. * Ibid., vol. i. p. 178. 


vour, in private conferences, to alarm Charles as to 
the fature ;^ in vain did other commissioners, who had 
been sent from Scotland to solicit the assembling of a 
Parliament in that kingdom, volunteer their mediation.^ 
He rejected the offer as an insult, forbade them to 
meddle with the affairs of England, and at length, as 
his final answer to the negociators, offered to return 
to the Parliament, if it would transfer its place of 
meeting to some town at least twenty miles from 
London. On receiving this message, the two Houses 
suddenly recalled their commissioners by so peremptory 
an order that they deemed it their duty to leave 
Oxford that very day, though it was late, and their 
travelling carriages were not ready.^ 

Their conduct at Oxford, and especially their in- 
timacy with the King and his Court, had filled the 
advocates of war with much distrust. On his arrival in 
London, Lord Northumberland learned that one of his 
letters to his wife had been opened by Henry Martyn, 
one of the members of the Committee of Safety, who 
was known only by the violence of his language, 
and by liis flight from Eeading at the approach of the 
royal troops. No nobleman was more tenacious of his 
dignity than the earl, or more accustomed to be 
treated with deference by his fellow- citizens. Meeting 
Martyn at Westminster, he demanded an explanation 
of liis outrageous conduct ; and as Martyn sneeringly 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 68. 

2 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 521 ; Clarendon's 
Life, vol. i. p. 188. 

^ Whitelocke, p. 69 ; Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 164 — 261 ; 
Clarendon's History of the RebeUion, vol. iv. p. 17. 


justified what he had done, the earl struck him with 
his cane in the presence of several witnesses. The 
quarrel, when brought before Parliament, was received 
by the Commons with some embarrassment, by the 
Lords with haughty indifference ; and it was hushed 
up ahnost immediately/ Matters were in that state 
in which every circumstance reveals and foments dis- 
sensions which no one is willing to see developed. 
Spring was near at hand ; whether peace were desired 
or feared, it was necessary to prepare for war. On the 
same day that the commissioners returned to London, 
Essex again took the field.^ It was still Hampden's 
opinion that he should march at once upon Oxford, to 
besiege and reduce the King.^ At Oxford, it was 
feared this might be done, and it was proposed that 
the King should rejoin the Queen and Lord Newcastle 
in the north. But Essex, still distrustful of his troops, 
or already uneasy at his success, again rejected tliis 
bold advice, and encamping between Oxford and 
London, remained satisfied with laying siege to Read- 
ing, a place which, in his opinion, was indispensable 
to the safety of the Parliament. 

Reading surrendered on the 27th of April, after a 
siege of ten days. Hampden again demanded that 
Oxford should be attacked ; but Essex persisted in his 
refusal.* Notliing was further from his thoughts than 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 109 : Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 51. 

^ On the 15th of April, 1643, according to Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii- 
p. 265 ; on the 17th, according to May's History of the Long Parlia- 
ment, p. 278. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 39. 

" Ibid., vol. iv. p. 40. 


treachery or fear; but he carried on the war with 
regret, and no longer enjoyed the pleasures of popu- 
larity to dispel his melancholy forebodings. Even 
before the opening of the campaign, some dissatisfac- 
tion had been expressed against him in the House of 
Commons, and particularly in the Committee of Safety, 
which was the real focus of the revolutionary party. 
The more violent had even gone so far as to inquire 
whether it would be impossible to supersede him, and 
the name of Hampden, it is said, was mentioned as his 
successor.' Hampden was too wise a man to entertain 
the mere idea of holding a power for which he felt no 
desire : whether he was capable or not of commanding, 
he had merely served as a colonel under Essex. Since 
the outbreak of the war, and particularly during the 
winter, other officers had won more independent and 
more extensive celebrity. In the north, Fairfax and 
his father, notwithstanding the superior forces of Lord 
Newcastle, had daily, with the most brilliant courage, 
disputed with him the possession of that part of the 
country at every point. ^ At the head of the associa- 
tion of the eastern counties. Lord Manchester^ had 
had, it is true, no royalist leader of any renown to con- 
tend with; but he had frequently sent valuable aid 
to the Parliamentarians in the northern and midland 
districts ; well-organized bodies of militia were ready 
to follow him, and his frankness, liberality, and kindly 

' Wood's Athenre Oxonienses, sub voce Hampden. 

2 See the first part of Fairfax's Memoirs. 

^ Lord Kimbolton, known also as Lord Mandeville, had borne the 
title of Lord Manchester since the death of his father, which occurred 
on the 9th of November, 1642. 



disposition had endeared him to all the inhabitants of 
the surrounding country. In the same counties, 
Colonel Cromwell, already famous for many gallant 
exploits, as skilful in their arrangement as they were 
successful in their issue, exercised over many men of 
bold spirit, earnest piety, and easy fortune, an influence 
which already gave evidence of great genius and great 
power. Finally, in the south and west, the rout of 
numerous royalist bands, and the capture of seven 
towns in tliree months,^ had won for Sir William 
Waller the surname of William the Conqueror.^ The 
Parliament, it was said, was therefore not deficient 
either in generals or in armies ; and if Lord Essex 
refused to conquer, it would be easy to find him a 

These tlireats and complaints, notwithstanding their 
bitterness and frequency, were followed by no definite 
proposition, no pubhc suggestion. Essex was not a 
mere officer in the service of a discontented party ; 
around him rallied not only all the noblemen who 
were engaged in the war, but the moderate men who 
were desirous of peace, and the more clear-sighted 
Presbyterians, who were already apprehensive of the 
designs of bolder sectaries. Hampden himself, and 
the leaders of the political party, while pressing the 
earl to act with greater vigour, liad no intention of 
separating from him. Their dissensions, therefore, 
were not openly manifested ; but though hidden, the 

' Chichester, Chepstow, Winchester, Malmesbury, Tewkesbury, Here- 
ford, and Monmouth. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Kebellion, vol. iv. p. 114. 


discord already possessed the mastery, and it was not 
long before Essex was made to feel its effects. Those 
who were obliged to treat him with outward respect, 
secretly used every effort to injure him; and his 
defenders, thinking they had done enough in support- 
ing him when attacked, took but little pains to render 
him further assistance. Before a month had elapsed, 
he had to complain of the bad state of his army ; pay, 
provisions, and clothing, all were wanting ; suffering 
and sickness decimated his soldiers, who not long 
before had been so abundantly cared for by the City. 
He made his wants known to the various committees 
which had been appointed to supply them; but liis 
opponents, far more active and energetic than his 
friends, exercised the chief influence in those bodies ; 
their untiring zeal had obtained for them the chief 
oflS.ces in the executive government, and the subor- 
dinate agents were nearly all of their selection. All 
the general's appeals were in vain.^ The second cam- 
paign had but just commenced : there seemed to have 
been no change in the state of affairs ; but already that 
party which had deprived the King of his sovereign 
power felt it escaping from their hands ; already a 
new party, though still obliged to conceal its true cha- 
racter, had gained power enough to reduce the great 
army of the Parliament to impotence, and had enough 
enthusiastic confidence to risk aU by giving this ad- 
vantage to the common enemy. 

Already also, under the sway of similar passions, a 

» May's History of the Long Parliament, pp. 276, 279, 294, 295 ; 
Memoirs of Denzil HoUis, p. 9, 

D 2 


new army was silently in process of formation. In 
those slight skirmishes which, notwithstanding the 
delays and negociations between Oxford and London, 
were of almost daily occurrence in other parts of the 
country, the Parliamentarians, since the action at 
Brentford, had frequently suffered defeat. The royal 
cavalry, more especially, filled the Parliamentary troops 
with dread, and the cavalry were still, as in feudal 
times, the most efficient and respected force. Hampden 
and Cromwell were conversing one day on this infe- 
riority of their troops: "How can it be otherwise?" 
said Cromwell ; " our troops are most of them old 
decayed serving-men and tapsters, and such kind of 
fellows ; their troops are gentlemen's sons, younger 
sons, and persons of quality. Do you think that the 
spirits of such base and mean fellows will be ever able 
to encounter gentlemen, that have honour, and courage, 
and resolution in them ? Take it not ill what I say — 
I know you will not — you must get men of a spirit 
that is likely to go on as far as gentlemen will go, or 
else I am sure we shall be beaten still," " Your 
notion is a good one," said Hampden, " but it is im- 
practicable." " I can do somewhat in it," replied 
Cromwell ; "I will raise such men as have the fear of 
Grod before them, and make some conscience of what 
they do ; and I warrant you they will not be beaten."^ 
He accordingly went through the eastern counties, 
recruiting young men, most of whom were already 
known to him, and he to them ; all freeholders, or the 

• CromweH's Letters and Speeclies, vol. iii. pp. 307, 308 ; Somers 
Tracts, vol. vi. p. 369. 


sons of freeholders, to whom pay was not an object, or 
mere idleness a pleasure ; all stern and bold fanatics, 
who engaged in the war from conscientious motives, 
and served under Cromwell because they had con- 
fidence in him. " I will not cozen you," he told them, 
" by perplexed expressions in my commission about 
fighting for King and Parliament. If the King chanced 
to be in the body of the enemy, I would as soon dis- 
charge my pistol upon liim as upon any private man ; 
and if your consciences will not let you do the like, I 
advise you not to enlist yourselves under me."^ Few 
hesitated to accept these conditions ; and no sooner were 
they enrolled, than all the comforts of domestic life, 
and all the licence of military life, were alike forbidden 
them : they were subjected to the strictest discipline, 
and required to tend their own horses and clean their 
own arms : they often slept in the open air, and they 
passed almost without any interval of relaxation from 
their military duties to the exercises of rehgion ; 
for their leader was determined that they should be as 
devoted to their profession as to their cause, and that 
they should combine the rigid punctuality of the 
soldier with the free energy of fanaticism.^ When the 
campaign reopened, fourteen squadrons of such volun- 
teers, forming a body of about a thousand men, 
marched under the command of Cromwell.^ 

A month passed almost without any incident. The 
capture of Reading, though held of little accovmt in 

• Noble's Memoirs of the Protectoral House of Cromwell, vol. i. ji. 271. 

* Whitelocke, p. 72 ; Mercurius Pragmaticus, May ;3(), l(i48 ; Bates, 
Elenchus Motuum Nuperorum, part ii. p. 220. 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 319. 


London, had thrown Oxford into consternation, and 
the King, far from determining to act, was deliberating 
whether he should not take to flight. The Parliament, 
embarrassed by its own dissensions, paid more atten- 
tion to them than to its enemies. At one time, it 
endeavoured to give some satisfaction to all its ad- 
herents, both violent and moderate, pohticians or 
pietists; at another time, decisive resolutions, carried 
with great diflB.culty by one party, were left without 
effect, and seemed to be abandoned by common consent. 
The Presbyterians had long demanded, and had long 
been promised, that an Assembly of Divines should 
be held for the purpose of reforming the Church. This 
Assembly was convoked by resolution of Parliament, 
on the 12th of June, 1643, and held its first meeting 
on the 1st of July following ; but the Parliament itself 
appointed the hundred and twenty-one members of 
whom it was composed : thirty laymen,, ten of whom 
were Lords, and twenty members of the House of 
Commons, were associated with them, with the honours 
of precedence ; theologians of the most various opinions 
were summoned ; and the sole purpose of the Assembly, 
which was destitute alike of authority and independ- 
ence, seemed to be to give its opinion on such questions 
as one or both of the Houses of Parhament might 
think proper to submit to its consideration.^ An im- 
peachment of higli treason was brought against the 
Queen, and no one raised his voice to oppose it ; but 
after Pym had carried it to the Upper House, on the 

• Neal's History of the Purituua, vol. iii. p. 43. 


23rd of May, nothing more was heard of it/ The 
absence of the Great Seal daily impeded the adminis- 
tration of justice, and many matters of public and 
private business. To put an end to this inconvenience, 
and with a view more especially to appropriate the 
legal attributes of sovereignty, the Commons, about the 
middle of May, ordered that a new Great Seal should 
be prepared ; but the Lords rejected the proposal, as 
they were more fearful of usurping the symbols of 
sovereign power, than of exercising it without that 
sanction, and the Commons deemed it prudent to post- 
pone the execution of their project.^ Sometimes the 
various parties, voting together with different views, 
combined in a deceptive and barren unanimity ; more 
frequently, as their strength was almost equal, they 
reduced one another to impotence, and seemed to be 
waitinsT until some external occurrence should either 
force them to unite, or separate them irrevocably. 

The 3 1 st of May was a day of fasting, and both 
Houses were attending divine service in St. Margaret's 
church at Westminster, when a note was brought to 
Mr. Pym, who rose immediately ; and, after a very 
animated but whispered conversation with those around 
him, without waiting for the conclusion of the service, 
he left the church hastily with his principal colleagues, 
leaving the rest of the congregation in a state of 
agitation commensurate with tlieir ignorance and 

" Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 321. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 115, 117 ; May's History of the 
Long Parliament, pp. 288 — 291. 

^ Clai'eudon's Histox-y of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 66, 


As soon as the sermon was over, the Houses met, 
and the public learned that a great conspiracy had just 
been discovered ; several Lords, it was affirmed, several 
members of the House of Commons, and a great many- 
eminent citizens, were involved in it. They intended 
to arm the Royalists, to seize upon the Tower, the 
arsenals, and the principal military posts, to arrest the 
leaders of both Houses, and to introduce the King's 
troops into London. That very day, the 31st of May, 
had been appointed for the execution of the plot. The 
whole matter, however, would speedily be cleared up, 
for a committee of inquiry had been nominated, and 
several persons had already been arrested by its order.^ 

These rumours were correct : during the night, and 
on the following day, Edmund Waller,^ a member of 
the House of Commons, and a poet of some celebrity ; 
Mr. Tompkins, his brother-in-law, who had formerly 
been connected with the Queen's household ; Mr. 
Challoner, a wealthy citizen, and several others, were 
arrested and examined. All confessed, with more or 
less detail, that a plot was really on foot, though all 
the conspirators were not aware of its full extent and 
design. Some had merely contemplated refusing to 
pay taxes, in order to compel the Parliament to make 
peace ; others proposed to present large numbers of 
petitions in favour of peace to both Houses simulta- 
neously ; others had only attended meetings, or assisted 
in the preparation of certain lists on which the names 

' State Ti-ials, vol. iv. col. 637 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. iv. p. 67. 

'^ Edmund Waller was born at Coleshill, in llei'tfordshire, on the 
3rd of May, 1605, and died on the 21st of October, 1687. 


of all known citizens were inscribed, under three heads 
— right men, or those of the King's party ; averse meriy 
or those well affected to the Parliament ; and moderate 
men, or neutrals. But though the actions of the con- 
spirators were of such unequal importance, and their 
motives of such different character, the plot, which had 
long been formed, daily became more serious. It was 
then remembered that, three months previously, in 
one of those negociations which had been so frequently 
attempted and abandoned. Waller had been one of the 
commissioners sent to Oxford, and that, on the day of 
their presentation, though he was the lowest in rank, the 
King had received him with particular condescension, 
and had said to him, " Though you are the last, yet 
you are not the worst, nor the least in my favour."^ 
Ever since that period constant correspondence had 
been maintained with Oxford; royalist merchants — 
Sir Nicholas Crisp, Sir Gleorge Benyon, and others — 
who had fled from London to escape prosecution by 
the House, were the principal agents in the business ; 
a person named Hall secretly resided at Beaconsfield for 
the purpose of forwarding messages; and LadyAubigny, 
whom the Parliament had permitted to visit Oxford 
on business, had brought back with her, in a small 
box, a commission from the King, authorizing some of 
the conspirators to raise men and money in his name. 
Information had very re( ently been sent to HaU, 
" that the great ship was come into the Downs ;" in 
other words, that all was ready ; and he had commu- 
nicated the intelligence to Lord Falkland, who had 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 67. 


replied, " that they should hasten it with all speed, for 
delays made the war more difficult to be restrained."^ 

This was more than party justice required, and the 
Parliament, if it had pleased, might have had further 
proof. Moved by a craven desire to save his life. 
Waller implored permission to ransom it, no matter at 
what price ; money, confessions, and denunciations he 
lavished profusely ; addressing himself to the obscurest 
as well as to the most powerful for protection, beseech- 
ing every influential fanatic to come and hear the 
humble confession of his repentance, and as ready now 
to exaggerate the gravity of the plot, as he had pro- 
bably been at Oxford to extol the numbers and strength 
of the conspirators. The Lords Portland and Conway 
had received some confidential communications from 
him. He denounced them ; and the Earl of North- 
umberland and many others were also compromised 
by his revelations.^ Although few persons had gone 
so far as to commit any legally criminal action, many 
had known and approved of what was in contemplar 
tion. But the Parliament, with courageous wisdom, 
refused to take advantage of the imprudence of their 
enemies, or of the baseness of their accomplice ; and 
prudently considered that strict justice would be suf- 
ficient to secm-e their safety. Seven persons only were 
brought before a court-martial for trial ; and though 
five were condemned to death, Challoner and Tompkins 
alone suffered their sentence. They were executed on ' 

' State Trials, vol. iv. cols. 626 — 631 ; Clarendon's History of the Re- 
bellion, vol. iv. pp. 68 — 76. 

* May's History of the Long Parhament, p. 286 ; Clarendon's History 
of the llebelhon, vol. iv. p. 68. 


the 5th of July, 1648, and died like brave men, with- 
out either beheving or affecting to be martyrs, but 
expressing, \s^th toucliing sincerity, some uncertainty 
as to the goodness of their cause. " My prayer to 
God was," said Challoner on the scaffold, " that if this 
design might not be honourable to Him, it might be 
known. God hath heard me, and it is discovered." 
" I am glad," said Tompkins, " this foohsh business 
hath been discovered, because it might have occasioned 
very ill consequences." As for Waller, though he also 
had been condemned, his life was spared in recompense 
for his avowals, at the instance of some of his relations, 
liis cousin Cromwell among others ; and perhaps, also, 
from the lingering respect wliich is felt for genius, even 
when it only serves to render cowardice more glaring.* 

For a few days the leaders of the Commons had 
hoped that the discovery and punishment of this 
plot would thj'ow Oxford into consternation, intimi- 
date the EoyaHsts in London, put an end to dissen- 
sions in the Parhament, and liberate their party at 
length from those difficulties and embarrassments in 
which it was fruitlessly wastmg its energy. But these 
hopes were soon deceived ; the sounds of thanksgiving 
had scarcely ceased in the chui'ches, the new oath of 
union which had been resolved upon in the moment of 
danger had no sooner been taken, than the Parliament 
found itself exposed to greater reverses without, and 
more violent debates within its own body. 

The King had learned the failure of the plot in the 

' state Trials, vol. iv. cols. G.32— 638 ; May's History of the Long 
Parliament, pp. 283—286. 


city with no great concern ; almost at the same 
moment he had received intelligence that, in the 
south, the west, and the north, liis generals had won 
important advantages ; and he much preferred to owe 
his triumph to the Cavaliers and to war, than to a 
secret accommodation with citizens who had recently 
opposed all his wishes. On the 19th of June, how- 
ever, an unexpected occurrence directed his thoughts 
once more to London and the Parhament. The 
report spread that, on the previous evening, at Chal- 
grove Field, some miles from Oxford, in a cavalry 
action in wliich Prince Rupert had surprised and 
defeated the ParHamentarians, Hampden had heen 
wounded. " I saw him," said one of the prisoners, 
" ride off the field before the action was done, which 
he never used to do ; and with his head hanging down, 
and resting his hands upon the neck of his horse ; by 
which I concluded he was hui't." The news created 
great excitement in Oxford, but the feehng was rather 
of curiosity than of joy ; it was difficult to beheve that 
so great a man could be so near falling by so unex- 
pected a blow ; and the Cavaliers almost hesitated to 
rejoice. The King himself, at first, thought only of 
seizing this opportmiity for attempting to conciliate, 
if possible, so powerful an adversary, in the hope of 
obtaining a pacific settlement by his means ; for 
although Hampden had done hun so much harm, he 
believed him fully capable of repairing the past. 
Dr. Giles, a country neighbour of Hampden, who still 
continued on friendly terms with him, was at that 
time at Oxford. " Send to him," said the King, " to 


inquire how he is, as if from yourself, and if he has 
no surgeon, I will send him my own." The doctor 
hesitated to undertake this commission, " for," said he, 
" I have seemed unlucky to him in several conjunc- 
tures of time, when I made addresses to him in my own 
behalf. Before I came to Oxford, my waggons were 
robbed and plundered, and I addressed him for relief, 
and my messenger came in that very instant in which 
the news of his eldest son's death came to him. And 
some good time after, falling into a like calamity, I 
sent to him again ; but my messenger met there with 
another, that brought the news of his beloved 
daughter Mrs. Knightley's death ; so I seemed to 
screech-owl him." The doctor, nevertheless, fidfilled 
the King-'s commission. But on the arrival of his 
messenger, on the 24th of June, Hampden was almost 
lifeless : his shoulder had been shattered by two balls, 
and for six days he had been suifering the most excru- 
ciating agonies. He was, however, informed who it 
was that had sent to inquire about him, and the 
object of the inquiry was also intimated to him. A 
strong agitation convulsed his frame ; he seemed about 
to speak, but his strength failed him, and he died a 
few moments after. As soon as he was assured of his 
death, Charles was far more delighted than he would 
have been to know that he was disposed to promote an 
accommodation ; and Hampden was never again men- 
tioned at the Court of Oxford, except to recall his 
offences, or to remark with an air of triumph that he 
had been slain in the very county, and near the very 
place, where he had been the first to carry out the 


ordinance of the Parliament with regard to the militia, 
and to levy troops against the King/ 

In London, on the other hand, and throughout the 
country generally, the deepest grief was felt at liis loss. 
Never had any man inspired a nation with so much 
confidence ; all who belonged to the national party, no 
matter to what extent or from what motives, rehed on 
Hampden for the attainment of their object ; the most 
moderate had faith in his wisdom, the most violent in 
his devoted patriotism, the most honest in his upright- 
ness, and the most intriguing in his consummate 
ability. Prudent and reserved at the same time that 
he was ready to brave all dangers, he had hitherto 
been the cause of no failure, he possessed the affection 
of all, and his premature death dashed all hopes. 
This wonderful good fortune has fixed his name for 
ever on the height to which the admiration of his con- 
temporaries had raised it, and may perhaps have saved 
his virtue and renown from those quicksands on which 
revolutions so often wreck their worthiest favourites. 

His death seemed a presage of disaster to the Par- 
liament; for more than two months it sufiered a 
succession of defeats, which daily aggravated the still 
liidden evils of wliich these continual reverses were the 
consequence. The enemies of Essex, while neglecting 
to supply the wants of his army, had reckoned, but 
mistakenly, on the success of his rivals. Wliile the 
Commander-in-chief and his Council of War were 
vainly sending messenger after messenger to demand 

' Warwick's Memoirs, pp. 241, 242 ; Clarendon's History of the Re- 
bellion, vol. iv. pp. 87 — 95. 


money, clothes, ammunition and arms,^ news arrived 
that, on the 30th of June, Fairfax had been defeated 
at Atherton Moor, in the north of England;^ that 
Sir John Hotham was on the point of surrendering 
Hull to the Queen ; that Lord Willoughby was no 
longer able to defend Lincolnshire against Lord New- 
castle ; and that the association of the eastern counties, 
that bulwark of the Parliament, would be thus thrown 
open to the enemy. Matters were in a still worse 
condition in the south-west ; in one week. Sir 
William Waller had lost two battles ;^ the peasants of 
Cornwall, hardy descendants of the ancient Britons, 
defeated the Parhamentary recruits in every engage- 
ment ; at Lansdowne, after having modestly requested 
permission, they ran to attack a battery which had been 
considered impregnable ; and a fortnight afterwards, 
under the walls of Bristol, they mounted the breach 
with equal intrepidity.* In Cornwall, the land had not 
changed hands ; the same families of gentlemen had 
Kved there for centuries, surrounded by the same families 
of farmers and labourers; they were a people of pious and 
simple character, ignorant of the new ideas which were 
stirring society, and obedient, though with no slavish 
fear, to the influence of the nobility ; and they felt for 
their hereditary lords and time-honoured customs the 
same enthusiasm which the most zealous Parliament- 
arians entertained for their opinions and rights.* 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 144, 155. 
* Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 36. 

3 At Lansdowne, in Somersetshire, on the 5th of July, 1643, and at 
Roundway Down, in Wiltshire, on the 13th of July. 
"• Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 144. 
^ Sir Edward Walker's Discourses, p. 50. 


Moreover, in that and the adjacent counties, were some 
of the King's most judicious friends ; the Marquis of 
Hertford, brother in-law of Essex, who had long lived 
in retirement on his estates, from disgust with the 
Court ; Sir Bevil Grreenville, the most popular of the 
Cornish gentlemen, who were all popular ; and Sir 
Ealph Hopton, a good man and valiant officer, who 
asked no favours of Oxford, sternly repressed pillage, 
protected the inhabitants wherever he went, and, as he 
believed he was discharging the duty of a faithful sub- 
ject, acted with the humanity of a good citizen. The 
merit of these generals, and the bravery of their 
soldiers, threw Waller and his troops into discredit 
and alarm ; he soon became unable to maintain any 
discipline in his army, and his men deserted in whole 
companies. Even the Commissioners, whom the 
Parliament had sent to arouse the zeal of the people, 
allowed themselves to be overcome by the same appre- 
hensions, and communicated their terror to aU around 
them. The magistrates of Dorchester requested Mr. 
Strode " to view their works and fortifications, and to 
give his judgment of them ;" and after the survey, he 
told them, " Those works might keep out the Cavaliers 
about half an hour ; but that the King's soldiers made 
nothing of running up walls twenty feet high."^ 
Dorchester accordingly surrendered at the first sum- 
mons ; and during the same month of August, 1643, 
Weymouth, Portland, Barnstaple, and Bideford followed 
its example. Taunton, Bridge water, and Bath had 
already done the same in July ; and Bristol, the second 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 212, 


town in tlie kingdom, yielded to the first assault, on 
the .26th of July, in consequence of the cowardice of its 
governor, Nathaniel Fiennes, one of the leaders of the 
most violent party. ^ Every day brought to London 
the news of some reverse ; whilst at Oxford, on the 
other hand, the strength of the Royalists increased with 
their confidence. The Queen had at length rejoined 
her husband, bringing with her three thousand men 
and a train of artillery -^ their first interview took place 
in the vale of Keynton, on the very ground on which, 
during the previous 3'ear, the two parties had fought 
their first battle ; and on the same day, the 13th of July, 
almost at the same hour, Wilmot and Hopton gained a 
brilliant victor}^ over the Parliamentarians at Round- 
way Down in Wiltshire.^ Charles and his w^fe re- 
turned to Oxford in triumph ; and Waller, who, on 
his way to the army, had enjoined the constables of 
the towns through which he passed to hold themselves 
in readiness to receive his prisoners, returned to 
London without soldier s."* 

Essex, still inactive, and imputing his inactivity to 
those who blamed him for it, took no share in these 
defeats, and made no effort to prevent them. At 
length, on the 9th of July, he wrote to the House of 
Lords : " If it were thought fit to send to his Majesty 
to have peace, with " the setthng of religion, the laws 

' Eush worth, part ili. vol. ii. p. 284 ; State Trials, vol. iv. pp. 186 — 
293 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebelhon, vol. iv. p. 145. 

^ Eushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 274. 

^ Clarendon s History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 134, 135 ; Eush- 
worth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 285. 

■* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 189. 



and liberties of the subjects, and bringing to just trial 
those chief delinquents that have brought all this mis- 
chief to both kingdoms ; or else, if his Majesty shall 
please to absent himself, there may be a day set down 
to give a period to all these unhappy distractions by a 
battle ; I shall be ready to perform that duty I owe 
you, that, if peace be not concluded, the war may be 
ended by the sword."^ Some days earlier this letter 
might, perhaps, have been well received. At the news 
of the first reverses, the Lords had made a solemn pro- 
testation of their fidelity to the King, and had prepared 
new propositions of peace : ^ the Commons, on the 
contrary, in more irritation than discouragement, had 
required the Upper House finally to adopt their reso- 
lution with regard to the Great Seal ; and on their 
refusal to do so, they had, on their own sole authority, 
ordered one to be engraved, bearing the arms of Eng- 
land on one side, and on the other a representation of 
the House of Commons sitting at Westminster, with- 
out any indication whatever of the Lords. ^ While the 
relations between the two Houses were thus unfriendly, 
the Lords would doubtless have fallen in with the 
peaceful views of their General. But about the same 
period, on the 20th of June, the King, emboldened by 
his first successes, ofiicially declared that the persons 
assembled at Westminster no longer formed two real 
Houses of Parliament ; that the secession of so many 
of their members, and the absence of hberty in their 

' Jovii'nals of the House of Lords, July 11, 1G43 ; Rushwortli, part iii. 
vol. ii. p. 290 ; Whitelocke, p. 70. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 132. 

^ Whitelocke, p. 70 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 143. 


debates, had deprived tliem of all legal existence : that 
for the futui-e he did not intend to give them the name 
of Parhament; and, finally, that he forbade all his 
subjects to render obechence to so traitorous and 
seditious an assembly/ So general and violent a con- 
denmation at once restored union between the two 
Houses. On the 5th of July, they voted in concert 
that Commissioners should be sent to request their 
brethren the Scots to send an army to the assistance 
of the Protestants of England, who were in danger of 
falling under the yoke of the Papists -^ and when 
Essex's letter reached the Lords, they resolved that 
they would addi'ess no petition or proposals for peace 
to the King, until he should have revoked his pro- 
clamation declaring that the two Houses no longer 
formed a free and legal Parliament.^ 

Essex did not insist : he was both honest and sin- 
cere, and in advising peace he believed he was doing 
his duty; but he felt great respect for the Parliament ; 
and when he had given his opinion, so far from 
assuming to dictate to it, he was quite ready to obey 
its orders. For a few days, perfect harmony appeai-ed 
to prevail betw^een all parties in London ,• all combined 
to give proof of their esteem for Essex ; and he was 
immediately supplied with ammunition and reinforce- 
ments.* At the same time Waller, notwithstandinsf 
the disasters of his last campaign, was thanked for his 
courage, and treated with honour, as a man who might 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 331. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 144. 

^ Journals of the House of Lords, July 11, 1643. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 144. 

E 2 


still do good service.^ On the 22nd of July, it was 
ordered that a new army should be raised in the 
eastern counties, under the command of Lord Man- 
chester, with Cromwell for his Heutenant-general.'^ 
The Commons, who had received timely warning of 
his intentions, had ordered Hotham's arrest in Hull, 
before he could surrender the town to the King, and 
he now lay in the Tower, awaiting his sentence.^ Lord 
Fairfax was appointed to succeed him/ The Commis- 
sioners to be sent to Scotland were named, two by the 
Lords and four by the Commons,^ and strongly ui*ged 
to expedite their departure. Most of the members of 
the Assembly of Divines also left London, that each, in 
his own parish, might calm the anxieties of the people, 
and stimulate them to renewed exertions.* Every day, 
in one or other of the City churches, in the presence 
of a multitude of mothers, children and sisters, a special 
service was held to implore the Divine protection on 
all who had devoted themselves to the defence of their 
country and its laws -^ and every morning, at beat 
of drum, crowds of persons, men and women, rich and 

" Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. iv. p. 189. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1.56 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 190. This army was to consist of ten thousand 

* He was arrested on the 29th of June, 1643. — Rushworth, part iii. 
vol. ii. pp. 275—277 ; Whitelocke, p. 71. 

■* On the 3rd of July, 1643.— Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 280. 

' They were the Lords Rutland and Grey of Wark, Sir WiUiam 
Armyn, Sir Harry Vane, Mr. Hatcher, and Mr. Darley. — Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. ii. p. 466. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 148 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 193. 

'' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii. p. 506. 


poor, came out to labour at the fortifications.^ Never 
had so much energy been displayed with such prudence 
and unanimity, both in the Houses and among the 

But the danger still increased ; the King continued 
to gain successes on every hand. Notwithstanding 
the public enthusiasm, several persons refused to run 
greater risks than they had abeady incurred for the 
ParHament. Lord Grey of Wark, one of the Commis- 
sioners appointed by the Upper House to proceed into 
Scotland, dechned the mission, and the Lords sent him 
to the Tower ; the Earl of Eutland, who was to have 
accompanied him, also excused himself, on the ground of 
ill health.^ The Commissioners of the Commons were 
forced to set out alone ; and they had to go by sea, as 
the roads in the north were not safe, and Fairfax was 
not strong enough to give them an escort. They 
were twenty days on the voyage.^ In the mean time 
the King, yielding to better advice, pubhshed a more 
conciHatory proclamation. With the hope, returned 
the desire for peace. On the 4th of August, on the 
motion of the Earl of Northumberland, the Lords 
adopted a series of propositions to the King, of a more 
moderate character than any that had been previously 
suggested : they required that both armies should be 
immediately disbanded, restored to their seats those 
members of Parliament who had been expelled for 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 254. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 148—150. 

'■' They left London on the 20th of July, and did not reach Edin- 
burgh until the 9th of August following.— Rushworth, part iii. vol ii 
p. 466. 


having joined the King, and left all questions relating to 
the mihtia and the Church to be decided in fature, the 
latter by a Synod, and the former by Parliament. On the 
following day, they communicated these resolutions to 
the Commons, and declared, in somewhat imperious lan- 
guage, that it was time to put an end to the calamities 
of the country.^ Surprised by this sudden attack, the 
war party vainly insisted on the danger of thus losing 
the fruit of the efforts and evils they had abeady un- 
dergone, in order to obtain a few months' respite. In 
vain did they demand that the negociation should at 
least be postponed until an answer was received from 
Scotland. " We have been punished for breaking 
off the treaty of Oxford," replied their opponents. 
*' Though the common and meaner sort of people in 
the city of London may desire the continuance of the 
distractions, yet it is evident the most substantial and 
rich men desire peace, by their refusal to supply money 
for carrying on the war. In any case, the sending 
reasonable propositions to the King will either procm-e 
a peace, and so we shall have no more need of an 
army ; or, being refused, will raise more men and 
money than all our ordinances without it." It was 
resolved, by ninety-four votes against sixty-five, that 

' In the conference wbicli took place between the two Houses on this 
subject, on the 5th of August, 1643, the Speaker of the Upper House 
began in these words : " Gentlemen, the Lords beheve it too visible to 
the understanding of all persons that this kingdom, with all those 
blessings of plenty and abundance, the fruits of our long and happy 
peace, must be forthwith turned into that desolation and famine which 
accompany a civil war, and that those hands and hearts that should 
prosper this land, do now endanger it by unnatural divisions." — Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. iii. col. 156. 


the propositions of the Lords should be taken into 

The war party were in great consternation : peace, 
when thus sought after in the midst of reverses, was not 
a compromise but a defeat ; it left all pubHc and private 
interests exposed to the utmost danger, and frustrated 
the hopes of the patriots who desired a greater exten- 
sion of reform, as well as thwarted the plans of the 
ambitious men who longed for a revolution. It was 
resolved to use every eflbrt to defeat the measm-e. On 
the evening of the 6th of August, although it was 
Sunday, the Lord Mayor Pennington, whom the 
King's proclamations had excluded from all amnesty, 
convoked the Common Council of the City ; and on the 
following day, a menacing petition required the Com- 
mons to reject the propositions of the Lords, and to 
adopt in their stead a resolution, a draft of which 
Alderman Atkins, the bearer of the petition, presented 
at the same time.^ An immense mob, informed of 
what was in progress by small pamplilets, which had 
been distributed on the previous evening in all quar- 
ters, came to support this demand by their clamour. 
On arriving at Westminster thi'ough the crowd, the 
Lords at once complained to the Commons of their 
conduct, declaring that they would adjom-n to the next 
day, and then adjourn again, unless such outrages 
were punished. But the Commons had already re- 
sumed the discussion of the proposals for peace : after 

' Clarendon's History of the Kebellion, vol. iv. p. 186 ; Parliamentary- 
History, vol. iii. cola. 156 — 158. 

^ Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 336. See Appendix H. 


a long debate, eiglity-one votes again decided on 
adopting them, and seventy- nine only were given for 
their rejection. The tumult was now at its height ; 
the mob declared they would not go home without a 
satisfactory answer ; the opponents of peace in the 
House vehemently demanded another division, main- 
taining that there had been some mistake, and that 
they would not be thus trifled with. Their demand 
was acceded to, the House again divided ; eighty-one 
members persisted in voting for peace, but the tellers 
for the noes declared their own numbers to be eighty- 
eight ; the Speaker immediately announced this result, 
and the advocates of peace left the House in surprise 
and consternation.^ 

Two days after, on the 9th of August, they at- 
tempted to take their revenge. A crowd of two or 
three thousand women collected, early in the morning, 
around Westminster Hall, wearing white ribbons em- 
blematical of peace in their caps, and sent in a doleful 
petition in support of their views. ^ Sir John Hippisley 
came out and told them, " That the House were no 
way enemies to peace, and that they did not doubt, in 
a short time, to answer the ends of their petition ; 
meanwhile he desired them to return to their habita- 
tions." The women remained : at noon their nmnbers 
amounted to more than five thousand ; some men in 
women's clothing mingled in their ranks, and at their 
instigation, a great many proceeded to the very doors 

• Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 158—160 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 188. 
'^ See Appendix IH. 


of the House of Commons, shouting " Peace ! peace !" 
The guard, a small body of militia, advised them to 
withdraw, but their shouts only increased in violence : 
" Give us those traitors that are against peace, that we 
may tear them in pieces ! give us that dog Pym !" 
They were forced to retreat to the bottom of the stairs, 
and a few shots were fired in the air to intimidate 
them. " Nothing but powder !" they said derisively, 
and began to pelt the guard with stones. The men 
then fired in among them : a squadron of cavalry 
arrived at the same time, and charged the crowd, 
sword in hand ; for a moment the women held their 
ground, making room for the horsemen to pass, and 
assailing them with blows and imprecations. They 
were at length obhged to fly, and after a few minutes 
of fearful tumult, there remained at Westminster only 
seven or eight women wounded and weeping, and two 
lying dead. One of these, well known to the people, 
had fi-om her childhood been a ballad-singer in the 
streets of London.^ 

The victory was complete, but it had been dearly 
bought ; fraud and violence had been employed — 
means which reflect discredit on their own success, 
especially when reform is sought in the name of the 
laws, and professes to restore them to vigorous opera- 
tion. It was already a common saying that the Par- 
liament had, in its turn, committed every offence with 
which it charged the King. The Upper House was 
irritated ; the blood of the people had been shed ; in- 

' Eushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 357 ; Clarendon's History of the Re- 
bellion, vol. iv. p. 189. 


testine animosities were beginning to surmount all 
other feelings. The leaders of the Commons were 
informed that a certain number of members, under the 
guidance of the principal lords, intended to leave 
London and take refuge in the camp of Essex, there 
to proclaim that they had withdrawn from a Parlia- 
ment which was under subjection to mob-rule, and to 
open negociations with Oxford. This project failed in 
consequence of the honesty of Essex, who refused to 
engage in it ; and it was a great consolation to the 
national party to know that their general had no 
thought of betraying them.^ But the Lords Portland, 
Lovelace, Conway, Clare, Bedford, and Holland, left 
London and joined the King ; the Earl of Northum- 
berland retired to his residence at Petworth -^ and the 
Parliament was thus deprived of many illustrious 
names which, though they did not constitute its chief 
strength, had served to protect and adorn its cause. 
Astonished at finding themselves alone, some of the 
untitled leaders began to feel apprehensive ; and on 
the 9th of September, Pym himself was accused of 
correspondence with the enemy.^ On the other hand, 
the more violent demagogues and the more impetuous 
sectaries now began to manifest their secret opinions. 
John Saltmarsh, who afterwards became a chaplain in 
Fairfax's army, publicly maintained : " That all means 
should be used to keep the King and his people from 
a sudden union ; and if the King would not grant 

' Clarendon's History of the Kebellion, vol. iv. p. 207. 

^ Ibid., vol. iv. p. 193. 

^Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 165. 


their demands, then to root him out, and the royal 
hne, and to collate the crown upon somebody else." 
The pamphlet was excepted against in the House of 
Commons, but Henry Martyn undertook its defence. 
" I see no reason," he said, " to condemn Mr. Salt- 
marsh ; it were better one family should be destroyed 
than many." Sir Nevil Poole moved that Mr. Martyn 
might explain what family he meant. " The King 
and his cliildren," replied Martyn, unhesitatingly ;^ but 
such violent language was then unprecedented, and his 
party, though approving, were utterly unable to sup- 
port him. No news had yet arrived from Scotland ; 
it was even uncertain whether the Commissioners had 
landed; and day after day the ParKament feared to 
learn that the King was marching on London, or that 
he had laid siege to Gloucester, the last town which 
remained faitliful to the Parhament in the west of 
England, and the only obstacle which, by intercepting 
communications between the royal armies in the north- 
east and south-west of the kingdom, prevented them 
from acting everywhere in concert.^ 

Passion gave way in the presence of danger ; the 
various parties took a sober view of their position. 
Neither of them was strong enough to crush its adver- 
sary at once, and remain in a position to carry on war 
or make peace with advantage afterwards. Instead, 
therefore, of seeking safety, the moderate in weakness, 
and the fanatics in frenzied enthusiasm, the former 
felt that before treating they must conquer, and the 
latter that, in order to gain the victory, they must 
' Whitelocke, p. 71. ^ Ibid., p. 72. 


serve, and tlieii- rivals must command. All distrust 
was temporarily laid aside, and all ambition postponed. 
A committee, which included some of the most earnest 
advocates of war/ waited on Lord Essex, on the 4th of 
August, informed him of the measures which had just 
been taken for recruiting and provisioning liis army, 
inquii-ed whether he needed any further supphes, and 
in a word, placed the fate of the country in his hands, 
with every assurance of the full confidence of the Par- 
liament in his wisdom and integrity.^ The earl and 
his friends, on their side, now entered into the war 
with as much energy as if they had never had any other 
desire.^ Hollis, who had apphed for passports, that he 
might retire to tlie Continent with his family, with- 
drew his application and remained in England; in 
every quarter, the men who had lately been accused of 
cowardice or treason, were now foremost in making 
preparations, eftbrts, and sacrifices; and their fiery 
opponents, having learned a lesson of reserve and sub- 
mission, gave them quiet but zealous assistance. They 
even offered scarce any resistance to the expulsion of 
Henry Martyn from the House, and his imprisonment 
in the Tower, for his violent and incendiar}^ speeches j"* 
so firm was their resolve to sacrifice everything to that 
temporary unanimity of action, which was theii* only 
means- of safety. Such wise conduct soon bore its 
fruit; whilst Waller and Manchester were forming 

' St. John, Strode, and Carew, to whom Pym was added, after some 

^ Commons' Journals, vol. iii; p. 15 ; Clarendon, vol. iv. p. 191. 

3 Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 291. 

■• August IH, 1643. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 161. 


armies of reserve in their respective districts, the levies 
of men and money, and the supplies of all kinds, in- 
tended for the army of Essex, the only one which was 
able to enter the field at once, were raised with asto- 
nishing rapidity ; four regiments of the London militia 
volunteered to serve under him ; and on the 24th of 
August, after a grand review on Hounslow Heath, in 
presence of nearly all the members of both Houses of 
Parliament, the Earl set out at the head of fourteen 
thousand men, and hastened, by forced marches, to the 
relief of Gloucester, which the King, as had been 
feared, had closely blockaded for a fortnight previously.^ 
It was with great regret that Charles, after his late 
victories, had given up the idea of making a more de- 
cisive attempt on London itself. He had fully resolved 
to do so, and had devised a plan which he thought 
could not fail of success. While the King advanced 
from west to east. Lord Newcastle, already victorious 
in Yorkshire, was to march from north to south, and 
the two great royalist armies were to meet beneath the 
walls of the capital. After the taking of Bristol, 
Charles hastened to send Sir Philip Warwick, one of 
his most faithful servants, to Lord Newcastle, to ac- 
quaint him with this design, and request him to begin 
his march. But the noblemen attached to the King's 
party were not generals to whom he could give' orders 
as he pleased ; they had received from him their com- 
mission, not their power; and resting satisfied with 
maintaining his cause in the localities where their in- 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 339 ; Memoirs of HoUis, 
p. 22. 


fluence prevailed, tliey were by no means willing to 
lose botli their independence and their means of success, 
by changing their quarters. Newcastle was haughty 
and magnificent in his tastes, fond of pomp and ease, 
and indisposed to endure fatigue or brook contradic- 
tion ; he had smTounded himself by a little court, to 
which the elegance of his mind and manners attracted 
men of similar disposition ; and he was unwilling either 
to become lost in the crowd of courtiers at Oxford, or 
to take a lower rank in the King's army than a rough 
foreigner like Prince Rupert. After listening with 
great coldness to the proposition brought by Warwick, 
he told him, " with great savour, the story of the Irish 
arch-rebel Tyrone, who, being taken prisoner by the 
Lord Deputy Mount] oy, and brought to Queen Ehza- 
beth, and perceiving the Deputy waiting in the Privy 
Chamber, among the nobility and gentry there, with- 
out any distinguishing character of the greatness he 
held in Ireland, thus vented himself to a countryman 
of his : " I am ashamed to have been taken a prisoner 
by yon great man, who now in a crowd makes liimself 
so low and common as to be watching for a woman's 
coming out !" " Por my part," added Newcastle, 
" so long as Hull remains in the hands of the enemy, 
I cannot leave Yorkshire."^ Warwick communicated 
this answer to the King, who did not venture to resent 
it. Some of liis friends still advised him to march on 
to London, and the Queen supported their recommenda- 
tion ; but Charles had little taste for hazardous enter- 

> Warwick's Memoirs, p. 243 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. iv. p. 196. 


prises, less, however, from any fear of danger, than from 
unwillingness to compromise his dignity; for already, 
during the previous year, after the battles of Edgehill 
and Brentford, when he had nearly reached the gates 
of his capital, his pride had been severely wounded at 
being compelled to retreat. Many good officers were 
of opinion that he should lay siege to Gloucester, some 
from disinterested motives, and others in the hope of 
rich booty ; Colonel William Legge even boasted that 
he had a certain understanding with the governor, 
Edward Massey.^ The King at length adopted this 
suggestion, and on the 1 0th of August, his army, which 
he commanded in person, occupied the heights that 
overlook the town, which was defended by a garrison 
of only fifteen hundred men, besides the inhabitants. 

No sooner had he arrived, than he summoned them 
to surrender, giving them two hours to decide on their 
answer. Before that time had elapsed, two deputies 
from the town, Serjeant-Major Pudsey and a citizen, 
presented themselves in the royal camp ; both were 
thin and pale, with hair closely cropped, and dressed 
entirely in black. "We have brought an answer," 
they said, " from the godly city of Grloucester to the 
King." On being brought into the royal presence, 
they read the following letter : " We the inhabitants, 
magistrates, officers and soldiers, within this garrison 
of Grloucester, unto his Majesty's gracious message re- 
turn this humble answer : That we do keep this city, 
according to our oaths and allegiance, to and for tlie 
use of his Majesty and his royal posterity ; and do ac- 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 176. 


cordingly conceive ourselves wholly bound to obey tlie 
commands of his Majesty, signified by both Houses of 
Parliament ; and are resolved, by God's help, to keep 
this city accordingly." On hearing this brief message 
read in a firm, dry, and clear tone, on noticing the sin- 
gular appearance and attitude of the two deputies as 
they stood motionless before the King awaiting his 
answer, symptoms of astonishment, derision, and indig- 
nation began to be manifested by the surrounding 
courtiers ; but Charles, with as much gravity as his 
enemies displayed, checked the movement with a ges- 
tm-e, and dismissed the deputies with a few words ex- 
pressive of his wonder at their great confidence, " for," 
he said, "from w^hat hope of relief can it proceed? 
Waller is extinct, and Essex cannot come." No sooner 
had they returned to the town, than the suburbs were 
set on fire by the inhabitants themselves, that they 
might have nothing to defend outside their walls. ^ 

For twenty-six days — from the 10th of August 
to the 5th of September, 1643 — they defeated, by 
their unwearied valour, all the efforts of the besiegers : 
with the exception of a hundred and fifty men who 
were held in reserve, the entire garrison was always 
on duty ; in all their labours, in all their dangers, the 
citizens took part wdth the soldiers, the women with 
their husbands, and the children with their mothers. 
Massey even made frequent sorties, and only three 
of his men took advantage of the opportunity to 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. iv. pp. 177-180 ; May's 
History of the Long Parliament, pp. 33-1 — 330 ; Rushwortli, part iii. 
vol. ii. pp. 286—294. 


desert.^ Enraged at so long a delay, which gained 
them neither repose nor distinction, the royal troops, 
in revenge, ruthlessly devastated the surrounding 
country ; even the officers often employed their sol- 
diers to capture some wealthy farmer or peaceable 
freeholder of the other party, whom they put to 
ransom for his liberty.^ Insubordination within the 
camp, and popular hatred without it, daily increased. 
An assault might have been attempted; but the 
recent attack of Bristol had cost so dear that no one 
ventured to propose it. The King, at length, had 
given up all hope of success from any other cause 
than the extremities to which a blockade must sooner 
or later reduce the town, when he learned, to his 
great surprise, that Essex was approaching. Prince 
Kupert, detaching himself from the main army with a 
strong body of cavahy, made vain efforts to arrest 
his march ; the Earl advanced without allowing him- 
self to be diverted from his route, and di-ove his 
enemy before him. He was abeady within a few 
miles of the royal camp ; already had the King's 
Cavaliers fallen back on the outposts of his infimtry, 
when Charles, in the hope of still delaying the Earl, 
were it only for a single day, sent him a messenger 
with propositions of peace. " I have no commission 
to treat," replied Essex, "but to relieve Gloucester, 
which I am resolved to do, or to lose my life there." 
— "No propositions! no propositions!" shouted his 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 337 ; Rusliworth, part iii. 
vol. ii. pp. 287 — 290 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebelhon, vol. iv. 
p. 225. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 226. 



soldiers, when they heard that a trumpeter had ar- 
rived from the enemy. Essex continued his march, 
and on the following day, the 5th of Septemher, as 
he drew up his army on the Presbury hills, six miles 
from Gloucester, he perceived that the King's quar- 
ters were on fire, and knew that the siege was 

He hastened to enter the town, which he supplied 
with provisions of every kind, loaded the governor 
and liis soldiers with the highest praises, congra- 
tidated the citizens on their courage, which, he said, 
had saved the Parliament by giving liim time to come 
to their rescue ; and received, in his turn, at church, 
under his windows, and as he passed tlirough the 
streets, the warmest demonstrations of gratitude and 
thankfulness. After remaining two days at Grioucester, 
on the 10th of September, he set out once more for 
London, for his immediate mission was accomplished, 
and it was indispensable that he should return without 
loss of time to the Parliament, with the only army 
capable of protecting it.^ 

Everything seemed to promise that his return 
would be as successful as his expedition had been ; 
dm-ing several days he had utterly misled his enemies 
as to liis route ; Cirencester, with its rich stores of 
provisions, had fallen into his hands ; and his cavalry 
had in several skirmishes gloriously sustained the 
terrible charge of Prince Rupert's horse ; when, on 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, pp. 341 — 344 ; Clarendon's 
History of the Eebellion, vol. iv. pp. 229, 230 ; Whitelocke, p. 72 ; 
Rushworth, part iii. vol. it. p. 292. 

* May's History of the Long Parliament, pp. 344, 34.5. 


approaching Newbury, on the 19th of September, he 
perceived that the enemy had outstripped him, that 
they occupied the town and the surrounding heights, 
that the road to London was barred against him, and 
that a battle alone could throw it open. The King 
in person was at the head of his army, in a most 
advantageous position, as he was easily able to draw 
upon the garrisons of Oxford and WaUingford for any 
supplies he might need. The country people were 
not favourable to the Parhamentarians, and carefully 
concealed their stores. Whatever might be the issue 
of a general action, it was unavoidable, not only in 
order to force a passage, but also to escape starvation. 

Essex did not hesitate : at day-break the next 
morning, the 20th of September, 1643, placing him- 
self at the head of his vanguard, he attacked the prin- 
cipal height, and dislodged the regiment which occu- 
pied it. The battle lasted until evening ; all the 
troops engaged in it successively, and every position 
was stormed ; and the victory was so valiantly dis • 
puted, that both parties, in their narratives of the 
action, took pride in praising their enemies. The 
Royahsts fought in the hope of repairing a defeat 
wliich had interrupted the course of their triumplis ; 
the Parliamentarians were animated by the desire not 
to lose, when so near their object, the fruits of a 
victory which had put an end to long previous re- 
verses. The London militia especially distinguished 
themselves by prodigies of valour. Twice, after hav- 
ing broken the enemy's horse, Prince Rupert charged 
them, without making the least impression on their 

F 2 


serried ranks. The general officers, Essex, Skippon, 
Stapleton, and Merrick, exposed themselves like com- 
mon soldiers ; and even the domestics, workmen, and 
camp-followers rushed to the field of battle, and 
fought as well as the bravest officers. Night fell, 
but each army remained in its position. Essex had 
gained some ground, but the royahst troops still 
barred his passage, and he expected he would have to 
renew the fight on the next day, when, to his extreme 
surprise, the first rays of dawn showed him the enemy 
in full retreat, and the, road clear. He hastened to 
take advantage of this opportunity, and pursued his 
march with no other obstruction than a few fruitless 
charges of Prince Rupert's cavalry ; and two days 
after the battle, he halted at Reading, with his army 
free from all danger.^ 

The violence of this engagement dispirited the 
RoyaUsts, who, though not less brave, were far less 
determined than their opponents, and as ready to des- 
pair as to hope for success. Their losses, moreover, 
had been great, and such as most deeply afiect the 
imagination of a King's supporters. More than 
twenty officers of mark had fallen, and among them 
were several men not less illustrious for merit than for 
rank ; Lord Sunderland, scarcely twenty-three years of 
age, and lately married, but already dear to all the 
wise men and good Protestants of his party for his 
boldness in expressing his opinions -^ Lord Carnarvon, 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 293, 294 ; May's History of the Long 
Parliament, pp. 345 — 353 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. 
pp. 235 — 237 ; Whitelocke, pp. 73, 74 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 29. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 239. 


an excellent officer, valued by the King for the strict 
discipline he maintained, beloved by the soldiers for 
his impartiality, and so scrupulous an observer of his 
promise that nothing would induce him to remain 
with the army in the west after Prince Maurice, its 
Commander-in-chief, had violated the capitulations he 
It ad made with Weymouth and Dorchester ;^ and 
finally, Lord Falkland,^ the honour of the royalist 
party, still a patriot though proscribed in London, and 
still respected by the people though a minister at 
Oxford. There was nothing to call him to the battle 
field, and his friends had already more than once 
upbraided him with his reckless temerity : " but he 
would say merrily, that liis office could not take away 
the privilege of his age, and that a secretary-at-war 
might be present at the greatest secret of danger." 
For some months, he had sought danger with passion- 
ate eagerness ; the sufferings of the people, and the 
still greater calamities which he foresaw, the anxiety 
of his mind, the destruction of liis hopes, and the con- 
stant disquietude of his soul while he remained among 
a party whose successes and reverses he almost equally 
dreaded, had combined to plunge him in the bitterest 
melancholy ; his temper was clouded ; his naturally 
cheerful and vivacious imagination had become stern 
and gloomy ; though inchned by taste and habit to 
more than usual elegance of dress, he had ceased to 
pay any attention either to his person or clothing ; he 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 239, 240. 
* Lord Falkland was born at Burford, in Oxfordshire, iu 1610 ; he was 
therefore only thirty-three years of age at his death. %, 


no longer took delight in either conversation or 
employment; and frequently, while he sat, with his 
head in his hands, after deep silence and frequent 
sighs, he would, with a sad accent, reiterate the word 
Peace. The hope of some negociation could alone 
rekindle his animation. On the morning of the battle, 
liis friends were surprised to find him more gay than 
usual ; and he seemed to have bestowed extraordinary 
attention on his dress : " being asked the reason of it, 
he answered that, if he were slain, they should not 
find his body in foul linen." He was entreated not to 
expose himself; but liis features became more than 
ordinarily expressive of sadness. " I am weary of the 
times," he said, " and foresee much misery to my 
country, but I beheve I shall be out of it ere night." 
Jle then joined Lord Byron's regiment as a volunteer. 
The action had scarcely commenced, when he was shot 
in the lower part of the stomach ; he fell from his 
horse, and died before any one had noticed his fall — 
the victim of times too rough and rude for his pure 
and delicate virtue. His body was not found until 
the next day ; his friends, and particularly Hyde, 
cherished his memory with inconsolable affection; 
the courtiers learned with no great emotion the death 
of a man who had kept constantly aloof from them ; 
Charles manifested some decent regret, and felt more 
at ease in his council.^ 

Soon after Essex arrived at Reading, on the 24th of 
September, a deputation from both Houses came to 

' (JJarciidou's History of tlicltubcUion, vol. iv. pp. 240 — 257 ; White- 
locke, pp. 73, 74. 


assure him of tlieir gratitude, to provide for the wants 
of liis army, and to inquire his wishes/ Not only 
was the ParHament saved from immediate peril, but it 
might thenceforward consider itself secure from similar 
dangers. The same success had crowned its negocia- 
tions and its arms : whilst Essex was raising the siege 
of Gloucester, Vane had reached Edinburgh, and con- 
cluded a close alHance with the Scots. Under the 
name of a " Solemn League and Covenant," a pohtical 
and religious treaty, which devoted the united forces of 
both kingdoms to the defence of the same cause, had 
been adopted, on the 1 7 th of August, by the Legisla- 
ture and by the General Assembly of the Clim-ch of 
Scotland f on the following day, Scottish Com- 
missioners set out for London, where both Houses, 
after having consulted the Assembly of Divines, also 
adopted the Covenant;^ and a week after, on the 25th 
of September, 1643, in St. Margaret's chm'ch at 
Westminister, standing uncovered and raising their 
hands to heaven, solemnly swore and subscribed an 
oath to observe it.* The Covenant was received in the 
City with the most fervent enthusiasm ; it promised 
the reformation of the Church, and the speedy assis- 
tance of twenty-one thousand Scots ; and thus the 
Presbyterians found their fears dispelled at the same 

» Commons' Journals, vol. iii. p. 636 ; Whitelocke, p. 74. 

* Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons, p. 239 ; Neal's History of the 
Puritans, vol. iii. pp. 56 — 62 ; Baillie's Letters, vol. i. p. 381. 

^ Parliamentaiy History, vol. iii. col. 169. 

■* NeaFs History of the Puritans, vol. iii. p. 62 ; ParUamentary History, 
vol. iii. eol. 173 ; Eushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 474 — 481. The Cove- 
nant was signed by two hundred and twenty-eight members of the 
House of Commons. 


time that their wishes were fulfilled. On the day 
after the ceremony, Essex made his entrance into Lon- 
don ; the House of Commons, headed by the Speaker, 
went in a body to Essex House to congratulate him ; 
the Lord Mayor and aldermen, in their scarlet robes, 
also waited on him, and complimented him " as the 
protector and defender of their lives and fortunes, and 
of their wives and children."^ The standards captured 
from the royal army were exposed to public view ; and 
one of them was particularly noticed, which repre- 
sented the exterior of the House of Commons, with 
the heads of two traitors standing on the top of it, 
and this inscription : Ut extra, sic intra.^ The people 
crowded to view these trophies ; the militia, who had 
taken part in the expedition, gave ample details of the 
battle ; and everywhere, in domestic conversations, in 
religious services, and among the groups which 
collected in the streets, the name of Essex was either 
loudly applauded or piously blessed. The Earl and his 
friends resolved to take advantage of his triumph. 
He proceeded to the House of Lords on the 7th of 
October, tendered his resignation, and requested per- 
mission to retire to the Continent. No pubhc danger, 
he said, rendered it his duty to remain any longer in 
England ; he had already endured most bitter annoy- 
ances in his command, and he foresaw the}' would 
speedily be renewed, for Sir William Waller still 
retained an independent commission ; and thus, whilst 

' Whitelocke, p. 74 : Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. 
p. 257. 

^ Whitelocke, p. 75. 


the title of General-in-cliief devolved on him the entire 
responsibility, another had the right to refuse to pay 
him obedience ; he had too long suffered the incon- 
venience of such a position, and he was resolved to 
subject himself to it no longer. Upon this declaration, 
the Lords, with real or feigned surprise, voted that 
they would demand a conference with the Commons ; 
but, at that very moment, a message arrived from the 
Commons which rendered a conference unnecessary. 
Having been informed of the whole matter, they 
hastened to announce to the Lords, that Waller was 
willing to resign his commission, and to receive his 
instructions for the future from the General-in-cliief, 
and not from the Parhament ; and that he desired the 
appointment ofa committee to arrange this unfortunate 
incident to the Earl's satisfaction. The committee was 
appointed without delay, and the matter was settled 
before the House rose.' Waller and his friends sub- 
mitted without a murmur ; Essex and his adherents 
did not boast of their triumph ; and the reconcihation 
between the two parties seemed complete, at the mo- 
ment when they were about to renew their conflict. 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 177 ; Whitelocke, p. 75. 






The joy of the Presbyterians had now reached its 
climax; the Parliament owed its safety to their 
leader ; their enemies were silenced ; the Scottish 
army, which would soon arrive, promised an imfailing 
support to their cause ; they alone, therefore, were 
likely to have the future disposal of both reform and 
war, and might, at their pleasure, either prosecute or 
suspend them. 

Both in and out of Parliament, in London and 
through the provinces, a spirit of rehgious fervour 
and intolerance ere long made its appearance. The 
Assembly of Divines received instructions,* on the 12th 

' Neal's llistoi-y of the Puritaus, vol. iii. p. 123. 


of October, 1643, to prepare a scheme of ecclesiastical 
government; and on the 20th of November, four 
Scottish theolog-ians were summoned to assist them in 
carrying out the great design of their party — the 
estabhslunent of uniformity of worship in the two 
countries.' The committees which had been appointed, 
in every comity, to inquire into the conduct and doc- 
trine of the incumbents of benefices, redoubled the 
activity and strictness of their investigations. Nearly 
two thousand ministers were expelled from their 
livings;^ and many others, on the ground that they 
were Brownists, Anabaptists, or Independents, were 
thrown into prison by the very men who, not long 
before, had joined with them in cursing their common 
persecutors. In the City, all persons who refused to 
subscribe the Covenant, were declared incapable of 
sitting in the Common Council, and even of voting at 
the election of its members.^ From the commence- 
ment of the war, the Parliament had closed all the 
theatres, without banning them by any rehgious ana- 
thematization, but merely stating that times of pubhc 
affliction should be spent in repentance and prayer 
rather than in the pursuit of pleasm-e.^ The same 
interdict was now laid on all public amusements, on 

' These were Henderson, Rutherford, Gillespie, and Baillie. — Baillie's 
Letters, vol. i. p. 398 ; Godwin's History of the Commonwealth, vol. i. 
p. 349. 

^ Writers of the Ejjiscopalian party have swelled this number to 
8000, and their opponents reduce it to less than 1600. I have adopted 
an estimate based on the information supphed by Neal's History of the 
Puritans, vol. iii. pp. Ill — 113. 

3 December 20, 1643.— Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. iii. p. 66. 

" September 2, 1642. — Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1461. 


all the popular games wliicli were customary through- 
out the kingdom on Sundays and holidays ; the May 
poles, which from time immemorial had been planted 
in token of the national dehght at the return of spring, 
were cut down in every village, and orders were given 
that no new ones should be erected ; and if children 
forgot the existence of these laws, their parents had to 
expiate every mirthful demonstration of which they 
were guilty by a fine of twelve pence.^ Finally, Arch- 
bishop Laud, who for tln-ee years had lain forgotten 
in the Tower, was suddenly called to the bar of the 
House of Lords, and required to answer the im- 
peachment of the Commons.^ Fanaticism counts the 
gratification of hatred and revenge among its first 

The same zeal was manifested for the prosecution of 
the war. Proud at having borne so distinguished a 
part in the recent victories, the Presbyterians of the 
city of London no longer spoke of peace. A large 
number of wealthy citizens equipped soldiers, and even 
offered to serve in person. One of them, Eowland 
Wilson, the heir expectant of an immense business, and 
of 2000/. a-year in landed estate, joined the army of 
Essex, at the head of a regiment which he had raised 
at his own expense.^ Even some of the leaders, HoUis, 
Glyn, and Maynard, who had lately been so friendly 
to negociation, now harangued the Common Council, 
in order to rouse it to the most strenuous efforts.'' 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. iii. p. 139. 

* Noveiubcr 13, 1643. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. p. 183. 

' Whitclocke, p. 76. " Ibid. p. 86. 


Never had tlie party appeared more vigorous, or in 
more secure possession of the chief power. 

The downfal of the Presbyterians was, nevertheless, 
close at hand. Pledged from the outset to a double 
task, the reformation of both Church and State, they 
liad not pursued these two objects in reliance on 
the same principles, or for the attainment of the 
same designs. In religious matters, their faith was 
ardent, and their doctrines simple, firm, logical, and 
connected; the Presbyterian system, or the govern- 
ment of the Church by ministers equal in rank and 
dehberating in concert, was not, in their eyes, a 
human and alterable institution, which men might 
modify at their will, to suit the circumstances and 
requirements of the age ; it was the only legitimate 
system of Church organization, a government resting 
on divine right, and appointed by Christ himself. 
Their party aimed at rendering tliis system unre- 
servedly triumphant, at any cost, as a holy and indis- 
pensable revolution. In politics, on the contrary, 
notwithstanding the violence of their actions and 
language, their ideas were vague and their intentions 
moderate : no systematic belief, no really revolutionary 
passion, swayed their conduct ; they loved monarchy 
whilst they fought against the King; respected pre- 
rogative whilst they laboured to bring the Crown 
into subjection; trusted the Commons alone, though 
they felt neither dislilve nor contempt for the Lords ; 
and, in fact, they were as obedient to old habits as to 
new necessities, had no precise understanding either 
of the principles or consequences of their proceedings, 


believed they were aiming only at a strictly legal 
reform, and desired nothing more. 

Thus actuated by contrary feelings, by turns im- 
perious and irresolute, fanatical and moderate, the 
Presbyterian party did not possess leaders who had 
sprung from its own ranks, and who were invariably 
animated by sentiments in conformity with those wliich 
it entertained itself. It followed in the train of the 
poHtical reformers, the earliest interpreters and the 
true representatives of the national movement. Their 
aUiance was natural and necessary to it ; natural, for, 
like it, they sought to reform and not to destroy the 
government; and necessary, for they were in posses- 
sion of the chief power, which they held in virtue of 
their superiority in rank, wealth, and intelligence — 
advantages in which even the most ardent Presby- 
terians did not dream of competing with them. But 
while accepting, and even, in case of need, purchasing 
by great concessions the support of the sectaries, the 
majority of the pohtical reformers did not share in 
their opinions or views in reference to the Church : 
a system of moderate episcopacy, restricted to the legal 
administration of ecclesiastical affairs, would have been 
more to their taste ; they made use of the Presbyterian 
system with great reluctance, and secretly strove to 
impede its progress. The energetic action of the party 
in the religious revolution was thus frustrated by 
leaders whom it neither could nor would abandon ; 
and their union was only complete and sincere on 
tlie question of political reform — in other words, in 
that cause in which neither leaders nor party had any 


io flexible passions to gratify, or any absolute principles 
to render triumpliant. 

But at the close of 1643, political reform, in so far 
at least as it was legal, had been consummated ; abuses 
no longer existed ; all the laws which were deemed 
necessary had been made, and institutions had been 
modified to the fuU extent of the knowledsre of the 
reformers ; nothing was wanting to complete the work 
which the defenders of ancient liberties and the Pres- 
byterian sectaries alike desired, and were able to ac- 
complish by acting in concert. But the religious re- 
volution had scarcely commenced, and political reform, 
tottering on an insecure foundation, tlu-eatened to 
become revolution. The moment was, therefore, at 
hand, when the internal defects of the j)arty which had 
until then been predominant, the incoherence of its 
constituent elements, principles, and designs, could 
not fail to come to Hght. Day after day it was forced 
to pui'sue the most inconsistent com\ses, and to attempt 
the most incongruous efforts. That which it demanded 
for the Church, it rejected in the State; and, con- 
stantly shifting its position and altering its language, 
it was compelled by turns to invoke democratic princi- 
ples and passions in opposition to the bishops, and to 
enlist monarchical or aristocratic maxims and in- 
fluences against the rising spirit of republicanism. It 
was a strange sight to see the same men destroying 
with one hand and sustaining with the other; some- 
tmies advocating innovations, and sometimes anathe- 
matizing innovators ; alternately reckless and timid, 
at once rebels and tyrants ; persecuting the Episcopa- 


Hans in tlie name of the rights of Kberty, and tlie 
Independents in the name of the rights of power ; 
arrogating to themselves the privileges of insurrection 
and tyranny, whilst they daily declaimed against 
tyranny and insurrection. 

At the same time, the Pres1)yterian party found 
itself deserted, disavowed, or compromised by several 
of its leaders. Some, like Eudyard, caring most of all 
for their honour and virtue, withdrew altogether from 
the scene of strife, or returned to it only at long inter- 
vals, to protect rather than to act. Others less honest, 
like St. John, or bolder and more persevering, like 
Pym, or chiefly anxious to provide for their personal 
safety, courted or at least endeavoured to conciliate 
the new party, whose speedy accession to power they 
foresaw. Many, already disabused and corrupted, had 
abandoned all patriotic hopes, and, aiming only to 
preserve their own fortunes, formed rapacious coalitions 
in the committees intrusted with the management of 
affairs, and distributed all employments, confiscations, 
and bounties among themselves. Of the noblemen 
who had until then remained faithful to the national 
cause, several, as we have seen, had lately left London 
to sue for pardon at Oxford ; others, retiring altogether 
from public life, withdrew to their estates ; and in 
order to avoid pillage or sequestration, negociated by 
turns with the Court and the Parliament. On the 
22nd of September, ten lords only were in their places 
in the Upper House ;^ and on the 5th of October, only 

' The ten lords present on the 22nd of September were, the Earls of 
Lincoln, Bolingbroke, Stamford, and Denbigh, Viscount Say, and Lords 
Grey, Wharton, Howard, Hunsdon, and Dacre. 


five were present. An order that the names should 
be called over at the opening of every sitting, and the 
fear of finding their absence thus legally registered, 
brought back a few to Westminster ; but the aristocracy 
daily became more suspected, or more ahenated from 
the people, and served rather to embarrass than support 
the Presbyterians ; and whilst their religious fanaticism 
estranged from them the ablest defenders of pubhc 
liberties, their political moderation prevented them 
from abjuring uncertain and dangerous allies. 

Finally, their party had been in power for three 
years ; whether they had or had not accompHshed 
their designs in Church or State, it was by their aid 
and with theu' sanction that, for tliree years, public 
business had been conducted : on this ground alone, 
many persons were beginning to weary of them ; they 
were made responsible for all the evils that had been 
already endured, and for all the hopes that had been 
frustrated ; they were considered to be as much given 
to persecution as the bishops, and as arbitrary as the 
King ; their acts of inconsistency and weakness were 
bitterly enumerated : in a word, even in those not 
actuated by factious or interested views, the mere pro- 
gress of events and opinions awakened a secret longing 
for new principles and other rulers. 

Both were ready, and waiting only for an opportunity 
to possess themselves of the empire. Long before the 
commencement of the civil war, when the Presbyterians 
were only beginning to manifest their intention to 
impose a republican constitution on the national 
Church, to maintain in it unity of power and creed 



under tliat new form, and tlius to contend with Epis- 
copacy for the inheritance of Popery — the Independents, 
Brownists, and Anabaptists had abeady openly de- 
manded whether there ought to be a national Church 
at all, and by what right any power, whether Popery, 
Episcopacy, or Presbyterianism, could claim authority 
to bow Christian consciences beneath the yoke of a 
lying unity. Every congregation of believers, they 
said, dwelling in or near the same place, who freely 
met, on the ground of their common faith, to worship 
the Lord together, is a true Church, over which no 
other Church can claim any authority, and which has 
the right to choose its own ministers, to regulate its 
own form of worship, and in a word, to govern itself 
by its own laws. 

On its first appearance, the principle of liberty of 
conscience, thus proclaimed by obscure sectaries, amidst 
the wild vagaries of blind enthusiasm, was treated as 
a crime or as madness. Even the sectaries them- 
selves seemed to advocate the principle without under- 
standing it, and to uphold it less from reason than 
from necessity. Both Episcopalian and Presbyterian 
preachers and magistrates, united to condemn it ; the 
question, in what way and by whom the Church of 
Christ should be governed, continued to be almost 
solely discussed ; men believed that they must choose 
between the absolute power of the Pope, the aris- 
tocracy of the bishops, and the democracy of the 
Presbyterian clergy ; none took the pains to inquire 
whether such forms of government were legitimate 
in principle, irrespectively of their name or character. 


A great movement, however, was agitating all 
tilings, even those which seemed not to be affected by 
its influence ; every day brought with it some new 
trial from which no system could escape, or some dis- 
cussion which the dominant party strove in vain to 
stifle. Daily called upon to consider some new aspect 
of himian affairs, or to discuss opinions and reject pre- 
tensions previously unknown, the minds of the people 
gained freedom by this occupation ; and this hberty 
led some to rise to loftier views of man and society, 
and others boldly to cast away all prejudices and all 
restraint. At the same time, practical liberty, in 
matters of faith and worship, was almost absolute ; no 
jmisdiction, no repressive authority, had as yet taken 
the place of Episcopacy ; and the Parliament, occupied 
with the necessity of conquering its enemies, took 
small pains to check the pious vagaries of its partizans. 
Presbyterian zeal sometimes obtained threatening de- 
clarations against the new sectaries from the two 
Houses ; and sometimes, when the fears and animo- 
sities of the pohtical reformers coincided with those of 
their devout allies, they united in adopting severe 
measures against their adversaries. On the 11th of 
June, 1643, an ordinance was passed " for suppressing 
the great abuses and frequent disorders in prmtmg 
many false, forged, scandalous, seditious, HbeUous, and 
unlicensed papers, pamphlets, and books, to the great 
defamation of rehgion and government." These were 
the words of the preamble, but the Act abolished the 
Hberty of the press which had until then been allowed, 
and subjected all publications to previous censor- 

G 2 


ship/ But the ruhng power can never check those 
who precede it in a movement in which it is itself 
engaged. After the lapse of a few weeks, the Eo^^alists 
and Episcopahans were the only persons on whom 
these restrictions weighed ; the new sects either eluded 
or defied them, and spread in every direction, daily 
becoming more numerous, various, and zealous, under 
the names of Independents, Brownists, Anabaptists, 
Antipsedobaptists, Quakers, Antinomians, and Fifth- 
monarchy-men. Under the very shadow of the 
Presbyterian rule, the revolution raised up a host of 
enthusiasts, philosophers, and freethinkers, to oppose 
their sway. 

All questions thenceforward took a new direction ; 
the social agitation changed its character. Powerful and 
respected traditions had hitherto guided and restrained 
the views of political, and even of religious reformers ; 
to the one party, the legal condition of old England, 
or at least their idea of that condition ; and to the 
other, the constitution of the Church as it already existed 
in Scotland, Holland, and Greneva — served at once as a 
model and a curb. However daring their enterprises 
may have been, neither were actuated by vague desires 
or boundless aspirations ; all was not innovation in 
their designs, or conjecture in their hopes, and if they 
mistook the tendency of their actions, they could at 
least assign the object at which they aimed. No fixed 
purpose regulated the progress of their rivals, no his- 
torical or legal tradition set bounds to their theory ; 
confident in its strength, and proud of its loftiness, 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 131. 


holiness, or boldness, they invested that theory with the 
right to judge and rule all else ; and taking it alone as 
their guide, they sought at any cost, — the philosophers 
for truth, the enthusiasts for the Lord, and the free- 
thinkers for success. Institutions, laws, customs, and 
events, were all required to conform to the reason or 
will of man ; all became the subject of new combina- 
tions and ingenious speculations ; and in this daring 
labour, everything appeared legitimate if based on a 
principle or a vision, or called for by necessity. The 
Presbyterians proscribed royalty and aristocracy in the 
Church, why should they be retained in the State ? 
The political reformers had hinted that, in the end, if 
the King or the Lords persisted in refusing their 
consent, the will of the Commons should carry the 
point ; why should not tliis principle be proclaimed 
aloud? Why invoke the sovereignty of the people 
only because the case was desperate, and in order to 
render resistance legitimate, when it should serve as 
the bases of the government itself, and should confer 
legitimacy on the ruKng power ? After having cast off 
the yoke of the Eomish priesthood and of the Epis- 
copal clergy, the nation was about to place itself in 
subjection to the Presbyterian clergy ; what was the 
use of a clergy at all ? By what right did priests 
form a permanent, wealthy, and independent body, 
with authority to command the assistance of the civil 
power ? Let them be deprived of all juri^ction, and 
even of the power to excommunicate ; let them retain 
means of persuasion alone, preaching, teaching, and 
prayer ; and all abuses of spiritual power, all difficulties 


about reconciling it with the civil government, will cease 
at once. Besides, it is in the general body of believers, 
and not in the priesthood, that the legitimate power 
in matters of faith resides ; the right of choosing and 
instituting their ministers belongs to the believers, and 
priests have no authority to appoint one another, and 
then force themselves on the faithful. Moreover, is 
not every believer himself a priest, to himself, to his 
family, and to all Christians who, moved by his teach- 
ing, may deem him inspired from on high, and consent 
to unite with him in prayer ? Who would venture to 
refuse the Lord the power of conferring His gift on 
whomsoever he will, and as it may please Him ? 
Whether it be necessary to preach or to fight, it 
is the Lord alone who chooses and consecrates His 
saints ; and when He has chosen them. He entrusts His 
cause to their hands, and reveals to them alone the 
means by which its triumph is to be achieved. The 
freethinkers applauded these arguments ; so long as 
the revolution were carried to its full extent, they 
cared not by what means, or from what motives, it 
was effected. 

Thus arose the party of the Independents, far less 
numerous, and far less popular throughout the country 
than that of the Presbyterians, but already in posses- 
sion of that ascendancy which accompanies adherence 
to systematic and definite principles, ever ready to give 
a reason fojj. their adoption, and to accept all the conse- 
quences they might involve. England was then in one 
of those glorious but formidable conjunctures, when 
man, forgetting his weakness and remembering nought 


but his dignity, is moved by a sublime ambition to 
obey pure truth alone, and by an insane pride to 
attribute all the rights of truth to his own opinions. 
Whether politicians or sectaries, Presbyterians or 
Independents, no party would have ventured to believe 
itself relieved from the necessity of being right, and 
proving that it was so. In this attempt the Presby- 
terians failed, for their wisdom rested on the authority 
of traditions and laws, and not upon principles ; and 
they were therefore unable to refate the arguments of 
then- rivals by reason alone. The Independents alone 
professed a simple, though apparently severe doctrine, 
which sanctioned aU their acts, sufficed for all the neces- 
sities of their position, and reheved the strong-minded 
from inconsistency, and the sincere from hypocrisy. 
They alone also were beginning to utter some of those 
mighty words which, whether rightly or wrongly under- 
stood, arouse the strongest passions of humanity, in the 
name of its noblest hopes ; they demanded equality 
of rights, a just distribution of social advantages, and 
the destruction of all abuses. There was no contradic- 
tion betw^een their poHtical and religious systems, no 
secret conflict between the leaders and their adlierents, 
no exclusive creed or rigorous test to render admission 
into the party a matter of difficulty. Like the sect 
from which they derived their name, the Independents 
held hberty of conscience as a fundamental maxim, and 
the immensity of the reforms which they proposed, and 
the vast uncertainty of their designs, allowed men of 
the most various opinions to range themselves beneath 
their banner. Lawyers joined them in the hope of 


depriving their rivals, the clergy, of all jurisdiction 
and authority ; popular theorists hoped to obtain from 
them a new, clear, and simple system of legislation 
which would deprive the lawyers of their enormous 
profits and influence. Harrington could dream among 
them of a society of sages, Sidney of the liberty of 
Sparta or Eome, Lilburne of the restoration of the old 
Saxon laws, and Harrison of the coming of Christ. 
Even the cynicism of Henry Martyn and Sir Peter 
Wentworth was tolerated in consideration of its 
audacity. Whether repubhcans or levellers, reasoners 
or visionaries, fanatics or ambitious men, all were 
admitted to contribute their quota of animosities, 
theories, chimeras, and intrigues ; it was enough that 
all, animated by an equal hatred for Cavaliers and 
Presbyterians, were ready to proceed with the same 
ardour towards that unknown future which was expected 
to realize so many desires. 

No victory achieved by Essex and his friends, either 
on the battle-field or in Westminster HaJl, could stifle 
or even long repress such dissensions ; they were as 
publicly known at Oxford as in London ; and all men 
of sense, whether Parliamentarians or Royahsts, had 
already adopted them as the basis of their combinations. 
Information on the subject flowed in to the King from 
every side, and he was most strongly urged to take 
advantage of these divisions in the enemy's camp. All 
his adherents, whether courtiers or ministers, intriguing 
parasites or sincere friends, had their own private in- 
telligence, propositions, and means of action to commu- 
nicate ; some advised that the war should be carried on 


with unremitting energy, as they were convinced that 
the rival factions would soon be more wiUing to listen 
to their mutual enmities than to their common dangers; 
others suggested, on the other hand, tliat by means of 
the noblemen who had sought refuge at Oxford, and 
particularly of the Earls of Bedford and Holland, an 
attempt should be made to conciliate Essex and his 
party, who, in their inmost hearts, had never ceased to 
desire peace ; others even went so far as to recommend 
that advances should be made to the leaders of the 
Independents, who, they said, might be purchased at 
less cost ; and Lord Lovelace, with the King's sanction, 
kept up a regular correspondence with Sir Harry Yane, 
little thinking that Vane also was writing with the 
consent of his colleagues, in order to obtain information 
regarding the state of the Com't.' But neither of these 
plans was fully adopted, or Hkely to be efficacious. 
The Lords who had deserted the Parliament had found 
it very difficult to obtain admission at Oxford : on the 
first rumours of their expected arrival, general indig- 
nation had been expressed against them; the Privy 
Council had solemnly met, and deliberated at great 
length on the reception to be given to them ; and in 
spite of the prudent remonstrances of Hj^de, (who had 
recently been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer), 
Charles, though consenting to receive them, had deter- 
mined to treat them with coolness.^ In vain had 
Lord Holland, the most elegant and adroit of courtiers, 
succeeded, by the help of Mr. Jermyn, in regaining 

' ParliameDtary History, vol. iii. col. 199 ; Whitelocke, p. 80. 
* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p, 203. 


the favour of the Queen ;' in vain did he exert all his 
ingenuity to recover his old familiarity with the King, 
sometimes affecting to whisper in his ear, and some- 
times succeeding in drawing him, under various pre- 
texts, into the embrasure of a window, that he might 
have an opportunity, or at all events the appearance, 
of conversing privately with him -^ in vain had he 
fought bravely as a volunteer in the battle of Newbury, 
and offered his blood as the pledge of his renewed 
fidelity -^ nothing could overcome the haughty reserve 
of the King, or impose silence on the complaints of the 
Court ; and far from finding their services thankftdly 
welcomed, the refugee lords were already beginning to 
consider how they might best escape from their un- 
pleasant position. The advocates of a vigorous war 
were hstened to with greater favour, but as httle effect; 
the failure of the sieg^e of Grloucester had thrown 
Oxford into a state of anarchy as destructive as it was 
anno}dng ; each blamed the other for having advised 
that fatal enterprise; the Council complained of the 
insubordination of the army ; the army insolently 
braved the complaints of the Council. Prince Eupert, 
though not required, even in action, to obey any one 
but the King himself,* was jealous of the General-in- 
chief; the General and all the principal noblemen 
loudly comjDlained of the independence and ill-behaviour 
of Prince Rupert. The King, who respected the dig- 
nity of his own blood in the persons of his nephews, 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 208. 
^ Ibid , vol. iv. p. 265. ^ Ibid., p. 262. 

" Ibid., vol. iii. p. 270. 


could not condescend to decide against tliem in favour 
of a subject, and recklessly sacrificed the rights and 
services of his most useful friends to this ridiculous 
pride. Hyde alone offered really honest opposition to 
these unwise proceedings, and sometimes succeeded in 
dissuading the King from obeying the dictates of his 
vanity ; but Hyde himself was a stranger in the Court, 
with no dignity or power but that which he derived 
from his office, and he had need of all the King's 
favour to maintain his own position, against the Queen's 
dislike, no less than against the intrigues of jealous 
courtiers ; he kept up his reputation as an inffuential 
councillor and wise man, but he exercised no real 
ascendancy, and could obtain no important result.^ In 
a word, dissensions were as rife at Oxford as in London, 
and far more fatal, for in London they accelerated, 
whilst at Oxford they paralysed, the progress of affairs. 
It was in the midst of these embarrassments, and at 
a time when, in his inmost heart, he was probably as 
tired of his party as of liis people, that Charles received 
information of the new aUiance between Scotland and 
the Parliament, and learned that another of his king- 
doms was preparing to make war against hmi. He 
immediately sent orders to the Duke of Hamilton, who 
had now regained his confidence, and acted as his 
Commissioner in Edinburgh, to prevent this union at 
any cost. The Duke was empowered, it is said, to 
promise the Scots that, in futm-e, one-third of the 
offices in the royal household should be conferred on 
their countrjanen ; that the counties of Northumber- 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 259. 


land, Westmoreland and Cumberland, which had for- 
merly constituted part of their territory, should be 
again annexed to Scotland ; that the King would fix 
his royal residence at Newcastle ; and finally, that the 
Prince of Wales should estabhsh his court permanently 
among tliem.^ Such promises, even supposing that 
they were made, could not have been performed, and 
were utterly devoid of sincerity ; and had the Scottish 
Parliament been walling to fall into the snare, a recent 
occurrence rendered the delusion too palpable for them 
to be deceived by it. The Earl of Antrim had just 
been arrested in Ireland, by the Scottish troops quar- 
tered in Ulster, a few hours after his landing ; and on 
his person had been found ample evidence of the plan 
which had been formed at York between Montrose and 
himself, during their residence with the Queen, for con- 
veying into Scotland a large body of Irish Catholics, 
rousing the Higlilanders to revolt, and thus effecting a 
powerful diversion in favour of the King. The enter- 
prise was evidently to be undertaken without delay, 
for Montrose had joined the King during the siege of 
Gloucester, and Antrim had just come from Oxford. 
The King, therefore, as at his last visit to Scotland, 
was still meditating the most sinister designs against 
his subjects, at the very moment when his Commis- 
sioners were making them the most splendid proposals 
on his behalf. The Parliament at Edinburgh hastened 
to conclude its treaty with the Parhament at West- 
minster, and sent it full information of all these details.^ 

' Burnet's History of his Own Time, vol. i. p. 64. 
* Laing's History of .Scotland, vol. iii. p. 256. 


A flir more serious discovery had been made at the 
same time, and was now communicated to the Enghsh 
Parhament. The papers taken from Lord Antrim 
made it plain that the King held frequent correspond- 
ence with the Irish insurgents ; that he had received 
many petitions and proposals from them ; that he was 
even on the point of concluding a suspension of liostiH- 
ties with them, from which he hoped to gain the 
greatest advantages in the next campaign. These 
indications were not erroneous ; for a long period, 
Charles, while speaking in the bitterest terms of Ire- 
land to the English, had been endeavouring to con- 
cihate and treat with the Irish rebels.^ The war 
kindled by the late insurrection had continued in that 
unhappy country without intermission, but to no pur- 
pose. Ten or twelve thousand soldiers, ill-paid and 
rarely reinforced, were not strong enough to subdue 
the insurgents, though sufficient to prevent them from 
establishing their independence. In the month of 
February, 1642, before the outbreak of the civil war, 
the Parliament had resolved to make a great effort for 
the suppression of the rebellion. A loan had been 
opened to defray the expenses of a decisive expedition; 
and the estates of the rebels, which by future confisca- 
tions could not fail to lapse to the Crown, were appro- 
priated by anticipation, upon a fixed scale, for the 
repayment of the subscribers.^ Large sums had been 

' His correspondence with Lord Ormond removes all doubt on this 
subject. (See Carte's Life of Ormond, vol. iii. passim.) Mr. Brodie 
has carefully arranged the evidence in a note to his History of the 
British Empire (vol. iii. p. 459). 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 155. 


thus collected, and some supplies had been sent to 
Dublin ; but the civil war broke out ; the Parliament, 
under the overwhelming pressure of its own affairs, 
turned its attention only at long intervals to Ireland, 
and then with no great vigour and efficiency, merely 
endeavouring to pacify the complaints of the Protest- 
ants in that kingdom, when they became too clamorous? 
and, above all, to render the King responsible, in the 
eyes of England, for all the sufferings they endured, 
Charles was equally disinchned to give them his atten- 
tion or to make sacrifices on their behalf, and whilst 
he reproached the Parliament with having appro- 
priated a portion of the sum raised for their relief, he 
himself intercepted the convoys destined to supply 
them with provisions, and took from the very arsenals 
of Dubhn the arms and ammunition of which they had 
such urgent need.^ But the leading Protestants of 
Ireland, aristocrats by position, were attached to 
Episcopacy and to the Crown ; the army numbered 
among its officers a great many of those Avhom the 
Parhament had banished as Cavahers ; their general 
was the Earl of Ormonde, a rich, brave, generous, and 
popular nobleman, who defeated the rebels in two 
battles,^ and ascribed to the King all the honour of 
his success. The Parliamentarian party rapidly de- 
clined in Ireland ; the magistrates who were devoted 
to its cause were superseded by Royalists. In the 
autiman of 1G42, the Parliament sent two members of 

' Cai'te's Life of Ormonde, vol. ii. Appendix, pp. 3, 5. 
2 The battle of Kilrush, on the 15th of April, 1642, and that of Ross, 
on the 19th of March, 1643. 


the House of Commons, Messrs. Goodwin and Rey- 
nolds, as its commissioners, in tlie hope they might 
recover their lost influence ; but Ormonde refused 
them admission into the council, and after the lapse of 
four months, in February, 1643, he felt himself strong 
enough to compel them to return to England. All 
the civil and military power of the country was thence- 
forward in the hands of the King, who, relieved from 
an annoying though powerless surveillance, no longer 
hesitated to carry out the design to wliich his embar- 
rassments and inchnations alike impelled him. The 
Queen had never ceased to maintain a correspondence 
with the Irish Catholics, of w^hich her husband was 
doubtless not ignorant : the insurrection was no longer, 
as at the outset, the unrestrained gratification of the 
hideous passions of a savage populace; a supreme 
council of twenty-four members, which had been esta- 
blished at Kilkenny since the 14th of November, 1642, 
controlled the rebellion with great prudence and regu- 
larity ; and they had already more than once addressed 
dutiful messages to the King, entreating him to cease 
to persecute, from complaisance towards his enemies, 
faithful subjects whose only desire was to serve him. 
Charles did not yet consider himself in sufficient 
danger, or sufficiently independent of public opinion, 
to accept such an alliance openly; but he might at 
least, he thought, show the Irish some favour, and 
recall to England the army which was fighting in his 
name against the Cathohc insm^gents, in order to em- 
ploy it against rebels still more hateful and formidable. 
Ormonde received instructions to open negociations 


with the Council at Kilkenny for this purpose ;' and 
in the meanwhile, with a view to justify the proceed- 
ing by vahd reason, or to secure the excuse of necessity, 
reports were assiduously spread about the distress 
(which in reality was very great) to which the Pro- 
testant cause and its defenders were reduced in Ireland. 
In a long and pathetic remonstrance, addressed to the 
council in Dublin, the army set forth all its privations 
and sujfferings, and expressed its resolution to abandon 
a service which it was no longer able to discharge. 
Petitions were sent at the same time to Oxford and 
London to acquaint the King and the Parhament 
with this declaration and complaint.^ Meanwhile, the 
negociations made rapid progress : at the moment of 
Antrim's arrest, they had almost reached their termina- 
tion, and towards the middle of September, a few 
days before the two Houses solemnly ratified at West- 
minster the Covenant which had been concluded with 
the Scots, England learned that, on the 5th of that 
month, at Sigginstown, in the county of Kildare, the 
King had signed a truce for a year with the Irish 
rebels, that the English troops which had been sent to 
quell the insurrection were under orders to return, and 
that ten regiments would shortly land, five at Chester 
and five at Bristol.^ 

Violent clamours arose on every hand ; the Irish 
were regarded by the English with feelings of contempt, 
aversion, and horror. Even among the Eoyalists, and 

' Ormonde's commission is dated January 11, 1643 : the negociations 
commenced during the month of March following. 
^ Rushworth, vol. vi. p. 537. 
* Godwin's History' of the Commonwealth, vol. i. p. 279. 


within the very walls of Oxford, discontent was unhesi- 
tatingly expressed at tliis proceeding. Several officers 
left Lord Newcastle's army, and made their submission 
to the Parliament.' Lord Holland returned to London, 
saying that the Papists were decidedly uppermost at 
Oxford, and that his conscience would not allow him to 
remain there any longer. Lords Bedford, Clare, and 
Paget, Sir Edward Dering, and several other gentle- 
men, followed his example, screening their fickleness 
or cowardice by the same pretext.^ The ParHament 
showed no unwillingness to pardon the penitents. The 
King's conduct was the theme of popular invective and 
sarcasm ; his recent protestations were called to mind, 
and the haughty tone of liis apologies, when complaints 
had been made of the intrigues of the Court with the 
insurgents ; and whilst all rejoiced at having so saga- 
ciously divined his secret practices, all were indignant 
that he should have hoped to impose so grossly on his 
people, and to reckon on such base faithlessness for 
success. Popular indignation rose still higher when 
it became known that a considerable number of Irish 
Papists had been drafted into the recalled troops, and 
that women, armed with long knives, and in the garb 
of savages, had been seen among their ranks. ^ It 
seemed, therefore, that, not content with ceasing to 
avenge the massacre of the Protestants in Ireland, 
the King was taking their ferocious murderers into his 
service, in order to subdue the Protestants of England. 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 77. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 189, 297 ; Whitelocke, pp. 77, 
79, 81. 

* Whitelocke's Memorials, pp. 75, 81. 



Many persons, whose rank should have raised them 
above the passionate prejudices of the multitude, enter- 
tained a deep hatred for the King from this time forth, 
— some on account of his duplicity, others because 
of the favour he showed to the Papists ; and his name 
was now often accompanied with insult, though pre- 
viously it had seldom been mentioned without respect. 
Wlien informed of this state of feehng regarding 
him, and of the endeavours of the Parliament to fan 
the flame, Charles, regarding it as an insult that any 
one should presume to judge of his intentions by 
his acts, and not by his speeches, was in his turn filled 
with the utmost indignation. He sent for Hyde, and 
told him : "I think there is too much honour done to 
these rebels at Westminster in all my declarations, by 
my mentioning them as part of the Parhament ; which, 
as long as they are thought to be, they will have more 
authority, by their continuing their sitting in the 
place whither they were first called, than all the other 
members, though so much more numerous, would have 
when convened anywhere else. I know learned men 
of an opinion that the act of the continuance of the 
Parliament was void from the beginning, for it is not 
in the power of the King to bar himself from the 
power of dissolving Parliament, which is an essential 
part of his sovereignty ; but even if the act were good 
and valid in law, they have forfeited their right of 
sitting there by their treason and rebellion. I wish, 
therefore, that a proclamation may be prepared, to 
declare them actually dissolved, and expressly forbid- 
ding anybody to own them, or submit to them as a 


Parliament." Hyde listened with surprise and anxiety, 
for the mere idea of such a measure appeared to 
him madness. " I perceive," he replied, " by your 
Majesty's discourse, that you have very much con- 
sidered the argument, and are well prepared in it; 
which, for my part, I am not. But I beseech you to 
think it worth a very strict reflection, and to hear the 
opinion of learned men before you resolve upon it. It 
is of a very nice and delicate nature, at which not only 
the people in general, but those of your own party, 
and even of your Council, will take more umbrage 
than upon any one particular that has happened since 
the beginning of the war. I cannot imagine that 
3^our forbidding them to meet any more at Westminster 
would make one man the less to meet there. As for 
the invalidity of the Act, I am inclined to hope that 
it may be originally void ; and the Parliament itself, if 
this rebellion were suppressed, might be of the same 
judgment, and declare it accordingly. But till then, 
I think all the judges together would not declare any 
such invalidity : and much less that any private man, 
however learned, would avow that judgment. It was 
the first powerful reproach they corrupted the people 
with towards your Majesty, that you intended to 
dissolve this Parliament, and, by the same power, to 
repeal all the other Acts made by it, whereof some are 
very precious to the people. And as your Majesty has 
always disclaimed any such thought, such a proclama- 
tion as you now mention would confirm all the 
jealousies and fears which have been infused into the 
people, and trouble many of your true subjects. I 

H 2 


therefore hope your Majesty will very thoroughly 
consult it, before you do so much as incline in your 
own wishes to this design."^ 

As soon as it became known that Hyde had spoken 
thus frankly to the King, nearly all the members of 
the Council expressed similar opinions. Notwith- 
standing his haughtiness, Charles was irresolute and 
timid in the midst of his advisers ; objections embar- 
rassed him, and he generally gave way, either because 
he knew not what to answer, or in order to put an end 
to discussion, which he disliked to maintain even with 
his own partizans. After some days of hesitation, 
more affected than real, the project was abandoned. 
Some decisive measure, however, appeared necessary, 
were it only to keep the Eoyahst party on the alert, 
and not allow the Parhament, in the intervals of peace, 
the merit of engrossing the impatient activity of the 
public mind. As the name of Parhament exercised so 
powerful an influence upon the people, it was suggested 
that all those members of the two Houses who had 
been excluded from Westminster, should be summoned 
to meet at Oxford, and that a legal and true Parlia- 
ment, of which the King would form part, should thus 
be set in opposition to a factious and mutilated Parha- 
ment. This proposition was displeasing to Charles ; 
he regarded every Parliament, even though Eoyalist, 
with suspicion and impatience ; for he would be obliged 
to listen to its counsels, to submit to its influence, and 
perhaps to condescend to desires of peace which might 
be incompatible with the honour of his tlirone. The 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 206—209. 


Queen's opposition was still more violent ; an English 
assembly, no matter how great its zeal for the royal 
cause, would, she knew, be strenuously opposed to the 
Catholics and to her favourites. However, when the 
proposition had once become known, it was difficult to 
reject it ; the Royalist party had welcomed it with 
delight; even the Council strongly insisted on the 
advantages it would afford, the subsidies which the new 
Houses would vote for the King's service, and the 
discredit in which the Westminster Parhament would 
be involved, when it was seen how many members had 
deserted it. Charles yielded, notwithstanding his 
repugnance ; and such was the general tendency of 
public feehng, that the intention to dissolve a rebel- 
hous Parliament resulted only in the formation of a 
second Parhament.' 

This measure at first occasioned some dismay in 
London. It was well known that, at the same time, the 
Royalist party were renewing their effoi*ts in the City, 
— that it was in contemplation to negociate a treaty of 
peace directly between the King and the citizens, 
without the intervention of the Parliament, — that the 
basis of the treaty was already agreed upon, — and 
that, among other things, the loans which had been 
effected in the City by the Parliament, and the interest 
on which was very irregularly paid, were to be acknow- 
ledged and guaranteed by the King.^ Out of London, 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 352 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. col. 194. The royal proclamation for assembling the 
Parliament at Oxford is dated on the 22nd of December, 1643. 

^ Parhamentary History, vol. iii. col. 196 ; Milton's History of 
England, book iii. in Mitford's edition of his Prose Works. 


another plot was also discovered ; set on foot, it was 
said, by the moderate politicians and certain obscure 
Independents, to prevent the entrance of the Scots 
into the kingdom, and to cast off the yoke of the Pres- 
byterian party, at any risk/ The Commons farther 
had to deplore the loss of the oldest, and perhaps the 
most useful, of their leaders : Pym died on the 8th of 
December 1643, after a few days' illness. He was a 
man of much less splendid renown than Hampden ; 
but, both in the secret conclaves of his party, and in 
the pubhc acts of the House, he had rendered no less 
eminent services to his cause : firm, patient, and 
adroit ; equally skilful in attacking an enemy, direct- 
ing a debate, conducting an intrigue, exciting the 
passions of the people, and securing or strengthening 
the adherence of doubtftd partizans -^ an indefatigable 
member of most committees, the usual reporter of 
decisive measures, ever ready to undertake duties from 
which others shrank ; — in a word, indifferent to labour, 
disappointment, fortune or glory — it was his sole 
ambition to promote the success of his party. A 
short time before his last illness, he had published an 
apology for his conduct, addressed especially to the 
friends of order and peace -^ as though he felt some 
regret for the past, and secretly feared that the future 
might be laid to his charge. But death relieved him, 
as it had reheved Hampden, from the embarrassment 
of exceedmg his opinions or belying his life ; and far 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 200 ; Whitelocke, p. 79. 
^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 436 — 440. 
^ See Appendix. IV. 


from resenting the slight symptoms of hesitation 
which had characterized the last days of this veteran 
champion of national reform, the men who were pre- 
pai'ing to turn reform into revolution, Cromwell, Vane, 
and Haslerig, were the first to pay the utmost honours 
to his memory. The body of Pym lay in state for 
several days, not only in compliance with the wishes 
of the people, who crowded to see it, but also in order 
to refute the report spread by the Royalists that he 
had died of a loathsome disease. A committee was 
appointed to inquire into the state of liis fortune, and 
to erect a monument to his memory in Westminister 
Abbey. The entire House of Commons followed his 
body to the grave, and a few days after, undertook 
the payment of his debts, which had all been con- 
tracted, it was said, in his country's service, and which 
amounted to ten thousand pounds.^ 

At the same time that the Commons adopted these 
resolutions, a deputation from the Common Council of 
the city of London waited on the Lords to thank the 
House for their energy, to compHment the Lord- 
general on his courage, to renew their oath to hve and 
die for the holy cause, and to invite them to a grand 
banquet, in celebration of their union. ^ 

The Parhament recovered all its confidence. On 
the 22nd of January, 1644, the day on wliich the 
Assembly at Oxford was to meet, the names of the 
members were called over at Westminster; only 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 186 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iv. \). 441. 

^ On the 13th of January, 1644. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 187, 198 ; Whitelocke, p. 80. 


twenty-two Lords were in their places in the Upper 
House ; but in the House of Commons, two hundred 
and eighty members answered to their names, and a 
hundred others were known to be absent on the pubhc 
service, by order of the Parliament.^ It resolved not 
to suffer its rights to be called in question, and to reject 
with disdain all correspondence with the rivals who had 
been set in opposition to it. An opportunity soon 
occurred for carr3dng out tliis resolution. A week had 
scarcely elapsed, before the Eai'l of Essex dehvered 
to the Upper House an unopened packet which he had 
just received from the Earl of Forth, Greneral-in-chief 
of the King's army. A committee was appointed to 
examine its contents ; their report was brief and 
speedy; the packet, they said, contained nothing 
addressed to the Houses, and the Lord-general had 
nothing to do but to send it back again. Essex 
immediately obeyed.^ 

It was to him alone, in fact, that the despatch was 
addressed. Eorty-five Lords and a hundred and 
eighteen members of the House of Commons,^ assem- 
bled at Oxford, informed him of their installation, of 

' Whitelocke, p. 80 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 198. 

^ On the 1st of February, 1644. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 201. 

® This list was headed by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, 
and it was afterwards increased by the arrival of five lords and twenty- 
three members of the House of Commons, who were absent from 
Oxford when the letter was sent. More than twenty-two lords were 
also absent on the King's sei vice, nine were travelling on the Continent, 
and two were in prison in London as Eoyalists ; thirty-four members of 
the House of Commons were also absent on the King's service, or on 
leave, or from illness ; in all, eighty-three lords and a hundred and 
sixty-five commoners formed the Parhament at Oxford. — Pai'liamentary 
History, vol. iii. col. 218. 


tlieii' desires for peace, and of the favourable disposition 
of the King ; and urged him to use his influence to 
inchne to peace those whose confidence he possessed.' 
Tliis was the only phrase used to designate the Houses 
at Westminster, which Charles now persisted in refus- 
ing to aclvQowledge as the Parliament, 

On the 18th of February, Essex received a second 
letter ; the Earl of Forth wrote to request a safe- 
conduct for two gentlemen whom, he said, the King 
wished to send to London with overtures for peace. 
" My lord," replied Essex, " when you shall send for 
a safe-conduct for those gentlemen mentioned in your 
letter, from his Majesty to the Houses of Parliament, 
I shall, with aU cheerfulness^ show my willingness to 
further any way that may produce that happiness that 
all honest men pray for ; which is, a true understand- 
ing between his Majesty and his faithful and only 
council, the Parhament."^ 

Charles was delighted to find his adversaries thus 
unyielding, and hoped that his party would at length 
consider itself under the necessity of appealing to war 
to decide the quarrel. But the Assembly at Oxford 
was not so haughty as the King ; it felt that its 
strength was small; and that its right was doubtful ; 
it had not dared to assume the name of Parliament, 
and it regretted that the King, by refusing that title 
to the Houses at Westminster, had tlirown so formid- 
able an obstacle in the way of peace. It insisted upon 
his taking one more step, and making some concession 
calculated to appease the pubHc feeling against him. 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 209. ^ Ibid. vol. iii. col. 212. 


Charles consented to write to the Houses to propose a 
negociation, and addressed his letter : "To the Lords 
and Commons of Parliament assembled at Westmin- 
ster ;" but in the letter, he spoke of " the Lords and 
Commons of Parliament assembled at Oxford," as their 
equals.' A trumpeter was ere long sent by Essex 
with the answer of the two Houses. " When we con- 
sider," they said, "the expressions in that letter of 
your Majesty's, we have more sad and despairing 
thoughts of attaining peace than ever ; because thereby, 
those persons now assembled at Oxford, who, contrary 
to their duty, have deserted your Parhament, are put 
into an equal condition with it. And this present 
Parliament, convened according to the known and 
fundamental laws of the kingdom — the continuance 
whereof is established by a law consented unto by 
your Majesty — is, in effect, denied to be a Parhament. 
And hereupon we think ourselves bound to let your 
Majesty know, that we must in duty, and accordingly 
are resolved, with our lives and fortunes, to defend 
and preserve the just rights and full power of this 

The Assembly at Oxford lost all hope of effecting a 
reconciliation, and considered its continuance thence- 
forward to be useless. It sat, however, until the 16th 
of April, publishing long and gloomy declarations, 
voting some few taxes or loans,^ assaihng with bitter 
reproaches the Houses at Westminster, and giving the 

' March 3, 1644. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 213. 
•"' March 9, 1644.— Ibid., vol. iii. col. 214. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 225 ; Clarendon 'a History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 416, 468. 


King numerous proofs of devoted fideUty ; but it was 
timid, inactive, and embarrassed by its own powerless- 
ness, while, in order to retain at least some remnant 
of dignity, it was careful to manifest to the Court its 
earnest desire for the restoration of legal order and of 
peace. The King, who had been in dread of the in- 
fluence of such advisers, soon began to consider them 
as troublesome as they were useless ; and they were 
themselves tired of sitting in solemn conclave, without 
any definite object or advantageous result. After the 
strongest protestations that their wishes should regu- 
late his conduct, Charles pronounced their adjourn- 
ment;^ and scarcely were the doors of their place of 
meeting closed, than he expressed his satisfaction to 
the Queen at having at length got rid of " that mon- 
grel Parhament, the haunt of cowardly and seditious 

The campaign, which was now about to open, seemed 
likely to commence under unfavourable auspices. Not- 
withstanding the inactivity of the two main armies, 
the war had continued tln-oughout the winter in the 
rest of the kingdom, generally to the advantage of the 
Parhament. In the north-west, the regiments wliich 
had been recalled from Ireland, after six weeks of 
success, had been defeated and almost entu-ely de- 
stroyed by Fairfax under the walls of Nantwich, in 
Cheshire.^ In the north, the Scots, under the com- 
mand of the Earl of Leven, had commenced their 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 243—247. 

* He uses the words quoted in the text in a letter addressed to the 
Queen on the 13th of March, 1645. See Ludlow^s Memoirs, p. 29. 
^ On the 25th of January, 1644.— Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 71. 


invading march into England, on the 19th of January, 
1644. Lord Newcastle had hastened to encounter 
them; but during his absence, on the 11th of April, 
Fairfax had defeated a numerous body of Royalists at 
Selby:^ and in order to secure York from attack, 
Newcastle was obliged to take up his quarters in that 
important city.^ In the east, a new army of fourteen 
thousand men was in process of formation, under the 
command of Lord Manchester and Ohver Cromwell, 
who were ready to march wheresoever the necessities 
of their cause might require their presence. In the 
south, at Alresford, in Hampshire, on the 29th of 
March, Sir WiUiam Waller had gained an unexpected 
victory over Su' Ralph Hopton. A few advantages 
obtained by Prince Rupert, in Nottinghamshire and 
Lancashire,^ were insufficient to compensate for such 
multiphed defeats. Insubordination and disorder were 
on the increase in the royahst camps : honest men 
were filled with sorrow and disgust, to find that most 
of their comrades demanded unrestrained hcense as 
the reward for a courage utterly devoid of virtue ; the 
King's authority over his generals, and the authority 
of liis generals over their soldiers, daily decreased. In 
London, on the other hand, all the measures of the 
Parhamentarians became at once more regular and 
energetic ; complaint had often been made that the 
action of the Houses was wanting in promptitude, that 
no resolution could be kept secret, and that the King 

* Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 78. 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 620. 

^ On the 22nd of March he raised the siege of Newark, and during 
the following April he took Paj^worth, Bolton, and Liverpool. 


was immediately informed of their intentions. Under 
the name of the Committee of Both Kingdoms, a 
council composed of seven lords, fourteen members of 
the House of Commons, and four Scottish Commis- 
sioners, was invested with almost absolute control, 
not only over the war, but over the internal relations 
between the two peoples, and their correspondence 
with foreign States.^ Enthusiasm had led many 
famihes to deprive themselves of one meal a-week, and 
to give the cost of it to the Parhament. On the 20th 
of March, an ordinance was issued converting this 
voluntary gift into a compulsory tax, payable by all 
the inhabitants of London and its neighbourhood.^ 
Excise duties, till then unknown, were imposed on 
wine, cider, beer, tobacco, and many other commo- 
dities.^ The Committee of Sequestrations redoubled 
its severity.^ At the opening of the campaign, the 
Parliament had five armies on foot : those of Essex, 
Fairfax, and the Scots, which were paid out of the 
public treasury ; and those of Manchester and Waller, 
which were supported by local contributions, levied 
weekly in those counties in which the troops were 
raised and recruited.^ The entire force amounted to 

' This committee was appointed on the 16th of February, 1644. — 
Parliamentai'y History, vol. iii. col. 247. 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 748. 

^ By ordinances of the 16th May, 1643, and the 8th July, 1644.— Par- 
liamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 114, 276. 

■• Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 174, 257 ; Rushworth, part iii. 
vol. ii. p. 760. 

* The seven associated counties of the east — Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, 
Hertford, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Lincoln, and Ely — were taxed 8,445/. 
per week for the maintenance of Lord Manchester's army. The four 
southern counties — Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, and Kent — were taxed 


more than fifty thousand men/ and the Committee of 
Both Kingdoms had the whole body at their full 

Notwithstanding the presumption which prevailed at 
Oxford, great anxiety was ere long manifested among 
the Cavahers. Much astonishment was felt that they 
no longer received any precise information from Lon- 
don, and that the designs of the Parliament were kept 
so secret ; it was only known that great prepara- 
tions were making everywhere, that the supreme 
power was becoming concentrated in the hands of the 
boldest leaders, that decisive measures were in contem- 
plation, and in a word, that matters were assuming a 
most sinister aspect. Suddenly the report spread that 
Essex and Waller had set their troops in movement, 
and were marching to besiege Oxford. The Queen, 
then seven months advanced in pregnancy, immediately 
declared that she would leave the place : in vain did 
some members of the Council venture to deplore the 
disastrous consequences of such a resolution ; in vain 
did Charles himself manifest his anxiety that she 
should change her purpose : the mere idea of being 

2,638Z. per week for the support of Waller's army. The army under 
Lord Essex cost the public treasury 30,504?. per month. (Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. ii. j)p. 621, 654.) The army of the Scots cost 31,000?. per 
month. I have not been able to discover any precise estimate of the 
cost of Fairfax's army ; there is, however, every indication that it was 
more irregularly paid than the others — partly perhaps by local contri- 
butions, and partly by the Parhament. See Fairfax's Memoirs. 

' The Scottish army consisted of twenty-one thousand men ; that of 
Essex of ten thousand five hundred ; that of Waller of five thousand 
one hundred ; that of Manchester of fourteen thousand ; and that of 
Fairfax of five or six thousand ; in all, about fifty-six thousand men. — 
Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 603, 621, 654. 


shut up in a beleaguered town was, she said, unen- 
durable, and she should die if she were not permitted 
to retire towards the west, to some town where she 
might be delivered in safety, far from the troubles of 
war, and whence she might embark for France, in case 
of pressing danger. Losing her temper at the shght- 
est objection, she stormed, entreated, and wept. All 
withdi-ew their opposition ; Exeter, the chief town of 
Devonshire, was chosen as her place of residence ; and 
towards the end of April, she left her husband, who 
never saw her again. ^ 

The rumour which had filled her with such terror 
was well founded : Essex and Waller were, in fact, 
advancing to blockade Oxford. In the north, Fairftix, 
Manchester, and the Scots were to unite their forces, 
and lay siege to York. The two great Eoyalist towns 
and the two great Royalist armies, the King and 
Lord Newcastle, were thus to be attacked simul- 
taneously, by all the forces of the Parhament, Such 
was the bold and simple plan which the Committee of 
Both Kingdoms had resolved to adopt. 

Towards the end of May, Oxford was almost 
entirely blockaded ; the King's troops had been driven 
in succession from all the posts which they occupied in 
the neighbourhood, and had been obliged to retire, 
some into the town, and others to their last remaining 
position outside the walls, on the northern side. It 
was impossible for any succour to arrive in time ; 
Prince Eupert was far away in Lancashire ; Prince 
Maurice was besieging the port of Lyme, in Dorset- 

' Clarendon's Histoiy of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 467. 


shire ; Lord Hopton was at Bristol, struggling hard 
to preserve that important city against the intrigues 
of the enemy. A reinforcement of eight thousand 
men, drafted from the London militia, enabled Essex 
to complete the blockade. The danger appeared so 
urgent that one of the King's most faithful councillors 
advised him to surrender, upon conditions, to the Earl. 
Charles indignantly rejected the proposal : " Possibly," 
he said, " I may be found in the hands of the Earl of 
Essex, but I shall be dead first."^ A report, however, 
spread in London, that, not knowing how to escape, 
the King really intended to present himself abruptly 
in the City, or to place himself under the protection of 
the Lord-general. The alarm of the Commons was 
now as great as the King's indignation had been. 
Without loss of time, they wi'ote to Essex : " My 
Lord, — There being here a general report of his Ma- 
jesty's coming to London, we desire your lordship to 
use your best endeavours to find the grounds of it ; 
and if at any time you shall understand that his 
Majesty intends to repair hither, or to your army, that 
you presently acquaint the Houses, and do nothing 
therein without their advice." Essex felt all the dis- 
trust implied in these words : " How the general 
report is come," he wrote, " of his Majesty's coming 
to London, is utterly unknown to me. I shaU not 
fail, with my best endeavours, to find the grounds of 
it ; but London is the likeliest place to know it, there 
being no speech of it in this army. As soon as I shall 
have any notice of his intention of repairing to the 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 485. 


Parliament or the army, I shall not fail to give notice 
of it ; and as I am your servant, I shall be ready at 
all times to obey your directions. For the business 
itself I cannot conceive there is any ground for it ; 
but, however, I believe I shall be the last that shall 
hear of it."^ 

A very different, but much more accurate report soon 
filled the Parliament and the army v^ith surprise ; the 
King had escaped their grasp. At nine o'clock in the 
evening of the 3rd of June, his Majesty, accompanied 
by the Prince of Wales, but leaving behind him the 
Duke of York and all his court, had left Oxford, passed 
through the two hostile camps, and, joining a body 
of hght troops which awaited him on the northern 
side of the city, rapidly placed himself beyond the 
reach of his assailants.^ 

The surprise occasioned by this news was extreme, 
and the necessity of prompt resolution evident. The 
siege of Oxford had lost its importance ; there was no 
longer any enterprise for the two armies to undertake 
in concert ; now that he was at liberty, the King 
would soon be formidable ; and it was particularly 
essential to prevent his rejoining Prince Eupert. 
Essex assembled a great council of war, and proposed 
that Waller, who was less encumbered with heavy 
artillery and baggage, should march in pursuit of the 
King, whilst he would himself proceed into the west, 
in order to raise the siege of Lyme, and to reduce 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 266. The letter from the 
Speaker to Essex is dated ou May 15, 1644, and his answer on May 17. 

^ Clarendon's Histoiy of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 486 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. ii. p. 671. 



that part of the country to obedience to the Parlia- 
ment. Waller opposed this plan ; such was not, he 
said, the destination which the Committee of Both 
Kingdoms had assigned to the two armies, in case they 
should find it necessary to separate ; and the command 
in the west devolved by right upon him. The 
council of war concurred with the Lord-general ; 
Essex haughtily demanded acquiescence ; Waller 
obeyed, and even began his march without delay, but 
not until he had written to the Committee to complain 
bitterly of the contempt with which the Earl treated 
their instructions.^ 

The Committee, in great irritation, brought the 
matter at once before the House of Commons ; and 
after a debate, of which no record has been preserved, 
orders were despatched to Essex to retrace his steps in 
order to resume the pursuit of the King, and to leave 
Waller to advance alone into the west, as he should 
have done in the first instance.^ 

The Earl had entered upon the campaign with no 
very pleasurable feehngs. After having been intimi- 
dated for awhile by their dangers and his victories, his 
enemies had, during the winter, begun once more to 
assail him with suspicions, and to vex him with a 
thousand annoyances. A short time before his de- 
parture, a popular petition had demanded the reforma- 
tion of his army, and the Commons had received it 
with no expressions of displeasure ;^ Waller's troops 

' Whitelocke, p. 90 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. 
p. 488. 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 672. 
' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 80. 


were always better provided and more regularly paid 
than liis own ;^ and it was evidently as a means of 
enabling the Parliament to dismiss him in case of need, 
that Lord Manchester had raised a new army in the 
eastern counties.^ His friends in London and in his 
camp were indignant that a set of men at Westminster, 
utterly unacquainted with warfare, should presume to 
regulate the operations of a campaign, and to dictate 
the course to be pursued by their generals.^ Essex 
wrote to the Committee, " that their directions were 
contrary to the discipline of war and to reason ; and 
that, if he should now return, it would be a great 
encouragement to the enemy in all places." He sub- 
scribed himself their " innocent, though suspected 
servant," and continued his march towards the 

The Committee, in surprise, postponed the quarrel 
and dissembled their anger : the enemies of Essex did 
not yet feel themselves strong enough to ruin him, or 
even to dispense with his services; they remained 
satisfied with inserting, in the answer which was sent 
him, a few words of reprimand for the tone of liis 
letter ;^ and he received orders to continue the expe- 
dition which the previous message had enjoined him 
to abandon.^ 

The news which had been received from Waller's 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 683 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 22. 
2 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 190. 
^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 90. 

■* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 683 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 488. 

^ Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 683. 
« Ibid. ; Whitelocke, p. 91. 

I 2 


army had mainly dictated this prudent conduct. After 
having vainly pm'sued the King, the favourite of the 
Committee was, in his turn, menaced with the utmost 
danger. As soon as Charles became aware that the 
two generals of the Parhament had separated, and that 
one only remained to encounter him, he halted in his 
flight, wrote to Prince Eupert to hasten without delay 
to the rehef of York,^ and with resolute boldness, 
returned along the road which he had traversed in his 
flight from Oxford. Seventeen days after he had 
quitted it, he re-entered that city, placed himself at 
the head of liis troops, and resumed the offensive 
whilst WaUer was still seeking for him in Worcester- 
shire. On the first report of the King's movement, 
Waller hurried back in all haste, for he alone remained 
to cover the road to London ; and ere long, having 
received some slight reinforcements, he advanced, with 
his usual confidence, to ofier or at least accept battle. 
Charles and his troops, animated by that ardour 
which is produced by unexpected success after great 
peril, were even more eager to engage. The action 
took place on the 29th of June, at Cropredy Bridge, 
in Buckinghamshire ; and notwithstanding a brilliant 
resistance, Waller was defeated, more completely than 
even his conquerors at first ventured to believe.^ 

Success seemed to inspire Charles with unusual 
boldness, and even with unexpected ability. Free 

' His letter is dated on the 14th of June, 1644, from Tickenhall, near 
Bewdley, in Worcestershire. It will be found in the Appendix to 
Evelyn's Diary. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 500 — 505 ; Rush- 
worth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 675. 


from anxiety on account of Waller, he suddenly re- 
solved to march into the west, to force Essex to an 
engagement, and thus to destroy, one after the other, 
the two armies which had recently held him almost 
prisoner. Essex, moreover, had appeared beneath the 
walls of Exeter, and the Queen, (who was residing 
there, and had given birth to a chikV only a few days 
before,) as she was as yet unaware of her husband's 
successes, was likely to fall again under the influence of 
aU the terrors which had formerly beset her.~ Charles 
began his march two days after his victory ; and at 
the same time, rather with a desire to gain favour 
with the people than from any sincere wish for peace, 
he sent a message from Evesham to the two Houses, 
in which he abstained from giving them the name of 
Parhament, but was lavish of pacific protestations, and 
oftered once more to open negociations.^ 

But wliilst he was hastening westward, and before 
his message reached London, the Parliamentarians had 
lost all fear ; the aspect of affairs had changed ; 
Waller's defeat had become an unimportant incident ; 
for news had reached the Parliament that, not far 
from York, its generals had gained a most splendid 
victory, that York itself must speedily surrender, and 
that, in the north, the Royahst party was almost 

' The Princess Henrietta, afterwards Duches'^ of Oi'leans, was born at 
Exeter on the 16th of June, 1644. 

■^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 507 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. ii. p. 6S6. 

^ Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 687. The message is dated on the 
4th of July, 1644. 


On the 2nd of July, at Marston Moor, between the 
hours of seven and ten in the evening, a battle, the 
most decisive that had yet been fought, had brought 
about these important results. Three days before, on 
the approach of Prince Rupert, who was advancing 
towards York mth twenty thousand men, the Pai'ha- 
mentarian generals had determined to raise the siege, 
hoping they would at least be able to prevent the 
Prince from throwing reinforcements into the city ; 
but Eupert defeated their manoeuvre, and entered York 
without a battle. Lord Newcastle earnestly advised 
him to rest satisfied with this success ; discord, he 
said, was fermenting in the enemy's camp ; the Scots 
were at variance with the Enghsh, the Independents 
with the Presbyterians, and Lieut. -Greneral Cromwell 
with Major-General Crawford ; at all events, if he were 
determined to fight, he entreated him to wait for a re- 
inforcement of three thousand men, which would arrive 
in a few days. Eupert scarcely condescended to listen 
to him, but bluntly rephed that he had orders from 
the King,^ and commanded the troops to march in 

' These orders were contained in the letter mentioned in a previous 
note, which enjoined him to hasten to the rehef of York. It has been 
much questioned whether this letter positively ordered Prince Eupert 
to give battle, or whether he was left at liberty to avoid an action if he 
pleased ; but the discussion is puerile, for assuredly if Rupei't had 
thought, with Newcastle, that it was unwise to risk a battle, he would 
have been wrong to obey general orders sent from a distance, without 
any precise knowledge of the state of aftairs in the north. Moreover, 
with aU deference to the opinions of Mr. Brodie (History of the British 
Empire, vol. iii. p. 477), and Dr. Lingard (History of England, vol. x. 
p. 252), I am far from thinking that the King's letter does contain any 
positive order ; it was evidently ^vI•itten under the conviction that the 
siege of York could not be raised without a battle ; and it is on this ground 
only that a victory is declared to be indispensable. See Appendix V. 


pui'suit of the retreating enemy. They soon came up 
with the Parhamentarian rear-guard; both armies 
halted, concentrated their forces, and prepared to fight. 
Though almost within musket-shot of each other, and 
separated only by a few ditches, the two armies re- 
mained motionless for two hours, each waiting silently 
for the other to begin the attack. Lord Newcastle 
asked the Prince what post he would assign him. 
Eupert replied that he should not fight that night; 
and Newcastle retired to his carriage to rest. He had 
scarcely reached it, when a volley of musketry informed 
him that the battle had begun ; and he hastened to the 
scene of action, without any command, at the head of 
a few gentlemen who, like himself, had been slighted 
by the Prince, and fought as volunteers. In a few 
moments, the Moor presented a terrible aspect ; the 
two armies attacked and charged each other almost at 
hap-hazard; Parliamentarians and Royalists, cavalry 
and infantry, officers and soldiers, wandered over the 
battle-field, singly or in bands, asking for orders, seek- 
ing their regiments, and fighting whenever they fell in 
with the enemy, but with no general design or advan- 
tageous result. Suddenly the right whig of the Par- 
liamentarians was put to rout; broken and panic- 
stricken by a vigorous charge of Eupert's horse, the 
Scottish cavalry turned to fly. Fairfax strove in vain 
to rally them ; the Scots fled in every direction, crying: 
" Wae's us ! we're a' undone 1" And they spread the 
news of their defeat so rapidly through the country, 
that, from Newark, a courier rode with the intelligence 
to Oxford, where bonfires were kept burning for some 


hours, in celebration of the victory. But on their 
return from the pursuit, the E-oyalists, to their great 
surprise, found the ground they had so recently occu- 
pied, in the possession of a victorious enemy ; wliilst 
the Scottish cavalry was flying before them, the right 
wing, though commanded by Rupert in person, had 
met with a similar fate ; after a desperate conflict, it 
had yielded to the dogged intrepidity of Cromwell and 
his squadrons ; Manchester's infantry had completed 
its defeat ; and satisfied with having routed the Prince's 
horse, Cromwell, skilfully rallying his own men, had 
returned at once to the field of battle, to make sure of 
the victory before he indulged in its results. After 
a moment's hesitation, the two victorious armies re- 
newed the fight ; but at ten o'clock, not a Royahst re- 
mained on the Moor, except three thousand slain and 
sixteen hundred prisoners.^ 

Rupert and Lord Newcastle re-entered York in the 
middle of the night, without having interchanged a 
word, or even seen each other ; but no sooner had they 
reached the city, than each sent the other a message. 
" I am resolved," stated Rupert, " to march away this 
morning with my horse, and as many foot as I have 
left." " I shall repair this instant to the sea-side," 
said Newcastle, " and transport myself beyond the 
seas." Each kept his word ; Newcastle embarked at 

' Eushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 631 — 640 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 509—513 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 53 ; Fair- 
fax's Memoirs, p. 84 ; Hutchinson's Memoirs, p. 229 ; Whitelocke, 
pp. 93, 94 ; Carte's Ormonde Letters, vol. i. p. 56 ; Baillie's Letters, 
vol. ii. pp. 36, 40 ; Warburton's Memoirs of Prince Rupert and the 
Cavaliers, vol. ii. pp. 445 — 460. 


Scarborough for Hamburgh ; Eupert marched towards 
Chester with the wreck of his army ; and York capitu- 
lated within a fortnight.^ 

The Independent party were filled with joy and 
hope ; it was by their generals, and by their soldiers, 
that this brilliant success had been achieved ; Crom- 
well's genius had decided the victory; for the first 
time, the Parliamentarian squadrons had broken the 
ranks of the Cavaliers, and this had been done by the 
saints of the army, the CromweUian horse. With their 
general, they had received the aame of Ironsides on 
the field of battle. Prince Eupert' s own standard,^ 
publicly exhibited at Westminster, bore witness to 
their triumph ; and they might have sent the Parlia- 
ment more than a hundred Eoyalist flags, if they had 
not torn them in pieces, in their enthusiasm, to deco- 
rate their helmets and arms.^ Essex had gained two 
victories, but he had seemed to fight from compulsion, 
in order to save the Parliament from imminent destruc- 
tion, and with no other result ; the saints had sought 
battle, and were not afraid of victory. Should the 
Scots, who had displayed such cowardice on that great 
day, presume henceforward to subject all believers to 
their Presbyterian tyranny? Would any one now 

» On the 16th of July, 1644. — Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. iv. p. 513. 

* In the middle of this standard was a couchant Uon, and behind him 
a mastiff attempting to bite him ; from the mastiff's mouth came a 
streamer on which the name of KimboUon was written ; at his feet were 
several little curs, before whose mouths was written Pym, Pym, Pym; 
from the lion*s jaws these words issued, Quousque tandem ahuteris pa- 
tient ia nostra f 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 635. 


venture to speak of peace as a necessity ? Victory 
and liberty were alone necessary ; tliey must be pur- 
chased at any price ; and that blessed work of reform 
must be carried to its full extent, wbich had been im- 
perilled so often by selfish or timid men, and so often 
saved by the strong arm of the Lord. Such language 
was everywhere to be heard ; everywhere did the Inde- 
pendents, whether freethinkers or fanatics, citizens, 
preachers, or soldiers, give open expression to their 
passions and aspirations ; and in all their speeches the 
name of Cromwell was introduced, for he was more 
vehement than all others in his expressions, and was 
already regarded as most skilful in the contrivance of 
deep designs. " My Lord," he said one day to Man- 
chester, in whom his party still reposed great confi- 
dence, " be wholly one of us ; say no more that we 
must hold ourselves open to peace, keep on good terms 
with the Lords, and fear the refusal of Parliament ; 
what have we to do with peace and the Lords ? It will 
never be well with England till you are plain Mr. 
Montague, and there is ne'er a lord or peer in the 
kingdom ; if you will stick firm to honest men, you 
shall soon find yourself at the head of an army which 
shall give the law to both King and Parliament."^ 

But, notwithstanding the audacity of his hopes, 
Cromwell himself had no idea how near at hand 
was the triumph of his party, or how sad a fate 
was speedily to befal the adversary whom he most 

' Ilollis's Memoirs, p. 18. Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. V. p. 14. 


Essex had continued to advance into the west, 
unaware of the dangers that were collecting behind 
him, and led onwards by constant and easy victories. 
In three weeks, he had raised the siege of Lyme, occu- 
pied Weymouth, Barnstaple, Tiverton, and Taunton, 
and dispersed, almost without a conflict, the various 
Royalist bodies which attempted to impede his pro- 
gress. As he drew near to Exeter, the Queen sent to 
request a safe-conduct, that she might go to Bath or 
Bristol, to regain her strength, after her confinement. 
" If your Majesty pleases," rephed Essex, " I will not 
only give you safe-conduct, but wait upon you myself 
to London, where you may have the best advice and 
means for restoring your health ; but as for either of 
the other places, I cannot obey your Majesty's desire, 
without directions from the Parliament."^ Filled with 
terror, the Queen fled to Falmouth, where she embarked 
for France, on the 14th of July ; and Essex continued 
his march. He was still within sight of Exeter, when 
he learned that the King, having defeated Waller, was 
advancing rapidly against him, and collecting on his 
road all the forces at his command. A council of war 
was immediately called ; the question to be decided was, 
whether they should continue their march and estabhsh 
their position in Cornwall, or turn back to meet the 
King, and offer him battle. Essex inchned towards 
the latter alternative ; but several officers, among 
others Lord Roberts, a friend of Sir Hai'ry Vane, 
possessed large estates in Cornwall, from which they 
had long been unable to derive any income ; and they 

' Rusliworth, part iii. vol ii. p. 684 ; Whitelocke, p. 93. 


reckoned on this expedition to obtain payment from 
their tenants. They, therefore, opposed all idea of 
return, declaring that the people of Cornwall, who had 
long been oppressed by the RoyaHsts, would rise at 
the approach of the army, and that Essex would thus 
have the honour of depriving the King of a county 
which had hitherto been his firmest support.^ Essex 
allowed himself to be persuaded, and plunged into the 
wilds of Cornwall, sending, at the same time, to 
London for reinforcements. The people did not rise 
in his favour, provisions were scarce, and the King was 
already close upon him. He wrote again to London, 
that his position was becoming dangerous, and that it 
was absolutely necessary that Waller, or some other 
commander, by falling on the rear of the King's army, 
should enable him to extricate liis troops. The Com- 
mittee of both kingdoms loudly lamented his misfor- 
tune, and appeared to be animated by an earnest desire 
to succour him ; public prayers were offered up on his 
behalf;^ orders were sent to Waller, to Middleton, and 
even to Manchester, who had returned from the north 
with part of his army, to hasten to the Earl's assistance. 
The generals, in their turn, manifested the utmost 
ardour. Waller wrote to desire that supplies of men 
and money might be sent him without delay : "I 
call the God of heaven to witness," he said, " that it 
is not my fault that I am not gone already to assist 
the Lord-general ; and I wish the blood and infamy 

• Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 524 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. ii. p. 690. 

^ On the I3th of August, 1644. — Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. ]>. 697. 


may rest on the heads of them that lay obstructions in 
my way. If money cannot be had, I will march with- 
out it." But he did not march. Middleton used 
similar language, and put his troops in motion, but 
halted at the first obstacle. No corps was detached 
from Manchester's army.^ Rendered confident by the 
victory of Marston Moor, the Independent leaders, 
Vane, St. John, Ireton, and Cromwell, were willing 
to purchase, by a signal defeat, the ruin of their 

They had no conception that, at that very moment, 
in his deep distress, Essex probably held their fate in 
his hands. On the 6th of August, at his head- quarters 
at Lostwithiel, a letter from the King was delivered to 
liim, expressive of the utmost esteem, full of the fairest 
promises, and urging him to restore peace to his 
country. Lord Beauchamp, the Earl's nephew, was 
the bearer of the message ; and several colonels in his 
army seemed favourable to it.^ But Essex would give 
no answer : " The best advice I can give the King," 
he said, "is to go to his Parliament." Charles did 
not insist ; perhaps even, notwithstanding the disaster 
of Marston Moor, he was stiU far from desiring the 
intervention of such a mediator. But he was sur- 
rounded by many earnest advocates of peace ; a spirit 
of independence and inquiry was spreading among the 
Royalists ; the kingly name no longer exercised its old 
influence over them ; and m their private meetings, 

' Whitelocke, pp. 101, 102 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 55. 
2 Among others, Colonels Weare and Butler. — Rush worth, part iii. 
vol. ii. p. 710. 


many officers freely discussed public affairs, and gave 
expression to their own wishes. Persuaded that Essex 
had rejected every overture merely because he put no 
faith in the King's promises, they resolved to make 
pro230sals to him in their own name, and to invite him 
to treat with them. The Lords Wilmot and Percy, 
who commanded the cavalry and artillery in the 
King's army, were at the head of this design; the 
former was a reckless and witty Cavalier, an inveterate 
drinker, and a favourite with the army on account of 
the jovial affability of his disposition ; the latter was 
cold and haughty, but he was bold in speech, and kept 
a good table, to which his brother officers were always 
welcome. On being informed of their project, and 
that a letter was circulating in their name, Charles 
was exceedingly indignant ; but the intention found 
favour even with those who blamed the means 
adopted for effecting it. The King, not daring to 
prohibit, thought it best to approve ; the letter became 
an official document, authorized by his sanction, and it 
was signed by Prince Maurice and the Earl of Brent- 
ford, Greneral-in-chief of his army, as well as by its 
original authors. On the 9th of August, a trumpeter 
was despatched with it to the enemy's camp. " My 
Lords," wrote Essex in reply, " in the beginning of 
your letter, you express by what authority you send it. 
I, having no power from the Parliament, who em- 
ployed me, to treat, cannot give way to it without 
breach of trust. Your humble servant, Essex." This 
dry refusal greatly irritated the Eoyahsts ; all further 
attempts at negociation were abandoned. Wilmot 


and Percy were deprived of their commands; and 
hostilities resumed their course.^ 

Essex soon found liimself in a desperate position ; 
he renewed the fight every day, but he fell daily into 
gTeater dangers ; his soldiers were thoroughly weary, 
and conspiracies were rife in then- ranks -^ the King 
pressed nearer and nearer to his lines, and threw up 
redoubts in every direction. Abeady the Earl's 
cavalry had not space enough to collect forage ; he 
retained scarcely any free communication with the sea, 
the only way by which he could procure supplies of 
provisions ; and at last, towards the end of August, 
he was so closely surrounded that, from the neigh- 
bouring heights, the Eoyalists could see all that was 
passing in his camp. In this extremity, he gave orders 
to his cavalry, under the command of Sir William 
Balfour, to make their way as they best could, through 
the enemy's lines ; and with the infantry, he began 
his march towards Fowey harbour. Under favour of 
the night and a thick fog, the cavalry succeeded in 
passing between two Eoyalist divisions ; but the in- 
fantry, proceeding along narrow and heavy roads, 
pursued by the King's whole army, and compelled 
to abandon their artillery and baggage, soon lost 
all hope of safety. A capitulation was loudly recom- 
mended. In great dejection and perplexity, anxious 
to escape so bitter a humiliation, Essex, without 
consulting any one, and accompanied by two officers 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 69J — 697 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 537 — 539. 
^ Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii, p. 698. 


only/ suddenly quitted his camp, gained the coast, 
and embarked for Plymouth, leaving his army under 
the command of Major-Greneral Skippon.^ 

As soon as his departure became known, Skippon 
called a council of war. *' Gentlemen," he said, " you 
see our general and some chief ofiftcers have thought 
fit to leave us, and our horse are got away ; we are 
left alone upon our defence. That which I propound 
to you is this, that we, having the same courage as 
our horse had, and the same God to assist us, may 
make the same trial of our fortunes, and endeavour to 
make our way through our enemies, as they have 
done; and account it better to die with honour and 
faithfulness, than to live dishonourably." But Skippon 
was unable to animate the council with his own 
heroism. Many officers in that army, though brave 
and faithful, were moderate Presbyterians, and, like 
Lord Essex, were melancholy and despondent. The 
King proposed to them a capitulation, on better terms 
than they had ventured to hope for ; he required only 
that the artillery, arms, and ammunition should be 
given up ; all the men, both officers and soldiers, were 
to remain at liberty, and were even to be conducted in 
safety to the nearest Parliamentarian quarters. These 
conditions were accepted on the 1st of September ; and 
under the escort of the Royahst horse, the Parha- 
mentarian battalions retraced their steps, without a 

> These were Sir John Merrick, who commanded the artillery, and 
Lord Eoberts, who had persuaded Essex to enter Cornwall. 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 699 — 703 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 545 — 547 ; Whitelocke, p. 102. 


general and without arms, through those counties 
which they had so recently traversed as conquerors.^ 

In the meanwhile, Essex had landed at Plymouth, 
and written to inform the Parliament of his disaster. 
" It is the greatest blow," he said, " that ever befel 
our party ; I desire nothing more than to come to the 
trial ; such losses as these must not be smothered up."^ 
A week after, he received the following answer from 
London : " My Lord, the Committee of both king- 
doms having acquainted the Houses of Parliament 
with your Lordship's letters from Plymouth, they 
have commanded us to let you know that, as they 
apprehended the misfortune of that accident, and 
submit to God's pleasure therein, so their good affec- 
tions to your Lordship, and their opinion of your 
fidelity and merit in the public service, is not at all 
lessened. And they have resolved not to be wanting 
in their best endeavours for repairing of this loss, and 
drawing together such a strength under your command 
as may, with the blessing of God, restore our affairs 
to a better condition than they are now in ; to which 
purpose they have written to the Earl of Manchester 
to march with all possible speed towards Dorchester, 
with all the forces he can of horse and foot. Sir 
Wilham Waller is hkewise ordered to march speedily 
unto Dorchester, with all his horse and foot. The 
House have appointed six thousand foot-arms, five 
hundred pairs of pistols, and six thousand suits of 

' Riishworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 704—709 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 547, 548. 

* Essex to Sir Philip Stapleton ; Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 703. 



clothes, shirts, &c. to meet your Lordship at Ply- 
mouth, for the arming and encouragement of your 
forces. And they are confident your Lordship's pre- 
sence in those parts, for bringing the forces together 
into a body, and disposing of them, will very much 
conduce to the public advantage."^ 

The Earl's surprise was extreme ; he had expected 
impeachment, or at all events, severe censure ; but his 
fidelity had so recently been proved, the extent of the 
disaster was so great, and the necessity of presenting 
an imposing front to the enemy was so imperious, that 
all the waverers joined his partizans, and his opponents 
abstained from attacking him. Essex, embarrassed by 
misfortune and mistake, no longer seemed to them a 
formidable antagonist ; they knew him well, and fore- 
saw that ere long, in order to spare his dignity such 
violent assaults, he would voluntarily resign his office. 
Until that moment arrived, by treating him with 
honour, they manifested their own energy ; an awk- 
ward inquiry into the secret causes of the disaster would 
be avoided, and the most earnest advocates of peace 
would now be engaged in a new effort for continuing 
the war. As politic as they were earnest, the Inde- 
pendent leaders remained silent ; and the Parliament 
seemed unanimous in bearing this great reverse with 
courageous dignity. 

This activity and firmness of attitude at first checked 
the King's movements ; he sent a pacific message to 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 708 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 289. The letter is dated on the 7th of September, 1644, and 
signed by the Speakers of both Houses. 


both Houses, and then spent three weeks in present- 
ing himself before various towns, Plymouth, Lyme, 
and Portsmouth, which refused to surrender ; but 
towards the end of September, he learned that Mont- 
rose, who had long promised him a civil war in 
Scotland, had at length succeeded in kindling it, and 
was ah'eady advancing from triumph to triumph. 
After the battle of Marston Moor, in the disguise of 
a servant, and with only two companions, Montrose 
had crossed the Scottish frontier on foot, and pro- 
ceeded to Strathern, the residence of his cousin, 
Patrick Grrahame of Inchbrackie, at the entrance of 
the Higlilands, there to await the landing of the 
Irish auxilaries whom Antrim had promised to send 
him. By day he remained in concealment ; at night 
he wandered through the neighbouring mountains, 
personally collecting, from place to place, the reports 
of his confidants. Ere long, news reached him that 
the Irish bands had landed on the 8th of July, 
and were advancing into the country, pillaging and 
ravaging as they went, but not knowing whither 
to march, and seeking anxiously for the general who 
had been promised them. They had nearly reached 
Athol, when Montrose, in Highland costume and 
with a single attendant, suddenly appeared in their 
camp ; they immediately acknowledged him as their 
leader. At the news of his arrival, several clans 
hastened to join him. Without losing a moment, he 
led them on to battle, expecting everything from 
their courage, and withholding nothing from their 
rapacity. In a fortnight, he had gained two bat- 

K 2 


ties/ occcupied Perth, taken Aberdeen by storm, 
raised most of the northern clans to revolt, and spread 
terror to the very gates of Edinburgh. 

On hearing this news, Cliarles believed that the dis- 
aster of Marston Moor was repaired, that the Parlia- 
ment would soon meet once more with a powerful adver- 
sary in the north, and that he might himself fear- 
lessly pursue the course of his successes in the south. 
He resolved to march upon London ; and to give his 
expedition the appearance of a popular and decisive 
measure, at the moment of his departure, he issued a 
proclamation caUing upon all his subjects in the 
southern and eastern counties to rise in arms, to 
choose their own officers, and to join him on his road, 
that they might aid him in requiring the Parliament 
to accept propositions of peace.^ 

But the Houses had taken their measures ; the 
combined forces of Manchester, Waller, and Essex 
already covered the western approaches to London ; 
never had the Parhament possessed so large a force 
at one single point ; and on the first rumour of the 
King's approach, five regiments of the London militia, 
under the command of Sir James Harrington, marched 
out to join the main army. At the same time, new 
taxes were imposed ; the Commons resolved that the 
royal plate, which until then had been preserved in the 
Tower, should be melted down for the public service. 
And when it was known that the two armies were in 

• At Tippermuir, on the 1st of September, and at Dee Bridge, on the 
12th of the same month. 

* This proclamation is dated from Chard, September, 1644. — Rush- 
worth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 715. 


presence, the shops were shut, the people thronged 
to the churches, and a solemn fast was ordained to 
invoke the blessing of the Lord on the impending 

In the camp as in the city, a battle was daily 
expected ; Essex alone, from illness and dejection, 
remained motionless in London, though he was still 
invested with the command. On learning that he 
had not left town, the House appointed a committee 
to wait upon him, and assure him of their undi- 
minished confidence and affection. Essex thanked the 
Commissioners, but did not join his army.^ The battle 
was fought in his absence, on the 27th of October, at 
Newbury, almost on the same ground where, during 
the previous year, on his return from Gloucester, he 
had won so glorious a victory. Lord Manchester 
commanded in his stead. The action was long and 
bloody ; the soldiers of Essex, in particular, performed 
prodigies of valour ; at sight of the cannon which 
they had recently lost in Cornwall, they rushed upon 
the royal batteries, recaptured their guns, and as they 
brought them back to their own lines, kissed them 
with transports of joy. Some of Manchester's regi- 
ments, on the other hand, suifered a rather severe 
repulse. For a moment, both parties claimed the 
victory ; but, on the next morning, the King, giving 
up his designs upon London, commenced his retreat, 
in order to take up his winter-quarters at Oxford.^ 

> Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 719, 720; Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. cols. 294, 295, 308. 

"^ Whitclocke, p. 108 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 293. 

^ Whitelocko, pp. 108, 109; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 


Meanwhile the Parliament was almost silent about 
its victory ; no thanksgiving service was celebrated ; 
and on the 30th of October, the day after the news of 
the victory had reached London, the monthly fast 
appointed by both Houses took place as usual, as 
though there had been no ground for public rejoicing. 
The people were astonished at this want of enthusiasm. 
Ere long, however, unsatisfactory rumours began to 
spread : the victory, it was said, might have been 
made much more decisive ; but dissensions prevailed 
among the Generals ; they had allowed the King to 
retreat unopposed, almost within sight of their army, 
on a clear moonlight night, when the slightest move- 
ment would have been sufficient to prevent it. Soon, 
further intelligence arrived that the King had appeared 
again in the neighbourhood of Newbury, and that, on 
the 9th of November, he had been allowed to remove 
his artillery from Donnington Castle, and had even 
offered to renew the battle, without rousing the Par- 
liamentarian army from its shameful inactivity.^ The 
clamour now became general ; the House of Commons 
ordered an inquiry. Cromwell eagerly seized this 
opportunity to break out : " All the blame," he said, 
" must be kid on the Earl of Manchester. He has 
betrayed the Parliament out of cowardice. Since the 
taking of York, he hath declined whatever tended to 
further advantage upon the enemy, as if he thought 

vol. iv. pp. 582 — 589 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, pp. 55 — 57 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. col. 29(5; Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 721 — 730. 

' Ivushworth, part iii. vol. ii. p[). 729 — 732; CIareudon'.s History of 
the Eebellioii, vol, iv, jip, 590. 591. 


the King too low and the ParUament too high. At 
the King's being last at Newbury, when he drew off 
his cannon, he might very easily have defeated his 
whole army. I went to the Earl, and showed him 
evidently how it might be done ; and desired him that 
he would give me leave, with my own brigade of horse, 
to charge the King's army in their retreat. But, 
notwit] I standing all importunity used by me and other 
oflB.cers, he positively and obstinately refused to con- 
sent ; giving no other reason but that, even if we 
overthrew the King's army, he would soon have 
another to keep up the war ; whereas, if we were 
overthrown, there was an end of our pretensions, we 
should all be rebels and traitors, and be executed and 
forfeited by law." These last words produced a great 
sensation in the House, for it could not endure the 
lawfulness of its resistance to be called in question. 
On the next day, in the Upper House, Manchester 
answered the attack, explained his conduct and lan- 
guage, and accused Cromwell, in his turn, of insub- 
ordination, falsehood, and even treachery or perfidy ; 
for, he said, on the day of battle, neither he nor his 
regiment had appeared at the post assigned to them. 
Cromwell took no notice of this recrimination, but 
merely repeated his accusations with additional violence.' 
The Presbyterians were in great agitation ; for a long- 
while they had regarded Cromwell's policy with feelings 
of alarm. First of all, they had seen him flattering and 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 732 — 736 ; Paiiiamentary Histoi-y, 
vol. iii. col. 297 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 58 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 18 ; 
Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 13—15. 


fawning upon Manchester, losing no opportunity of 
extolling him at the expense of Essex, and gradually 
acquiring more influence in his army than the earl 
himself possessed. He had made it the resort of the 
Independents and other sectaries, who were equally 
hostile to the Covenant and the King: under his 
protection, fanatical license prevailed in its ranks ; all 
taught, prayed, and preached as they pleased, and with 
no authority but their own caprice. In vain, with a 
view to counterbalance Cromwell's influence, had 
Colonel Skeldon Crawford, a rigid Presbyterian, and a 
Scotsman by birth, been appointed Major- General of 
the army. AU Crawford had done had been foolislily 
to accuse Cromwell of cowardice ; and Cromwell, ever 
watchful to discover the faults of his opponent, to 
render him unpopular with the soldiers, and to 
denounce him to the people and Parliament, had soon 
rendered liim incapable of doing him injury.^ 

Emboldened by this success, and by the evident 
progress of his party, he had openly declared himself 
the advocate of liberty of conscience, and had even 
obtained from the House, with the help of the free- 
thinkers and philosophers, the appointment of a com- 
mittee for the purpose of inquiring how they might best 
unite with the Dissenters, or how "tender consciences, 
who could not in all things submit to the common 
rule which might be established, might be borne with 
consistently with Scripture, and the public peace."^ 

' Baillie's Letters, vol. ii. jip. 40, 41, 42, 49, 57, 60, 66, 69; Hollis's 
Memoirs, p. 15. 

'^ On the 13th of September, 16-14. -Eailhe'.s Letters, vol. ii. pp. 57, 61 ; 
Commons' Journak, vol. iii. p. 6^5. 


He now attacked Manchester himself, spoke msiiltingly 
of the Scots, boasted that he would triumph without 
their aid, and even that he would drive them from 
England, if, in their turn, they ventured on oppressive 
measures ; in a word, he carried his audacity so far, as 
to attack the throne, the Lords, indeed, all the ancient 
and legal institutions of the country/ Irritated and 
alarmed, the Presbyterian leaders, the moderate 
politicians, the Scottish Commissioners — Hollis, 
Stapleton, Merrick, Glynn, and their adherents — met 
at Essex House to devise means for defeatino* so 
dangerous an enemy. After a long conference, they 
resolved to consult Wliitelocke and Maynard, two 
eminent lawyers of great reputation in the House, and 
whom they had reason to believe favourable to their 
cause. They were sent for by the Lord-General, late 
at night ; and no intimation was given them of the 
business on which they were summoned. They came 
in some anxiety, for the whole affair was to them 
surrounded with great mystery. After some pre- 
liminary compliments, Lord Loudoun, the Chancellor 
of Scotland, thus addressed them : " Gentlemen, you 
know very well that Lieutenant-General Cromwell is 
no friend of ours ; and since the advance of our army 
into England, he hath used all underhand and cunning 
means to take off from our honour and merit in this 
kingdom. He is also no well-wisher to his Excellency 
the Lord-General, whom you and we all have cause to 
love and honour ; and if he be permitted to go on in 

' Whitelocke, p. 116; Lords' Journals, vol. vii. p. 76; Clarendon's; 
History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 27. 


his ways, it may, I fear, endanger the whole business. 
You are well acquainted with the accord between the 
two kingdoms, and the union by the Solemn League 
and Covenant ; and if any be an incendiary between 
the two nations, how is he to be proceeded against? 
By our law in Scotland, we call him an incendiary who 
kindleth coals of contention, and raiseth differences in 
the State to the public damage ; and we desire your 
opinions, whether your law be the same or not, and 
whether Lieutenant- Greneral Cromwell be not such an 
incendiary, and what way would be best to proceed 
against him, if he be proved to be so." 

The two lawyers looked at each other in surprise ; 
aU were anxious for their answer. After waiting in 
silence for a few moments, Wliitelocke spoke. " I see 
none of this honourable company," he said, " is pleased 
to discourse further on these points, and therefore, not 
to detain you longer, I shall, with submission to your 
Excellency and to these honourable Commissioners of 
Scotland, declare freely and humbly my opinion upon 
those particulars which have been so clearly proposed 
by my Lord Chancellor. The sense of the word 
incendiary is the same with us as by the law of Scot- 
land ; but whether Lieutenant-Greneral Cromwell be 
such an incendiary, cannot be known but by proofs of 
his particular words or actions, tending to the kindhng 
of the fires of contention betwixt the two nations, and 
raising of differences between us. In the first place, I 
take it that my Lord-Greneral and my Lords the Com- 
missioners of Scotland, being persons of so great 
honoui' and authority, must not appear in any business. 


especially of an accusation, unless you see beforehand 
it will be clearly made out. Next, as to the person 
who is to be accused, I take Lieutenant-General Crom- 
well to be a gentleman of quick and subtle parts, and 
one who hath (especially of late) gained no small inte- 
rest in the House of Commons ; nor is he wanting of 
friends in the House of Peers, nor of abilities in him- 
self to manage his own part of defence to the best 
advantage. I have not yet heard any particulars 
mentioned by his Excellency, nor by my Lord Chan- 
cellor or any other, nor do I know any in my private 
observations, which will amount to a clear proof of 
such matters as will satisfy the House of Commons 
that Lieutenant-General Cromwell is an incendiary, 
and should be punished accordingly. I apprehend it 
to be doubtful, and therefore cannot advise that, at 
this time, he should be accused ; but rather that direc- 
tion may be given to collect such particular passages 
relating to liim, by which your Lordships may judge 
whether they will amount to prove him an incendiary 
or not. And this being done, we may again wait on 
your Excellency, if you please ; and upon view of those 
proofs we shall be the better able to advise, and your 
Lordship to judge, what will be fit to be done in this 

Maynard concmTed with Whitelocke, adding that 
the word iyicendiary was seldom used in English law, 
and would give rise to much uncertainty. Hollis, 
Stapleton, and Merrick strongly m-ged their plan, 
stating that Cromwell had not so much intluence in 
the House as was supposed, and that they would will- 


ingly undertake to impeach him ; and they quoted 
many actions and sayings of his, which, they said, 
clearly proved his designs. But the Scottish Commis- 
sioners refused to engage in the quarrel. At about 
two o'clock in the morning, Maynard and Wliitelocke 
withdrew, and the conference had no other result than to 
lead Cromwell to hasten his measures, for " some false 
brethren," says Wliitelocke, though it probably was 
Wliitelocke himself, " informed him of all that passed." * 
Essex and his friends now sought another remedy 
for the evil which threatened them : all their thoughts 
turned towards peace. The Houses had never posi- 
tively ceased to discuss the possibility of a pacific 
arrangement : at one time, a formal motion had pro- 
duced a debate in which the fate of the country was 
decided by the single vote of the Speaker -^ at other 
times, the ambassadors of France and Holland, who 
were incessantly travelling between Oxford and London, 
had offered tlieu' mediation ; but the offer, made with- 
out sincerity, had always been evaded, and had only 
caused embarrassment to both parties.^ So many 
persons were desirous of peace, that no one would have 

' Whitelocke, jjp. 116, 117; Wood's Athence Oxonienses, vol. ii. 
col. 546. 

* On the 29tli of March, 1644, on a motion that a committee should 
be appointed to examine the offers of mediation by the Dutch Ambas- 
sador, the House divided equally, and the Speaker gave his casting 
vote in the negative. — Parliamentaiy History, vol. iii. col. 253. 

^ The Dutch ambassadoi's ofFei-ed the mediation of the States 
General on the 20th of March, the 12th of July, and the 7th of Novem- 
ber, 1644. The Count d'Harcourt, ambassador of France, who arrived 
in London in July, 1644, had audience of the Parliament on the 14th of 
August, and left England in February, 1645. — Parliamentary History, 
vol iii. cols. 252, 263, 278, 285, 293, 298, 314 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. iv. pp. 325 — 328. 


ventured to oppose it openly ; and for more than six 
months, a committee of" members of both Houses 
and Scottish Commissioners, had been engaged in 
frammg propositions on the subject. The Presby- 
terian party suddenly became anxious to bring the 
labours of this committee to an end : in a few days, 
the propositions were laid before the Houses for dis- 
cussion, and adopted ;^ and on the 20th of November, 
nine commissioners set out to present them to the 
King, They believed that he was at WaLLingford, 
and proceeded thither accordingly ; but after keeping 
them waiting for two hours, during which he raised 
all sorts of quibbling objections to their mission, safe- 
conduct, and retinue, the governor, Colonel Blake, at 
last admitted them, to tell them that the King was 
not there, and that they would probably find him at 
Oxford. They wished to remain at Wallingford for 
the night ; but so angry a conversation soon sprang 
up between Blake and Lord Denbigh, the president of 
the commission, Blake's language was so violent, and 
the attitude of the garrison so threatening, that they 
considered it advisable to withdraw without delay. 
The next day, on arriving near Oxford, they halted on 
a small eminence, at a short distance from the city, 
and sent a trumpeter to announce their arrival to the 
governor. Some hours passed, but no answer was re- 
turned. Meanwhile the King, walking in his garden, 
perceiving the group formed by the Commissioners and 
their retinue on the hill, inquired who they were, and 

I On the 8th of November, 1644 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 299. 


on being informed, sent Mr, Killigrew at once with 
orders to bring them into the town, to provide them 
with suitable accommodation, and to express his regret 
that they had been kept waiting so long. As they 
passed through the streets of Oxford, under the escort 
of a few Cavaliers, the mob crowded around them, 
loaded them with insults, and even pelted them with 
stones and mud. They were taken to a miserable inn, 
but they had scarcely estabhshed themselves in their 
new quarters, before a violent tumult arose near their 
apartments. Hollis and Whitelocke went out at once 
to mquire the cause, and found that some Royalist 
officers had entered the hall of the inn, and begun to 
quarrel with the Commissioners' servants, calling them 
and their masters " rogues, rebels, and traitors," and 
refusing to allow them to come near the fire. Hollis 
seized one of the officers by the collar, shook him 
roughly, and pushed him out of the hall, telling him 
he ought to be ashamed of his conduct. White- 
locke did the same ; the doors of the inn were closed ; 
and the governor sent a guard to prevent further dis- 
turbances. During the evening, several members of 
the council, Hyde among others, called upon the 
Commissioners, apologized for the disorderly conduct 
of the Eoyalists, and expressed their earnest desire to 
co-operate with them in obtaining peace ; and the 
King sent word that he would give them audience on 
the following day.^ 

The audience was of short duration. Lord Denbigh 

1 On the 2nd of November, 1644; Whitelocke, pp. I] 2, 113 ; PaHia- 
nientary History, vol. iii. col. 310. 


read aloud, in presence of the Council and Court, the 
propositions agreed on hy the Parhament ; they were 
of such a character that the King could not have 
been expected to accept them ; he v^as called upon to 
submit his authority to the control of a suspicious 
Parhament, and to surrender his party to its vengeance. 
More than once an angry murmur broke from the 
assembled Cavaliers ; and especially when Lord Den- 
bigh named Prince Eupert and Prince Maurice, who 
were standing near the King, as excluded from any 
amnesty, the courtiers could hardly restrain their 
laughter ; but the King, turning towards them with a 
severe look, imposed silence on all, and continued to 
listen with great patience and gravity. When Lord 
Denbigh had finished reading, the King inquired : 
"Have you power to treat?" "We have not," re- 
plied the Earl : " our commission was to present the 
propositions, and to desire your answer in writing." 
" You shall have it as soon as possible," said Charles ; 
and the Commissioners returned to theu' lodgings.^ 

On the same evening, with the consent of their col- 
leagues, Holhs and Whitelocke paid a visit to Lord 
Lindsey, a gentleman of the King's bed-chamber^ and 
an old friend of theirs, whose wounds had prevented 
him from calling upon them. They had scarcely been 
with him a quarter of an hour, when the King entered, 
and saluted them with great pohteness : " I am sorry, 
gentlemen," he said, " that you could bring me no 
better propositions for peace, nor more reasonable than 
these are." " They are such, sir," returned Holhs, 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 310. 


" as the Parliament thought fit to agree upon, and I 
hope a good issue may be had out of them." The 
King : "I know you could bring no other than what 
they would send ; but I confess I do not a little 
wonder at some of them. Surely you yourselves 
cannot think them to be reasonable, or honourable for 
me to grant." HoUis : " Truly, sir, I could have wished 
that some of them had been otherwise than they are ; 
but your Majesty knows that those things are all 
carried by the major vote." The King : " I know they 
are, and am confident that you who are here, and your 
friends (I must not say your party) in the House, 
endeavoured to have had them otherwise ; for I know 
you are well-wiUers to peace." Whitelocke : "I have 
had the honour to attend your Majesty often hereto- 
fore upon this errand, and am sorry it was not to 
better effect." The King : " I wish, Mr. Wliitelocke, 
that others had been of your judgment and of Mr. 
HoUis's judgment, and then, I believe, we had had 
an happy end of our differences before now. I do 
earnestly desire peace myself; and in order to it, and 
out of the confidence I have in you two that are here 
with me, I ask your opinion and advice, what answer 
will be best for me to give at this time to your pro- 
positions, which may probably further such a peace as 
aU good men desire." HoUis : " Your Majesty will 
pardon us if we are not capable in our present condi- 
tion to advise your Majesty." Whitelocke : " We 
now by accident have the honour to be in your 
Majesty's presence ; but our present employment 
disables us from advising your Majesty, if we were 


otherwise able to do it, in this particular." The King: 
" For your abilities, I am able to judge ; and I now 
look not on you in your employments from the Parlia- 
ment ; but as friends and my private subjects, I 
require your advice." Hollis : " Sir, to speak in a 
private capacity, your Majesty sees that we have been 
very free ; and touching your answer I shall say further, 
that I think the best answer would be your own 
coming amongst us." The King: " How can I come 
thither with safety?" Hollis : " I am confident there 
would be no danger to your person to come away 
directly to your Parliament." The King : " That may 
be a question ; but I suppose your principals, who 
sent you hither, will expect a present answer to your 
message." Whitelocke : " The best present and most 
satisfactory answer, I humbly believe, would be your 
Majesty's presence with your Parliament." The 
King : " Let us pass by that, and let me desire you 
two, Mr. HoUis and Mr. Wliitelocke, to go into the 
next room, and a little to confer together, and to set 
down somewhat in writing which you apprehend may 
be fit for me to return in answer to your message, and 
which in your judgments may facilitate and promote 
this good work of peace." Hollis : " We shall obey 
your Majesty's command." 

They then proceeded into an adjoining room ; and 
after some hesitation, Whitelocke, carefally dis- 
guising his handwriting, drew up the opinion which 
the King had requested of them ; then, leaving the 
paper on the table, they retu.rned into the other room. 
The King then went alone into the room they had 



just left, took the paper, came back with it, and then, 
bidding the Commissioners farewell " with much 
favour and civility," left them with Lord Lindsey. 
They returned soon after to their inn, and carefully 
abstained from informing their colleagues of what had 

Tlii'ee days after, on the 27 th of November, the 
King sent for the Commissioners, and gave Lord 
Denbigh a sealed paper, without any address. " This 
is my answer," he said ; " you may deliver it to them 
that sent you." Surprised at this unusual form of 
proceeding, and at finding the King so obstinate in 
his refusal to give the name of Parliament to the 
Houses at Westminster, the Earl requested permission 
to retire for a moment with his colleagues, to dehbe- 
rate on the course they would have to pursue. " Why 
deliberate?" said the King; ''^ you have no power to 
treat ; you told me so when you arrived, and I know 
you have had no post from London since." Lord 
Denbigh persisted in his demand, alleging that the 
Commissioners might possibly have some observations 
to make to his Majesty on his answer. " I will hear 
anything you have to deliver from London," said the 
King sharply, " but by your favour, none of the 
fancies and chimeras you have taken up at Oxford ; 
you shall put no tricks on me." " Sir," replied the 
Earl, " we are not persons to put tricks upon any, 
much less upon your Majesty." *' I mean it not to 
you," said Charles, apologetically. Lord Denbigh 

' Whitelocke, p. 113; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 38. 


then begged the King to inform him to whom the 
paper was adcbessed. " It is my answer/' said Charles, 
" I give it to you, and you must take it, though it 
were a haUad, or a song of Robin Hood." " The 
business about which we come," said the Earl, " is of 
somewhat more consequence than that song." '' I 
know it," replied the King ; " but you told me twice 
you had no power to treat ; my memory is as good as 
yours ; you were only to deliver the propositions ; a 
postilion might have done as much as you." " That 
is not our condition," returned Lord Denbigh, 
" though I would be glad, in these distracted times, 
to do service to your Majesty and the kingdom in any 
condition." " I mean it not to your persons," ex- 
plained Charles ; " but once more, this is my answer ; 
you must take it ; I am not bound to answer anything 
more." The conversation became warmer every 
moment. HolHs and Pierrepoint endeavoured in vain 
to induce the King to say that his message was 
addressed to the two Houses. The Commissioners at 
length determined to receive it in the form in which 
it was offered, and took their leave. In the evening, 
Mr. Ashburnham, one of the King's attendants, 
came to them. " His Majesty," he said, " is sensible 
some words may have fallen from him in his passion 
that might give discontent ; it was not so mtended by 
him, and he desires that the best construction may be 
made of it." The Commissioners assured him they 
would pay the most respectful deference to the words 
of the King, and returned to London, accompanied by 
a trumpeter, who was sent to receive the answer of the 

L 2 


Parliament to the sealed paper of wliicli they were the 

It merely contained a request for a safe-conduct for 
the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Southampton, 
by whom the King promised to send an express and 
detailed answer in a few days. The safe-conduct was 
immediately granted ; the two lords arrived in London 
on the 14th of December; and on the 16th, they had 
an audience of the Parliament. They brought no 
answer as yet ; their official mission was limited to a 
request that conferences should be opened, and com- 
missioners appointed on both sides to treat of peace. 
But after they had delivered this message, they re- 
mained in London ; the report spread that large 
numbers of suspected persons were arriving ; and 
several members of both Houses had frequent inter- 
views with the two lords. The Common Council, in 
which the Independents were predominant, manifested 
the utmost alarm. The two lords were urged to 
leave London ; but they still lingered under frivolous 
pretexts. The general agitation increased; the pas- 
sions of the people threatened to break loose before 
party intrigues could be brought to a successful issue. 
At length, at the entreaty of even the friends of peace, 
the two lords returned to Oxford, on the 24th of 
December ; and three weeks after their departure, it 

' Rusliworth, part iii. vol. ii. p. 843 ; Parliamentaiy Histoiy, vol. iii. 
cols. 309 — 312 ; Whitelocke, pp. 114, 115. Lord Denbigh's report and 
Wliitelocke's narrative, though both were eye-witnesses, differ on 
several important points ; but these may be explained by the official 
character of the former of the documents, which was evidently prepared 
by the Commissioners to suit the House and the occasion. Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. iii. col. 309. 


was agreed that forty commissioners — twenty-three to 
represent the Parliaments of the two kingdoms, and 
seventeen to be appointed by the King — should meet 
at Uxbridge formally to discuss the conditions of a 

But whilst the Presbyterians were thus preparing 
the way for peace, the Independents were rendering 
war inevitable. On the 9th of December, the House of 
Commons met to take into consideration the sufferings 
of the kingdom, and to devise some means of relief. 
No one rose to speak ; aU seemed to await some 
decisive measure, for which none were willing to be 
responsible. After a long period of silence, Cromwell 
stood up, and spoke to this effect : " It is now a time 
to speak, or for ever hold the tongue. The important 
occasion now is no less than to save a nation out of a 
bleeding, nay almost dying condition, which the long 
continuance of this war hath already Ijrought it into ; 
so that without a more speedy, vigorous, and effectual 
prosecution of the war, — casting off all lingering pro- 
ceedings like those of soldiers-of-fortune beyond sea, 
to spin out a war, — we shall make the kingdom weary 
of us, and hate the name of a Parliament. 

" For what do the enemy say ? Nay, what do many 
say that were friends at the beginning of the Parha- 
ment ? Even this, That the members of both Houses 
have got great places and commands, and the sword 
into their hands ; and, what by interest in Parhament, 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 844—846 ; Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. cols. ;U5 — 320 ; Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. v. 
p. 36. 


what by power in the army, will perpetually continne 
themselves in grandeur, and not permit the war 
speedily to end, lest their own power should determine 
with it. This that I speak here to our own faces, is but 
what others do utter abroad behind oiu- backs. I am 
far from reflecting on any. I know the worth of those 
commanders, members of both Houses, who are yet in 
power; but if I may speak my conscience without 
reflection upon any, I do conceive, if the army be not 
put into another method, and the war more vigorously 
prosecuted, the people can bear the war no longer, and 
wiU enforce you to a dishonourable peace. 

" But this I would recommend to your prudence : 
not to insist upon any complaint or oversight of any 
Commander-in-Chief upon any occasion whatsoever ; for 
as I must acknowledge myself guilty of oversights, so 
I know they can rarely be avoided in military affairs. 
Therefore, waiving a strict inquiry into the causes of 
these things, let us apply ourselves to the remedy, 
which is most necessary. And I hope we have such 
true Enghsh hearts, and zealous affections towards the 
general weal of our mother country, as no members 
of either House will scruple to deny themselves, and 
their own private interests, for the public good ; nor 
account it to be a dishonour done to them, whatever 
the Parhament shall resolve upon in this weighty 

Another member rose and said, " Whatever is the 
matter, two summers are past over, and we are not 
saved. Our victories, (the price of blood invaluable,) 
so gallantly gotten, and, which is more pity, so gra- 


ciously bestowed, seem to have been put into a bag 
with holes ; for what we won one time, we lost at 
another. A summer's victory has proved but a winter's 
story; the game, shut up with autumn, was to be 
new played again next spring, as if the blood that has 
been shed were only to manure the field of war, for 
a more plentiful crop of contention. I determine 
nothing ; but tliis I would say — it is apparent that, 
the forces being under several great commanders, want 
of good correspondency among the chieftains has often- 
times hindered the public service." 

" There is but one way to put an end to these 
evils," said Zouch Tate, an obscure fanatic, whom the 
importance of his proposition has not rescued from his 
obscui-ity ; "we must all honestly deny ourselves. I 
move that no member of either House of ParHament 
shall, during the war, enjoy or execute any office or 
command, military or civil, and that an ordinance be 
brought in to that purpose."^ 

This proposition was not altogether new ; on the 
12th of December in the previous year, a similar idea 
had been expressed in the Upper House, but the 
matter was mentioned only casuaUy, and led to no 
result.^ Still more recently, on the 14th of November, 
1644, in obedience doubtless to popular clamour, the 
House of Commons had ordered an inquiry into the 
number and value of offices of every kind held by 

' Eush worth, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 3 — 5 ; Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. col. 326 ; Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, vol. i. pp. 217, 218 ; 
Clarendon's History of the RebeUion, vol. v. pp. 21 — 24. Clai'endou's 
account is manifestly inaccurate. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 187. 


members of Parliament. Either designedly or from 
embarrassment, the Presbyterians hesitated at first to 
oppose Tate's motion, and it passed almost without an 
objection. But two days after, when it was brought 
forward again in the form of a regular ordinance, the 
debate was long and violent, and was resumed four 
times within eight days.^ It was evident that the 
intention was to deprive the Presbyterians and 
moderate pohticians, the first leaders of the Revolu- 
tion, of all share in the executive power, to confine 
their action to Westminster Hall, and to create an 
army independent of the Parliament. The resistance 
to the measure was renewed with greater vehemence 
at every meeting of the House. Even some of those 
men who generally voted with the Independent party 
opposed this bill. "You know, sir," said White- 
locke, " that^ amongst the Greeks and Romans, the 
greatest offices, both of war and peace, were conferred 
upon their senators ; and their reasons were, because 
having the same interest with the Senate, and being 
present at their debates, they understood their 
business the better, and were less apt to break their 
trust. Our ancestors did the same ; they thought the 
members of Parliament fittest to be employed in the 
greatest offices. I hope you will be of the same judg- 
ment, and not pass this ordinance, and thereby dis- 
courage your faithful servants."^ Other speakers went 
still farther, and boldly denounced the secret ambition 
of their rivals, saying that, far from being a self- 

' On the 11th, 14th, 17th, aud 19th of December. 
2 Whitelocke, p. 120. 


denying ordinance, it was intended only to secure 
the triumph of " envy and self-ends."^ But the public 
put little trust in these predictions ; the Presbyterian 
party was effete and unpopular ; all but its adherents 
witnessed its fall without regret. Although the 
Independents were far from possessing a majority in 
the House, their motion was carried triumphantly 
tlirough all its stages. In vain, as a last effort, did 
the friends of Essex request that he alone might be 
excepted from the disability it entailed ; their amend- 
ment was rejected/ and on the 21st of December, the 
ordinance was finally adopted, and sent up to the 
House of Lords. 

All the hopes of the Presbyterians rested on the 
Lords. It was imperatively the interest of the Upper 
House to throw out the bill : nearly aU its members 
were affected by it ; and by passing it, they would 
lose aU their remaining power. But^ as far as public 
opinion was concerned, this was an additional source 
of discredit and weakness. To diminish this unpopu- 
larity, to clear themselves of all suspicion of connivance 
with the Cornet at Oxford, to discourage the Eoyalist 
plots which were ever ready to break out, and above 
all, to gratify the passions of the Presbyterian popu- 
lace, the leaders of that party, at the very moment that 
they were attempting to arrest the course of the 
Eevolution^ offered it further concessions and new 
victims. Four prosecutions, which had been com- 
menced long previously, but allowed to drop, were 

' Whitelocke, p. 120. 

* On the 17th of December, by a hundred votes against ninety-three. 


now resumed and hastened with unremitting vigour ; 
these were, the trial of Lord Maguire, for complicity in 
the Irish insm'rection ; that of the two Hothams, 
father and son, for having consented to surrender Hull 
to the King ; that of Sir Alexander Carew, for similar 
conduct with regard to the island of St. Nicholas, of 
which he was governor; and, finally, that of Laud, 
which had already been commenced, postponed, and 
resumed more than once. Maguire, the two Hothams, 
and Carew were guilty of recent offences, which were 
legally proved, and, if left unpunished, might be imi- 
tated. But Laud, an infirm old man, who had been 
four years a prisoner, had only to answer for giving 
his support to a despotism which had been overthrown 
four years previously. As in the case of Strafford, it 
was impossible to prove him guilty of high treason 
according to law. To condemn him, as Straff'ord had 
been condemned, by a bill of attainder, the King's 
consent was necessary; but theological hatred is as 
subtle as implacable. Foremost in the ranks of his 
prosecutors was that same Prynne whom Laud had 
formerly ordered to be so barbarously mutilated, and 
who was now, in his turn, eager to humiliate and 
crush his enemy. After a long trial, during which 
the archbishop manifested greater adroitness and pru- 
dence than was to have been expected of him, sentence 
was pronounced against him by an ordinance of both 
Houses, which was voted by only seven Lords, and 
which, even according to the traditions of parlia- 
mentary tyranny, was illegal.^ He died with pious 

' According to the Journals of the House of Lords, twenty peers 


courage, expressing utter contempt for his adversaries, 
and the deepest sohcitude for the King's future fate. 
The other trials had a similar issue; and during six 
weeks, the scaffold was erected five times on Tower 
Hill^ ; more frequently than had yet happened since 
the commencement of the Eevolution.^ The measures 
adopted for the maintenance of general order were 
dictated b}^ the same spirit. On the 3rd of January, 
1645, a week before Laud's execution, the liturgy of 
the Church of England, which had until then been 
tolerated, was abolished; and, at the suggestion of 
the Assembly of Divines, a work entitled, " Directions 
for Public Worship," received the sanction of Parlia- 
ment in its stead.^ The leaders of the Presbyterian 
party well knew that this innovation would meet with 
strenuous resistance, and they cared little about its 
success ; but in order to retain the power which they 
felt was about to escape from their hands, they needed 
all the support of the fanatical Presbyterians, and 
denied them nothing. The Independents, on their 
side, used every exertion to indtice the Upper House 

wei'e in their places on the day when Laud was condemned ; but 
several probably left without voting ; for it is certain that the majority 
who condemned him consisted of seven only — the Earls of Kent, Pem- 
broke, Salisbury, and Bolingbroke, and Lords North, Grey of Wark, and 
Bruce. — (Somers' Tracts, vol. ii. p. 287.) Lord Bruce subsequently 
denied that he had voted. 

' Sir Alexander Carew was executed on the 23rd of December, 1644 ; 
Captain Hotham, on the 1st of January, 1645 ; Sir John Hotham, his 
father, on the 2nd of January ; Laud on the 10th of January ; and Lord 
Maguire on the 20th of February. 

2 State Trials, vol. iv. cols. 31.5 — 626, 653 — 754 ; Parhamentary His- 
tory, vol. iii. cols. 315, 319—322 ; Whitelocke, pp. 72, 112, 121—123. 

^ Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. iii. p. 127. 


to adopt the decisive ordinance : petitions were poured 
in in vast numbers, some of tliem menacing in tlieir 
tone, and demanding that the Lords and Commons 
should sit together in one single assembly/ A solemn 
fast was appointed for the 18th of December, to 
invoke the Divine guidance in so important a delibe- 
ration; the two Houses alone were present at the 
sermons preached at Westminster on that day, doubt- 
less in order to give the preachers greater hberty ; and 
Vane and Cromwell had taken care to select their men.^ 
At length, after repeated conferences and messages, 
the Commons proceeded in a body to the Upper 
House, on the 13th of January, 1645, to demand the 
adoption of the ordinance, but the Lords had taken 
their resolution, and on the very day of this extra- 
ordinary proceeding, the ordinance was rejected.^ 

The victory seemed great, and the moment favour- 
able for taking advantage of it. The Uxbridge nego- 
ciations were shortly to commence. At the instance 
of the refugee members, who had just opened their 
second session in gr6at obscurity at Oxford, Charles 
had at length consented to give the name of Parlia- 
ment to the Houses at Westminster. " If there had 
been but two, besides myself, of my opinion," he 
wrote to the Queen, on the 2nd of January, " I had 
not done it."* He had, at the same time, appointed 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 5 ; Lingard's History of England 
vol. X. p. 282; Whitelocke, p. 118. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 88, 131 ; White- 
locke, p. 119. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 333 — 337 ; Rushworth, part iv. 
vol. i. p. 7 ; Whitelocke, p. 123. 

■» Halliwell's Letters of the Kings uf England, vol. ii. p. 358. 


his Commissioners -^ nearly all of tliem were desirous 
of peace. Among the Commissioners of the Parlia- 
ment,^ Yane, St. John, and Prideaux alone enter- 
tained opposite views. On the 29th of Januarj'-, the 
negociators arrived at Uxbridge, full of friendly inten- 
tions and animated by the brightest hopes. 

The meeting was friendly and courteous on both 
sides. The Commissioners had all known each other 
for a long time ; and several, before the outbreak of 
the war, had been united by the closest ties of friend- 
ship. On the very evening of their arrival, Hyde, 
Colepepper, Palmer, Whitelocke, HoUis, and Pierre- 
point exchanged visits, and congratulated themselves 
on having to work together to restore peace to their 
country. It was remarked, however, that the West- 
minster Commissioners exhibited greater embarrass- 
ment and reserve, for they were the servants of a 
sterner and more distrustful master. The ne2"ociations 
were to last for twenty days, and the principal matters 
to be settled were religion, the militia, and Ireland. 

^ The King's Commissioners were, — the Duke of Richmond, the 
Marquis of Hertford, the EarLs of Southampton, Kingston and Chiches- 
ter, the Lords Capel, Seymour, Hatton and Colepepper, Mr. Secretary 
Nicholas, Sir Edward Hyde, Sir Edward Lane, Sir Orlando Bridgmau, 
Sir Thomas Gardiner, Mr. John Ashburnham, Mr. Geoffrey Palmer, 
Dr. Stewart, and their attendants ; in all, a hundred and eight persons. 

^ The Earls of Northumberland, Pembroke, Sahsbury and Denbigh, 
Lord Wenmau, Messrs. Denzil Holhs, Wilham Pierrepont, Ohver St. 
John, Bulstrode Whitelocke, John Carew, Edmund Prideaux, and Sir 
Harry Vane, represented the English Parliament. The Earl of Loudoun, 
the Marquis of Argyle, the Lords Maitland and Balmerino, Sir Archi- 
bald Johnston, Sir Charles Erskine, Sir John South, Messrs. George 
Dundas, Hugh Kennedy, Robert Berkeley and Alexander Henderson, 
represented the Scottish Parliament. With their attendants, they 
numbered one hundred and eight persons. 


It was agreed that three days should be devoted to 
the discussion of each of these questions, and that 
they might be taken up alternately. So long as these 
preliminary arrangements were the only business in 
hand, all went on smoothly ; entire confidence was 
felt, and the utmost politeness manifested on both 
sides. But when at length, on the 30fch of Januar^^ 
1645, the official discussion commenced around the 
long table at which ihe Commissioners were seated, aU 
the old. difficulties reappeared. Each of the parlia- 
mentary factions had its own fundamental interest, of 
wliicli it refused to yield a jot ; the Presbyterians 
claimed the privileged establishment of their form of 
Church government, the politicians required the com- 
mand of the militia, and the Independents demanded 
liberty of conscience ; and the King, while obliged to 
yield to them all, could obtain from each only such 
concessions as the others absolutely refused to grant. 
Each party, moreover, was perpetually anxious to 
ascertain whether, when peace was made, the power 
would remain in its hands ; for neither would have 
consented to treat, except on this understanding. 
Beginning with the question of religion, the discussion 
soon assumed the character of a theological contro- 
versy ; argument took the place of negociation ; and 
the disputants seemed more anxious to prove that 
they were logically right than to make peace. Ere 
long the friendliness of their relations ceased, and acri- 
monious feeling found its way even into those familiar 
conversations in which some of the nesrociators occa- 
sionally endeavoured to remove those obstacles which 


had impeded their public discussions. Among the 
Oxford Commissioners, Hyde was especially courted by 
those from Westminster, who knew him to be a man 
of sense and influence with the King. Lord Loudoun, 
the Chancellor of Scotland, and the Earls of Pembroke 
and Denbigh, had long interviews with him, in which 
they candidly informed him of the dangers which 
were looming in the future, the sinister designs which 
were fermenting in the Parhament, and the absolute 
necessity for the King to concede much in order to 
save the State. Hyde gladly welcomed these commu- 
nications, but the captiousness of his self-love, the 
haughty inflexibility of his reason, his dry and sar- 
castic tone, and his disdainful honesty, almost invaria- 
bly offended and repelled those who desired to treat 
him with friendship. Any shght incident was suffi- 
cient to disclose all these difficulties, and to exhibit 
the impotence of the pacific wishes of the negotiators. 
On a market-day, in Uxbridge church, before a nume- 
rous audience, a fanatical preacher, named Love, who 
had recently arrived from London, inveighed against 
the Eoyalists and the treaty with the most offensive 
violence. " Expect no good from that treaty," he 
said ; " they are men of blood who are employed in it 
from Oxford ; they intend only to amuse the people 
with the expectation of peace, till they are able to do 
some notable mischief to them : there is as great 
distance between the treaty and peace as between 
heaven and hell." The King's Commissioners de- 
manded that Love should be punished for tliis seditious 
language, but the deputies from Westminster did not 


venture to do more than send liim away from Ux- 
bridge.^ Unsatisfactory reports were current with 
regard to the King's real intentions. Though he had 
yielded, it was said, to the wishes of his council, he 
was not desirous of peace, but had renewed his promise 
to the Queen to make no final arrangement without 
her consent, and was far more intent upon fomenting 
the internal dissensions of the Parliament than upon 
coming to an honest understanding with it. He was 
even suspected of treating secretly with the Irish 
Papists, in order to obtain an army from them ; and 
the most solemn assurances of his Commissioners 
were not able to remove the distrust of the City on 
this point. 

Meanwhile the period assigned for concluding the 
negociations was drawing near, and the Parliament 
showed very little inclination to prolong them. In 
despair at finding themselves about to separate without 
having obtained any beneficial result, the friends of 
peace, towards the middle of February, resolved to try 
a last eflTort. It was their opinion that some conces- 
sion on the part of the King with regard to the 
militia — for instance, an off'er to place it for some years 
under the command of leaders, of whom one half 
should be appointed by the Parliament — would not be 
altogether inefiectual. Lord Southampton hastened 
to Oxford to obtain this concession from the King. 
Charles at first refused ; the Earl insisted ; others 
joined him in his entreaties, beseeching the King, on 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 44 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. ii. pp. 848—926 ; VVhitelocke, pp. 127—130. 


their bended knees, in the name of his crown and 
people, not to reject this means of prolonging the 
negociation. Charles yielded at last, and the desire 
for peace among his councillors was so strong that, in 
their joy, they imagined all difficulties were now 
removed. Fairfax and Cromwell were to be among 
the Commissioners to whom the King was himself 
to propose that the command of the militia should be 
intrusted. In the evening, at supper, gaiety reigned 
at the royal table ; the King complained that his wine 
was not good. " I hope," said one of the guests, 
laughingly, " that before a week is over, your Majesty 
will drink better at Gruildhall with the Lord Mayor." 
On the following morning Lord Southampton, before 
starting on his return to Uxbridge, waited on the 
King to receive his instructions in writing, but, to his 
extreme surprise, Charles revoked his promise, and 
utterly refused to make any concession.^ 

A letter which had arrived dui'ing the night from 
Montrose, who had despatched it with almost unpre- 
cedented rapidity from the interior of Scotland, had 
produced this sudden change of purpose. A fortnight 
previously, on the 2nd of February, at Inverlochy, in 
Argyleshire, Montrose had gained a splendid victory 
over the Scottish troops, under the command of Argyle 
himself. After having given an account of the battle 
to the King, he went on to say : " Now, sacred Sir, 
let me humbly entreat your Majesty's pardon if I pre- 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 77 — 79 ; Wel- 
wood's Memoirs, pp. 62, 63 ; Banks's Critical Review of the Life of 
Ohver Cromwell, pp. 108—112. 



sume to write you my poor thoughts and opinions 
about what I heard from a letter I received fi'om my 
fi'iends in the south last week, as if your Majesty was 
entering into a treaty with your rebel Parliament in 
England. The success of your arms in Scotland does 
not more rejoice my heart, as that news from England 
is hke to break it. Wlien I had the honour of waiting 
on your Majesty last, I told you at full length what I 
fidly understood of the designs of your rebel subjects 
in both kingdoms. Your Majesty may remember 
how much you said you were convinced I was in the 
right in my opinion of them. I am sure there is 
nothing fallen out since to make your Majesty change 
your judgment in all those things I laid before your 
Majesty at that time. The more your Majesty grants, 
the more will be asked, and I have too much reason 
to know that they will not rest satisfied with less than 
making your Majesty a king of straw. Forgive me, 
sacred Sovereign, to tell your Majesty that, in my poor 
opinion, it is unworthy of a king to treat with rebel 
subjects while they have the sword in their hands ; and 
though God forbid I should shut your Majesty's 
mercy, yet I must declare the horror I am in when 
I think of a treaty, while jom- Majesty and they are 
in the field with two armies, unless they disband and 
submit themselves entirely to your Majesty's goodness 
and pardon. And give me leave, with all humility, 
to assure your Majesty that, through God's blessing, 
I live in the fairest hopes of reducing this kingdom to 
your Majesty's obedience ; and if the measm-es I have 
concerted with your other loj'-al subjects fail me not. 


which they hardly can, I doubt not but, before the end 
of this summer, I shall be able to come to your 
Majesty's assistance with a brave army ; which, 
backed with the justice of your Majesty's cause, will 
make the rebels in England, as well as in Scotland, feel 
the just rewards of rebellion. Only give me leave, 
after I have reduced this country to your Majesty's 
obedience, and conquered from Dan to Beersheba, to 
say to your Majesty then, as David's general did to 
his master, ' Come thou thyself ^ lest this country he 
called by my name ,•' for in all my actions I aim only 
at your Majesty's honour and interest."^ 

This letter had jfilled the King with the highest 
hopes. Lord Southampton, though less confident, 
ceased to urge concession ; and returned to TJxbridge 
with a refusal, of which he would give no explanation. 
The conferences were broken off on the 22nd of 
February, and the Presbyterian leaders returned to 
Westminster, almost heartbroken at a failure wdiich 
involved them only more deeply in all the dangers to 
which they had previously been exposed.^ 

In their absence, their position had become worse. 
Though they had been compelled to abandon the self- 
denying ordinance, at least for the moment, the Inde- 
pendents had suddenly devoted their utmost efforts to 
carrying the measure for the reorganization of the 
army, which was to have accompanied that ordinance. 
In a few days, everything had been prepared, arranged, 
and settled ; the plan, the form, the cost, and the 

' Welwood's Memoirs, pp. 302—308. 
* Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 133. 

M 2 


means of paying it/ One army alone was hence- 
forward to be kept on foot ; it was to consist of twenty- 
one thousand men, and to be commanded by one 
general, who was to have the right of appointing all 
his officers, subject to the approval of Parliament. 
Fau'fax was entrusted with this command. His dis- 
tinguished valour, the frankness of his character, the 
success which attended his expeditions, and the warlike 
enthusiasm with which he animated his soldiers, had 
long fixed popular attention upon him ; and Cromwell 
had publicly assured the House, and privately satisfied 
his party, that he was in every way wortliy of the 
appointment. Essex retained his title, and Waller 
and Manchester their commissions, but without even 
a shadow of authority. On the 28th of Januar}^ the 
ordinance regulating the execution of this measure 
was sent up to the Lords. They endeavom-ed at least 
to delay its adoption, either by suggesting amend- 
ments, or by tediously prolonging their debates. But 
on this point resistance was difficult, for the ordinance 
was viewed with approbation by the people, who were 
convinced that the multiplicity of armies and generals 
was the true cause of the protraction and inefficacy of 
the war. Strong in this popular support, the Com- 
mons insisted, the Lords yielded, and the ordinance 
was adopted on the 15th of February. On the 19th 
of the same month, two days before the cessation of 
negociations at Uxbridge, Fairfax was introduced into 
the House, and standing by the seat which had been 

' The new army was to cost 56,135?. per month, to be levied on 
nineteen comities. — Riishworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 8 — 13. 


prepared for liim, received with a simple and modest 
air, the official compliments of the Speaker.^ 

On their retmni to Westminster, the Presbyterian 
leaders endeavoured to redeem this defeat. The Upper 
House complained bitterly of certain outrageous and 
threatening speeches which had recently been made 
against it, and of the report which was current every- 
wliere that the Commons meditated the abolition of 
the peerage. The Commons replied by a solemn de- 
claration of their profound respect for the rights of the 
Lords, and of then- firm resolution to maintain them.^ 
On the 3rd of March, the Scottish Commissioners 
addressed to both Houses, in the name of the Covenant, 
a remonstrance at once petulant and timid.^ The 
Commons, without taking any notice of it, commu- 
nicated to the Lords a new ordinance for the further 
extension of Fairfax's .powers, and for omitting from 
his commission the order for the preservation of the 
King's person, which had until then been repeated in 
all similar documents. The Lords voted for its reten- 
tion, on the 29th of March ; but the Commons refused 
to consent to it, on the ground that it would " dis- 
hearten their soldiers, and encourage the King to 
adventure his person to come at the head of his army 
into danger." The Lords persisted; and in three 
successive debates, notwithstanding the anxious efforts 
of the Commons, the votes of the Upper House were 

' Whitelocke, pp. T30, 132 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 340 
— 344 ; Kushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 7 — 13 ; HoUis's Memoirs, p. 34, 

■-' Ou the 24tli of March, 1645. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 

3 Ibid. vol. iii. col. 346. 


equally divided on this question.^ The matter thus 
remained in suspense; but on the 31st of March, the 
Commons declared that, as they had now done every- 
thing in their power, if the delay occasioned any dis- 
aster, the Lords alone would be responsible to the 
country for it. The latter were beginning to grow 
weary of a resistance which they saw was not only 
futile, but must speedily end. 

While matters were in this condition, the Marquis 
of Argyle arrived from Scotland. Though a Presby- 
terian in religion, he was inclined politically towards 
bolder views ; and the Independents, particularly Vane 
and Cromwell, soon contracted intimate relations with 
him. Argyle, moreover, had recent injuries to avenge ; 
a man of deep and elastic intellect, and of restless 
activity, but firmer in the council than on the field, 
he had witnessed the defeat of his troops by Montrose 
at Inverlochy, only from the middle of the lake, and 
had taken to flight as soon as he saw his soldiers give 
way.^ From that day forth, both in England and 
Scotland, the Cavaliers never spoke of him without 
insult, and their complete overthrow could alone wipe 
out the stigma they had put upon liim. He employed 
all his influence to dissuade the Scottish Commissioners 
and some of the Presb34erian leaders from ofl'ering 
further opposition, not only to the new model of the 
army, but to the self-denying ordinance itself; for, he 
said, their opposition was productive only of ill con- 
sequences, and must sooner or later be overcome by 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii, cols. 350, 351. 
^ Laiug's History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 294. 


necessity/ Essex found that his Mends daily grew 
weaker in their resolution. Determined to anticipate 
their change of purpose, he announced his intention 
to tender his resignation ; and on the 1st of April, he 
rose in his place in the House of Lords, and read the 
following statement, for he was by no means a ready 
speaker : — 

"My Lords, — Having received this great chai-ge 
in obedience to the commands of both Houses, and 
taken their sword into my hand, I can with confidence 
say that I have, for this now ahnost three years, faith- 
fully served you, and I hope, without loss of honour 
to myself, or prejudice to the public. I see, by the 
now coming up of these ordinances, that it is the 
desire of the House of Commons that my commission 
may be vacated ; and it hath been no particular respect 
to myself (whatever is whispered to the contrary), that 
hath made me thus long omit to declare my readiness 
thereto : it being not unknown to divers men of honour, 
that I had resolved it after the action of Gloucester, 
but that some importunities (pressed on me with argu- 
ments of public advantage, and that by those of un- 
questionable afiection), overruled me therein. I now 
do it, and retm'n my commission into those hands that 
gave it me ; wisliing it may prove as good an expedient 
to the present distempers, as some will have it believed. 
I think it not immodest, that I entreat both Houses 
that those officers of mine which are now laid by, 
might have their debentures audited, some consider- 
able part of their arrears paid them for their support, 

' Clareudon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 131. 


and the remainder secured them by the public faith. 
My Lords, I know that jealousies cannot be avoided 
in the unhappy condition of our present affairs, yet 
wisdom and charity should put such restraints thereto, 
as not to allow it to become destructive. I hope that 
this advice from me is not unseasonable, proceeding 
as it does from my affection to the Parliament, the 
prosperity whereof I shall ever wish from my heart, 
what return soever it bring me : I being no single 
example, in that kind, of that fortune I now undergo."^ 
This speech, so melancholy and dignified in its tone, 
was regarded by the Upper House as a deliverance. It 
hastened at once to inform the Commons that it adopted 
their new ordinance for the remodelling of the army, 
without any amendment. At the same time, the Earls 
of Manchester and Denbigh, following the example of 
Essex, resigned their commissions. In acknowledgment 
of this patriotic sacrifice, the House of Lords voted 
them thanks and promises, which the Commons will- 
ingly ratified. On the 3rd of April, a self-denying 
ordinance, differing slightly from the first, but tending 
to produce the same results, passed through the UiDper 
House without difficulty;^ and many persons con- 
gratulated themselves on having, at length, witnessed 
the termination of a conflict which had caused them 
so much anxiety and alarm. 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 352. 

' Ibid. vol. iii. cols. 353, 355. See Appendix VI. 






Essex and Manchester had no sooner resigned their 
commissions than Fahfax left London/ and, establish- 
ing his head-quarters at Windsor, set diligently to 
work to organize, from their two armies, the new 
army which he was himself to command. It had been 
predicted that violent opposition would be offered to 
this important proceeding ; but Cromwell, who, like 
Essex and Manchester, was deprived of his command 
by the self-denying ordinance, had scouted such appre- 
hensions, protesting that " his own soldiers looked not 

' On the 3rd of April, 1645. 


upon him, but upon the Parliament ; and for the Par- 
liament they would fight, and live and die in its 
cause."^ Some mutinies, however, broke out, especially 
at Reading, where five regiments of Essex's infantry 
were quartered, and in Hertfordsliire, where eight 
squadrons of his cavalry were stationed, under the 
command of Colonel Dalbier. The presence of Skip- 
pon, who had been appointed Major-Greneral of the new 
army, and his rough but effective eloquence sufficed 
to persuade the regiments at Reading to return to 
their duty. Dalbier's troops were not so easily 
quieted; a report was even current in London that 
they were preparing to march to Oxford; and St. 
John, ever prone to suspicion and violence, wrote to 
the Parliamentarian leaders in Hertfordshire, that they 
would do well to fall suddenly on these mutineers, 
sword in hand. But, by the influence of some of the 
officers who had been already cashiered, and at the 
entreaty of Essex himself, Dalbier at length submitted, 
and proceeded to head-quarters. In reality, the feeling 
of discontent among his soldiers was not very strong, 
and they enrolled themselves, without a murmur, 
under their new leader. The Parliament gave them 
a fortnight's pay, and ordered that the sequestrated 
estates of a number of delinquents should be sold to 
supply the most pressing demands. But Cromwell's 
soldiers also mutinied, notwithstanding his assurances, 
and declared that they would serve under no other 
commander ; and Cromwell alone had sufficient power 
over them to induce them to submit. On the first 

' Cromwelliaua, p. 12. 


rumour of their insubordination, he set off in all 
haste to render, he said, this last service to the Parlia- 
ment, before resigning his command. About the 20th 
of April, the work was almost effected ; all the new 
corps were organized without difficulty ; and in London 
alone, the agitation was prolonged by the crowds of 
cashiered officers who all flocked thither, either to 
solicit the payment of their arrears, or to watch the 
course of events.^ 

At Oxford, the King and his Court were full of hope. 
After the rupture of the negociations at Uxbridge, 
notwithstanding the brilliant news he had received 
from Scotland, Charles had felt considerable uneasi- 
ness. Though by no means desirous of peace, he was 
anxious that the peace party should be uppermost at 
Westminster, and their defeat had, for a moment, 
alarmed him. He now resolved to part from his son 
Charles, Prince of Wales, who was nearly fifteen years 
of age, and to send him, with the title of Greneralis- 
simo, into the western counties, for the double pur- 
pose of giving those faithful counties a leader whose 
presence would serve to rekindle their devotedness, and 
of dividing the dangers which might threaten the 
royal cause. Hyde and Lords Capel and Colepepper 
were appointed to attend the prince, and direct affairs 
m his name. So great was the melancholy of the 
King's thoughts at this time, that he frequently con- 
versed with Hyde as to what would happen if he 
should fall into the hands of the rebels, and employed 
Lord Digby to sound him as to whether, in case of 

'■ Hollia's Memoirs, p. 31 ; Rushwortb, part iv. vol. i. p. 17. 


necessity, lie would, without orders, or even in spite 
of apparent orders, determine on taking the prince out 
of England, and accompany him to the Continent. 
" Such questions," rephed Hyde, "cannot be answered 
until the time of need arrives." On the 4th of March, 
the Prince and his councillors took their leave of the 
King, whom they never saw again. ^ But, a month 
afterwards, when news reached Oxford of the obstacles 
thrown in the way of the reorganization of the Parlia- 
mentarian army, when it became known that whole regi- 
ments had mutinied, and that the most distinguished 
ofi&cers had been dismissed, confidence and gaiety 
appeared once more among the Cavahers. They soon 
began to speak derisively of that mob of peasants and 
preaching mechanics, who were so insane as to cashier 
the generals whose names and abihty had constituted 
their chief strength, and to raise to the command 
oJBicers as obscure and raw as their soldiers. Songs, 
pasquinades, and jokes were poui-ed forth every morning 
against the Parhament and its defenders; and the 
King, in spite of his gravity, allowed himself to be 
persuaded by these convenient arguments.^ He had, 
however, secret hopes, arising from intrigues of which 
even his most intimate confidants were ignorant. 

Towards the end of April, Fau'fax announced that, 
in a few days, he would open the campaign. Crom- 
well went to Windsor, for the purpose, he said, of 
kissing the general's hand, and tendering his resigna- 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 215 — 220 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 114, 123. 

^ May's Breviary of the Parhament, p. 124 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 65. 


tion. As soon as he saw him, however, Fairfax 
informed him that he had received from the Committee 
of both kingdoms, instructions for him to proceed at 
once, with a body of horse, along the road from Oxford 
to Worcester, in order to intercept communications 
between Prmce Eupert and the King/ CromweU set 
out that very evening ; and in five days, before any 
other corps of the new army had set itself in motion, 
he had beaten the Royalists in three encounters,^ taken 
Blechington House,^ and written to inform the Par- 
liament of his success.'* " Who wiU bring me this 
CromweU, dead or ahve ?" exclaimed the King -^ whilst, 
in London, all were rejoicing that his resignation had 
not yet been accepted. 

Before another week had elapsed, the Parhament 
had determined that he should retain his command 
The campaign had commenced on the 30tli of April. 
The King had left Oxford on the 7th of May, and 
rejoined Prince Eupert ; he was now advancing rapidly 
towards the north, either to raise the siege of Chester, 
or to give battle to the Scottish army, and regain his 
former preponderance in that part of the country ; if 
he succeeded in this attempt, he would be able to 
threaten either the east or the south, as he pleased; 
and Fairfax, who was on his way towards the west, to 
reheve the important town of Taunton, which was 

' Sprigge's Anglia Rediviva, p. 10 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 23. 

^ At Islip Bridge on the 24th of April, at Witney on the 26th, and 
at Bampton-in-the-Bush on the 27th. 

3 On the 24th of April. 

* Parhauientary History, vol. iii. col. 359 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. 
p. 24. 

•■' Banks' Critical Review, p. 23. 


closely invested by the Prince of Wales, would be 
unable to oppose liis progress. Fairfax was recalled 
on the 6th of May ; but in the meanwhile, Cromwell 
alone was in a position to watch the King's move- 
ments. Notwithstanding the ordinance, orders were 
sent him to continue his services in the army for forty 
days.'^ Sir WiUiam Brereton, Sir Thomas Middleton, 
and Sir John Price, distinguished officers who were at 
the same time members of the House of Commons, 
received similar instructions,'^ either from analogous 
reasons, or that Cromwell might not appear the only 

Fairfax hastened his return ; the King had continued 
his march towards the north ; in London, from no 
assignable cause, less alarm prevailed. Oxford, at all 
times the focus of war in the heart of the kingdom, 
was no longer protected by any royalist army; the 
Parliament believed that it had numerous friends in 
that city ; and on the 17th of May, orders were sent to 
Fairfax to invest it.^ If he should take the town, it 
would be an eminent success ; if the siege were pro- 
tracted, he might march from thence without impedi- 
ment to any place threatened by the King. Cromwell 
joined him beneath the waUs of Oxford. 

They had no sooner met than fresh alarms spread 
through London, with greater intensity than ever. 
Unfavourable news arrived daily from the north ; the 

' On the 10th of May. — ParUamentary History, vol. iii. col. 361 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 145. 

* Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 146. 

^ The siege began on the 22nd of May. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. 
p. 33 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 364, 369 — 373. 


Scottish army, instead of marching to meet the King, 
in order to check his progress or give him battle, had 
fallen back towards the Scottish border, — from neces- 
sity, said some, and in order to be ready to oppose the 
still-increasing victories of Montrose in that kingdom ; 
from pique, said others, because the English Parha- 
ment had refused to submit to the yoke of Presby- 
terians and foreigners.^ However this may be, the 
King, favoured by their retreat, had been able to raise 
the siege of Chester without the slightest difficulty; and, 
free from anxiety as to that town, his best means of 
communication with Ireland, he was marching towards 
the associated eastern counties, which had hitherto 
been the stronghold and bulwark of the ParHament. 
At any risk, it was essential to protect them against 
this invasion. No one could do this so well as Crom- 
well, for there his influence was especially predomi- 
nant; there he had raised his Ironsides, and com- 
menced his military achievements. He received orders 
to proceed, without delay, towards Cambridge, and 
to take measures for the defence of the associated 

A more pressing danger soon led to his recal. A 
week after his departure, news arrived that, on the 1st 
of June, the King had taken Leicester by storm, and 
that, in the west, Taunton, which had been temporarily 
reheved by a detachment of Fairfax's army, was now 
again closely blockaded.^ Great consternation was 

' Old Parliamentary History, vol. xiii. pp. 474, 488. 
* Rusliworth, part iv. vol i. p. 35 ; May's Breviary of the Parliament, 
p. 126 ; HoUia's Memoirs, p. 35. ^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 149. 


felt at this intelligence ; the Presbyterians were 
triumphant. " See," they said, " the consequences of 
your boasted new model; since it has been effected, 
what has it produced? Nothing but failures and 
reverses. The King reduces our strongest garrisons 
in a day ; but your new general has only faced Oxford 
at a distance, to try whether the ladies would prevail 
for the giving up of the town, to pacify their fears. "^ 
In answer to these reproaches, a petition from the 
Common Council was presented to the Upper House 
on the 5th of June ;^ it laid all the blame on the 
inactivity of the Scottish troops, on the delays which 
were still thrown in the way of the recruitment of the 
army, and on the assumption of the conduct of the 
war by the Parliament; and it demanded that the 
General should be allowed greater liberty, that more 
stringent orders should be sent to the Scots, and that 
Cromwell should be restored to his former command. 
At the same time, instructions were sent to Fau'fax to 
abandon the siege of Oxford, to pursue the King, and 
to give him battle at any risk. Before he set out on 
this mission, he wrote to both Houses to request that 
Cromwell might be appointed to command the horse, 
in which capacity his services were indispensable ; and 
sixteen colonels signed the letter with him.^ The 
Lords deferred their answer, but the sanction of the 
Commons was given at once, and deemed sufficient. 
Fairfax sent word to Cromwell immediately ;* all the 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 178. 

'^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 365. 

3 Ibid., col. 368. 

* On the 11th of June. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 39. 


contingents hastened their march ; and on the 12th of 
June, a little to the west of Northampton, some ParHa- 
mentarian cavalry, who had been sent out to reconnoitre, 
suddenly came upon a detachment of the royal army. 

The King was far from expecting their approach : 
informed of the blockade of Oxford, and yielding to 
the terrified entreaties of his besieged Court,' he had 
given up his expedition into the northern and eastern 
counties, in order to hasten to the relief of his head- 
quarters. But his confidence was unshaken : a new 
victory gained by Montrose at Auldearn, in Nairn- 
shire, in the north of Scotland, on the 4th of May, 
had recently given fresh elation to his hopes. " Since 
this rebellion," he wrote to the Queen, on the 9th of 
June, " my affairs were never in so fair and hopeful a 
way."^ He was accordingly pursuing his march 
slowly, halting at every place that pleased him, sjDend- 
ing his days in the chase, and allowing his Cavaliers, 
who were even more confident than himself, almost 
equal liberty.^ On the first report of the appearance 
of the Parliamentarians, he fell back towards Leicester 
in order to raUy his troops, and wait the arrival of the 
reinforcements which he expected shortly to receive 
from Wales and the western counties. On the follow- 
ing day, the 13th of June, at supper, his feeHng of 
security was equally strong, and he had no thought of 
giving battle." But he was soon after informed that 

' Memoirs of King James IL vol. i. p. 32. 

'-= Halliwell's Letters of the Kings of England, vol. ii. p. 382. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 40 ; Clarendon's History of the Re- 
bellion, vol. V. p. 178. 

* Evelyn's Diary and Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 151 : a letter from 
the King to Mr. Secretary Nicholas. 



some of tlie Parliamentarian squadrons were harassing 
his rear-guard. For some hours, Cromwell had been 
with the army.^ A council of war was immediately- 
assembled; and towards midnight, notwithstanding 
the opposition of several officers who urged the King 
to wait the arrival of reinforcements, Prince Rupert 
persuaded him to decide on turning back at once and 
engaging the enemy. ^ 

The battle took place on the following day, the 
14th of June, at Naseby, to the north-west of North- 
ampton. At daybreak the King's army was drawn up 
in battle array on a slight eminence, in an advan- 
tageous position. Scouts were sent out to reconnoitre, 
but returned in two hours with a report that the Par- 
liamentarians were not to be seen. Rupert, impatient 
for the fight, rode out with some squadrons to look for 
them ; and it was agreed that the army should remain 
stationary until his return. He had scarcely gone a 
mile when the enemy's vanguard appeared, in full 
march towards the CavaHers, In his excitement, the 
Prince fancied they were retreating, and pushed on- 
ward, sending word to the King to join him. with all 
speed, lest the enemy should escape. At about ten 
o'clock the Royalists came up, somewhat disordered 
by the rapidity of their movement; and Rupert, at 
the head of the cavalry of the right wing, immediately 
charged the left wing of the Parliamentarians, com- 
manded by Ireton, who soon after became Cromwell's 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 41 ; May's Breviary of the Parliament, 
p. 127. 
'■^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 182. 


son-in-law/ Almost at the same moment, Cromwell, 
whose squadrons formed part of Fairfax's right wing, 
attacked the King's left mng, wliich was composed of 
the Cavahers from the northern counties, under the 
command of Sir Marmaduke Langdale; and shortly 
after, the main bodies of infantry, the one commanded 
by Fairfax and Skippon, and the other led by the King 
in person, also engaged. No previous action had be- 
come so rapidly general, or been so fiercely contested. 
The two armies were almost equal in strength ; the 
Cavaliers, intoxicated with confidence, shouted Queen 
Mary for their war-cry ; the Parliamentarians, firm in 
their faith, marched onward with cries of God is our 
strength ! Prince Pupert made his first charge with 
his usual success ; after a desperate contest, Ireton's 
squadrons gave way ; and Ireton himself, severely 
wounded in the shoulder and thigh, fell for a moment 
into the hands of the Cavaliers. But whilst Pupert, 
with his habitual recklessness, was pursuing the enemy 
to their baggage-waggons, which were well defended 
by artillery, and was losing time in attacking them in 
the hope of booty, Cromwell, with that same command 
over himself and his men which he had so conspicu- 
ously displayed at Marston Moor, had put Langdale's 
squadrons to rout, and, leaving two of his ofiicers to 
prevent them from rallying, had hastened to return to 
the field, where tlie main bodies of infantry were hotly 
engaged. The battle there raged with greater violence 
and bloodshed than anywhere else. The Parliamenta- 
rians, charged by the King in person, had at first been 

^ Ireton married Bridget Cromwell on the 16th of January, 1647. 

N 2 


thrown into great disorder ; Skippon was severely 
wounded, and Fairftix m-ged liim to withdraw. " No," 
he said ; " so long as a man will stand, I will not 
stir ;" and he ordered his reserve corps to advance. 
Fairfax lost his helmet by a blow from a sword ; and 
Charles Doyley, the colonel of his body-guard, seeing 
him ride bareheaded through the fray, earnestly en- 
treated him to take his own helmet. "It is well 
enough, Charles," said Fairfax, declining the generous 
oJfTer ; and, pointing to a corps of the royal infantry 
which still maintained its ground," he asked Doyley if 
he had charged that body. " I have charged them 
twice," answered Doyley, " but cannot break them." 
" Charge them once again in the front," said Fairfax ; 
" I will charge them in the rear at the same time, and 
we may meet together in the middle." This was 
done ; the RoyaHsts *were utterly scattered ; Fairfax 
killed the standard-bearer with his own hand, and 
gave the standard to one of his troopers : upon which 
the man boasted that he had won it himself. Doyley 
overheard this, and indignantly upbraided him with 
his falsehood. " Let him alone," said Fairfax ; "I 
have honour enough ; let him take that honour to 
himself." The Royalists were now giving way on 
every side, when Cromwell appeared with his vic- 
torious squadrons. At this sight, Charles, in despair, 
placed himself at the head of his regiment of guards, 
his only remaining reserve, and prepared to charge 
this new enemy. The order was already given, and 
the troops in motion, when the Earl of Carnwarth, a 
Scotsman, who was riding by tlie King's side, sud- 



denly seized his horse by the bridle, and exclaiming 
with an oath : " Will you go upon your death in an 
instant?" turned him abruptly to the right. The 
Cavaliers who were nearest to the King followed his 
example, without understanding the object of the 
movement ; the others did the same, and in a moment 
the whole regiment had turned its back to the enemy. 
The surprise of the Eoyahsts now became terror ; all 
scattered through the plain, some to seek refuge in 
flight, others to stay the fugitives. Charles, in the 
midst of a group of officers, in vain called to them to 
halt. The rout continued, until Prince Eupert at 
length returned to the field of battle with his squadi'ons. 
A considerable body then formed around the King; 
but the Cavaliers were disordered, weary, anxious, and 
despondent. Charles, sword in hand, with flashing 
eyes^ and despair in every feature, twice dashed for- 
ward, shouting : " One charge more, and we recover 
the day!" But none followed him; the infantry, 
thrown into complete disorder, were either in fuR 
flight, or had already been taken prisoners. Flight 
was unavoidable ; and the King, with about two thou- 
sand horse, retreated towards Leicester, leaving his 
artillery, ammunition, and baggage, more than a hun- 
dred pair of colours, the royal standard, five thousand 
men, and his cabinet of letters, in the hands of the 

This victory exceeded the most sanguine hopes of 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 42—44 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 183—186 ; Whitelocke, pp. 150, 151 ; May's Bre- 
viary, p. 128. 


the conquerors. Fairfax hastened to send the news to 
the Parliament, in a calm and simple tone, and with- 
out any political allusion or advice. Cromwell also 
wrote, but to the Commons, as he held his commis- 
sion from tliem alone. His letter ended with these 
words : " This is none other but the hand of Grod ; 
and to Him alone belongs the glory, wherein none 
are to share with Him. The Greneral served you with 
all faithfulness and honour ; and the best commend- 
ation I can give him is, that I dare say he attributes 
all to Grod, and would rather perish than assume to 
himself: and yet as much for bravery may be given 
to him, in this action, as to any man. Honest men' 
served you faithfully in this action. They are trusty : 
I beseech you, in the name of God, not to discom-age 
them, I wish this action may beget thankfulness 
and humility in all that are concerned in it. He that 
ventures his life for the liberty of his country, I wish 
he may trust God for the liberty of his conscience, and 
you for the liberty he fights for."^ 

Some persons were offended that a subordinate 
officer, a servant of the Parliament, as they said, 
should presume to offer them advice and praise in 
this independent tone ; but their displeasure could 
effect nothing amidst the popular enthusiasm ; and on 
the 1 Oth of June, the day on which Cromwell's letter 
reached London, the Lords themselves voted that he 
should retain his command for another three months.'^ 

' That is to say, the Independent enthusiasts. 

** Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, vol. i. p. 234 ; Rushworth, part iv. 
vol. i. pp. 45, 46. 

^ Parhauicntary History, vol. iii. col. 374. 


At the same time, they voted that it would be well 
to take advantage of this victory to address reasonable 
propositions to the King ;^ and the Scottish Commis- 
sioners expressed a similar desire for negociation.^ 
But the conquerors were far from entertaining any 
such idea. Instead of giving any answer to the re- 
commendation of the Lords, the Commons demanded, 
on the SOtli of Jmie, that all the citizens should be 
assembled at Guildhall, to hear the papers read which 
had been found among the King's baggage, and par- 
ticularly his letters to the Queen, that they might 
themselves judge how much confidence was thence- 
forward to be placed in any negociations. Fairfax 
had hesitated to open these papers, but Cromwell 
and Ireton had lost no time in combating his scruples, 
and the House did not think of sharing them. The 
papers were read on the 3rd of July, in the presence 
of an immense multitude, and with prodigious effect.' 
It was evident that the King had never desired 
peace ; that in his eyes no concession was final, and 
no promise binding ; that, in reality, he relied on 
force alone, and still laid claim to absolute power ; 
and lastly, that, notwithstanding his repeated pro- 
testations, he had applied to the King of France, 
to the Duke of Lorraine, and to all the princes of 
the Continent, to introduce foreign soldiers into the 
country. Even the name of Parhament, which, not 
long previously, in order to obtain the conference at 

' On the 20tli of Juue ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 375. 

'' On the 2Sth of July ; ibid. vol. iii. col. 389. 

^ Parhamentary History, vol. iii. col. 377 ; May's Breviary, p. 129. 


Uxbridge, he had appeared to bestow "on the Houses 
at Westminster, was a mere falsehood on his part ; for 
while giving it, he had secretly protested against his 
official proceeding, and had entered his protest on the 
minutes of the Council at Oxford.^ All the citizens 
were allowed to examine these letters with their own 
eyes, that they might have no doubt that they were 
in the King's handwriting f and after the meeting at 
Guildhall, the Parliament ordered their publication.^ 

The indignation excited by these letters was uni- 
versal; the friends of peace were reduced to silence. 
Some endeavoured vainly to protest against their 
publication, as an unwarrantable violation of domestic 
secrets. Was it possible, they asked, to believe in their 
perfect authenticity ?* Was it not probable that many 
of the letters had been mutilated, and others entirely 
suppressed? They even went so far as to insinuate 
that, in the Parliament itself, certain persons had 
negociated with a similar absence of sincerity, and were 
equally undesirous of peace. But no explanation or 

' Letters from the Eaug to the Queen, in Evelyn's Diary, vol. iv. pp. 
156 — 161, See also Appendix VII. 

* May's Breviary, p. 129. 

^ Under this title : " The King's Cabinet Opened, or certain Packets 
of Secret Letters and Papers, written with the King's own hand, and 
taken in his Cabinet at Naseby field, June 14, 1645, by victorious Sir 
Thomas Fairfax : wherein many mysteries of State, tending to the 
justification of that cause for which Sir Thomas Fairfax joined battle 
that memorable day, are clearly laid open ; together with some annota- 
tions thereon." 

" The King never disputed the authenticity of these letters ; he even 
formally admitted it in a letter to Sir Edward Nicholas, written on the 
4th of August, 1645, only a few weeks after their pubhcation (Evelyn's 
Diary, vol. iv. p. 156) ; and the text pubhshed by the Parliament in 
1645, exactly corresponds with that of Royston's edition of the Works 
of King Charles I. published in London in 1660. 


excuse was admitted by the people, as soon as they 
became aware that an attempt had been made to deceive 
them. Besides, were even all that was urged in his 
defence true, the King's bad faith remained evident ; 
and in order to make peace, it would be necessary to 
place full reliance upon him. Nothing was now spoken 
of but war ; troops were levied, taxes collected, and 
the estates of delinquents sold, with increased expedi- 
tion ; aU the troops received their pay, and all the 
important towns were supplied with abundant stores. 
On the 2nd of July, the Scots at length consented to 
advance into the interior of the kingdom:' and on 
the 20th of June, Fairfax finding no longer any 
fugitives to pursue, set out for the western counties to 
resume the expedition which the siege of Oxford had 
compelled him temporarily to abandon.^ 

A great change had meanwhile taken place in those 
counties, which had hitherto been the bulwark of the 
royal cause ; not that the opinion of the people had 
become more favourable to the Parliament, but it was 
alienated from the King. He still possessed several 
bodies of troops, and nearly all the towns, in the west, 
but the war there was no longer conducted, as it had 
been at the outset, by honourable, respected, and 
popular men, such as the Marquis of Hertford, Sir 
Bevil Greenville, Lord Hopton, Trevannion, Slanning, 
and other disinterested friends of the Crown ; some 
of them were dead, others had retired in disgust, or 
had been removed by Court intrigues, and sacrificed 

' Parliamentary Histoi'v, vol. iii. col. 377. 
^ Old Parliamentary History, vol. xiv. p. 6. 


by the King's weakness. In their place, two in- 
triguers held the command, Lord Goring and Sir 
Richard Grreenville, one the most debauched, and the 
other the most rapacious, of the Cavahers ; they were 
attached to the royal cause by no principle or affection ; 
in fighting for it, they found the means of gratifying 
their passions, oppressing their enemies, revenging 
affronts, procuring diversions, and amassing wealth. 
Goring was brave and beloved by his friends ; on the 
battle-field, he lacked neither abihty nor energy ; but 
nothing could equal his recklessness, or the insolent 
intemperance of his conduct and language. Even his 
loyalty was not free from stain ; he had already betrayed 
both the King^ and the Parliament,^ and he seemed 
ever on the point of committing some fresh act of 
treachery.^ Sir Richard Greenville was less irregular 
in his hfe and more influential with the gentry of 
his county, but he was harsh and insatiable, and his 
courage, if not doubtful, was certainly slow to manifest 
itself He spent his time in levying contributions for 
the payment of troops which he never collected, or for 
the execution of enterprises which he did not even 
take the pains to commence. The army had altered 
with its leaders ; it no longer consisted of men who 
fought in defence of their affections and interests, and 
who, though frivolous and licentious, were sincerely 

' In 1641, at the time of the first conspiracy of the army against the 
Parhament. See vol. i. p. 280. 

* In August, 1G42, at the commencement of the civil war, by surren- 
dering Portsmouth to the King, though he hehl his appointment of 
governor of the town from the Parliament. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 2. 


devoted to their cause ; it was a rabble of loose fellows, 
who cared little for whom they fought, but indulged 
daily and nightly in the most shameful disorders, and 
revolted by their vices a country which they had 
ruined by their exactions. The Prince of Wales, or 
rather his council, compelled to make use of such men, 
strove in vain to satisfy or control them, sometimes 
to protect the people against their violence, and some- 
times to induce them to join their standard.^ 

The people, however, no longer responded to this 
summons; and ere long, they did more than refuse 
their assistance. Thousands of peasants collected 
together, and under the name of Clubmen, ranged the 
country in arms. They had no intention of joining 
either party, and did not declare in favour of the Par- 
liament; their sole object was to rescue their fields 
and villages from the ravages of war, and they attacked 
all who gave them cause for alarm, without caring to 
inquire under whose banner they fought. During the 
previous year, some similar bands had been formed in 
Worcestershire and Dorsetshire, to resist the violence 
of Prince Rupert. In the month of March, 1645, 
the Clubmen became, in the western counties, a per- 
manent, regular, and well-supported confederation, 
commanded by gentlemen who had, ui many cases, 
served in the King's armies, and constantly engaged 
in the defence of their lives and property, and in the 
assertion of peace and good order. They treated with 
the troops and garrisons of both sides, undertook to 
supply them with provisions, on condition that they 

' Clareudou's History ot the llebellioii, vul. v. p. 14:i 


should not seize them by force of arms, even pre- 
vented them sometimes from coming to blows, and 
had these words written on their rustic banners : 

" If you offer to plunder our cattle, 
Be assured we will give you battle." ' 

So long as the Royalists were predominant in the 
west, the Clubmen resisted them, and seemed disposed 
to ally themselves with the Parliamentarians. Some- 
times they threatened to burn the dwelhngs of all who 
refused to join with them to exterminate the Cavaliers ; 
and at other times they invited Massey, who com- 
manded for the Parliament in Worcestershire, to march 
with them to besiege Hereford, from whence the Cava- 
liers infested the country.^ On the 2nd of June, at 
Wells, six thousand of them presented a petition to 
the Prince of Wales, complaining of Lord Groring's 
rapacity, and notwithstanding the Prince's order, they 
refused to separate.^ In the beginning of July, Fairfax 
arrived in the west as a conqueror ; the Cavahers were 
intimidated, and ceased to devastate the country ; the 
Clubmen immediately turned against Fairfax and his 
soldiers.^ But Fairfax had a good army, well paid and 
provided, and in which enthusiasm and discipline lent 
each other mutual support. He treated the Clubmen 
considerately, entered into negociations with them, 
personally attended some of their meetings, promised 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 380 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. v. p. 197 ; Whitelocke, p. 136 ; Neal's History of the 
Puritans, vol. iii. p. 90. 

2 Whitelocke's Memorials, pp. 136, 138, 140. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 198. 

" Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 380 — 386 ; May's Breviary, 
p. 130. 


them peace, and carried on the war with vigour. In a 
few days, the campaign was decided. On the 10th of 
July, Goring was surprised and defeated at Langport, 
in Somersetshire, and his few remaining troops were 
left to disperse in all directions. Sir Richard Green- 
ville returned his commission as field-marshal to the 
Prince of Wales, and complained, with the utmost 
effrontery, that he had heen obliged to carry on the 
war at his own expense.^ In short, three weeks after 
the arrival of Fairfax, the Cavaliers, who had so recently 
overrun the west as almost absolute masters, were 
nearly all shut up within various towns, which Fairfax 
was preparing to besiege. 

Meanwhile, in every direction, the question was 
asked, what the King was about, nay, where was he, 
for scarcely any one knew. After the disaster of 
Naseby, he had fled from town to town, scarcely allow- 
ing himself any time for repose, and sometimes tra- 
velling north, and sometimes west, in order to join 
Montrose or Goring, as his changing fears and plans 
suggested. On reaching Hereford, he finally deter- 
mined to proceed into Wales, where he hoped to recruit 
some infantry; so he despatched Prince Pupert to 
Bristol, and betook himself to Pagland Castle, the seat 
of the Marquis of Worcester, the head of the Catholic 
party, and the wealthiest nobleman in England. 
Secret designs, in which the Catholics alone could 
co-operate, led him to take this step. Moreover, for 
three years the Marquis had given the King proofs of 
inexhaustible devotedness ; he had lent him a hundred 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 212. 


thousand pounds, had raised i,wo regiments at his own 
expense, under the command of his son. Lord Herbert 
(afterwards created Earl of Glamorgan), and notwith- 
standing his age and infirmities, personally commanded 
a strong garrison in his own castle. He received the 
King with respectful pomp, assembled the neighbouring 
nobles to meet him, and provided for him, with lavish 
munificence, all the sports, festivities, homage, and 
amusements of a Court. The fugitive monarch breathed 
freely for a time, as though restored to his natural 
state of being ; and for more than a fortnight, forget- 
ting his misfortunes, his dangers, and his kingdom, 
his only thought was to enjoy his recovered royalty.' 

The news of his disasters in the west, however, soon 
roused him from this pleasing illusion. At the same 
time he learned that, on the 28tli of June, the Scots 
liad taken Carlisle, and were marching southward, with 
a view to besiege Hereford. He left Ragland at once, 
to hasten to the relief of Goring ; but when he reached 
the banks of the Severn, the unsatisfactory condition 
of his new levies, the dissensions among his officers, 
and a host of unexpected difficulties, threw him into 
discouragement, and he returned into Wales. He was 
at Cardiff, uncertain what course to take, when a letter 
was given to him, written by Prince Rupert to the 
Duke of Richmond, with a request that he would show 
it to the King. The Prince beheved that all was lost, 
and recommended peace at any price. As soon as his 
honour seemed in danger, Charles was filled with an 

' Walker's Discourses, p. 132 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. V. pp. 221, 222. 


energy which considerations of personal safety could 
never insj^ire. He wi'ote at once to his nephew : " If 
I had any other quarrel but the defence of my religion, 
crown, and friends, you had full reason for your advice. 
For I confess that, speaking as a mere soldier or states- 
man, I must say there is no probability but of my 
ruin ; 3^et as a Christian, 1 must tell you that God will 
not suffer rebels and traitors to prosj)er, nor this cause 
to be overthrown : and whatever personal punishment 
it shall please Him to inflict upon me, must not make 
me repine, much less give up this quarrel. I must 
aver to all my friends, that he that will stay with me 
at this time must expect and resolve either to die for 
a good cause, or (which is worse) to Hve as miserable 
in maintaining it as the violence of insulting rebels 
can make him. Therefore, for God's sake, let us not 
flatter ourselves with vain conceits, and believe me, tlie 
very imagination that you are desirous of a treaty will 
but lose me so much the sooner." ^ Then, to raise the 
courage of his despondent party, summoning all his 
resolution, he suddenly left Wales, passed unperceived 
through the lines of the Scottish army, which already 
lay encamped under the walls of Hereford, travelled 
rapidly tlirough Sliropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, 
and Nottinghamshire, and on his arrival in Yorkshire, 
summoned all his faithful northern Cavaliers to meet 
him at Doncaster, and march with him to join Mont- 
rose, who, like them, was faithful and still victorious.^ 
The Cavaliers hastened to obey the summons. The 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 225 — 227. 
"' Ibid. vol. V. p. 247 ; Walker's Discourses, pp. 134, 135. 


presence of the King, who had so long been their 
guest, excited the strongest enthusiasm throughout 
the county ; proposals were made for levying a body of 
infantry ; the garrisons of Pontefi'act and Scarborough 
had been recently forced to surrender from want of 
provisions; these formed the nucleus, and in three 
days, nearly three thousand men had offered their ser- 
vices to the King, promising to be in readiness to 
march, within twenty-four hours, whithersoever he 
might please to order them. Charles only awaited a 
letter from Montrose, to decide whether he would 
march to meet him in Scotland, or give him a rendez- 
vous in England. Suddenly news arrived that David 
Lesley, at the head of the Scottish cavalry, had broken 
up the siege of Hereford, and was already at Rother- 
ham, ten miles from Doncaster, seekmg the King. The 
defeat at Naseby had irretrievably affected the minds 
of the Royalists ; their confidence disappeared at the 
approach of danger. Many of them left Doncaster ; no 
fresh recruits arrived ; and even in the opinion of the 
bravest, it was too late to attempt to join Montrose, 
or, in fact, to do more than provide for the King's 
safety. He accordingly left Yorkshire, with about 
fifteen hundred horse, traversed the midland counties 
without difficulty, even defeated some Parliamentarian 
detachments on his road, and re-entered Oxford on the 
29th of August, not knowing what to do with the 
small force which he now had at his command.^ 

He had been two days in Oxford when news reached 

p. 116 

Walker's Discourses, pii. 135, 13G ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. 


him of Montrose's recent and prodigious successes in 
Scotland. It was not only in tlie north of that king- 
dom, and among the Highland clans, that the royal 
cause was now triumphant ; Montrose had advanced 
southwards into the Lowlands ; and on the 1 5th of 
August, at Kilsyth, not far from the ruins of the 
great Eoman wall, he had gained, over the Cove- 
nanters commanded by Baillie, the seventh and most 
splendid of his victories. The enemy's army had 
been destroyed; all the neighbouring towns. Both- 
well, Grlasgow, and even Edinbm'gh, had opened their 
gates to the conqueror ; all the Royalists whom the 
Scottish Parliament had detained in prison, were 
Hberated ; all the timid men, who had waited for some 
such success before declaring themselves, the Marquis 
of Douglas, the Earls of Annandale and Linlithgow, 
the Lords Seaton, Drummond, Erskine, Carnegie, and 
others, now hastened to outvie each other in offers of 
service, fearing they might be too late. The Parlia- 
mentarian leaders had fled on every side, some into 
England, and others into Ireland.^ And, finally, the 
cavalry of the Scottish army, which was besieging 
Hereford, had been recalled in all haste, under the com- 
mand of David Lesley, to defend its native land. Some 
even stated that when Lesley had recently appeared 
in the neighbourhood of Doncaster, far from seeking to 
encounter the King, he was on his march towards Scot- 
land, and that the Royalists had been groundlessly 
alarmed at his approach.^ 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol i. p. 230 ; Guthrie's Memoii-s, p. 189 et seq. 
' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v, pp. 247, 248 ; Rush- 



On hearing this glorious news, Charles at once reco- 
vered all his courage, and left Oxford on the 31st of 
August, intending to march against the Scottish army, 
to take advantage of its diminished numbers, and 
compel it at least to raise the siege of Hereford. On 
his way, as he passed Eagland, he was informed that 
Fairfax had just invested Bristol, the most important 
of his possessions in the west ; but the place was 
strong ; Prince Rupert was there with a good garrison 
to defend it, and promised to hold out for four 
months. The King was, therefore, free from anxiety 
regarding it. When at a day's march from Hereford, 
he learned that, at the news of his approach, the Scots 
had raised the siege, and were retreating precipitately 
towards the north. His officers urged him to pursue 
them ; they were perplexed, fatigued, and in disorder, 
and the country through which they had to pass was 
ill-disposed towards them ; to harass them would 
probably be sufficient to destroy them. But Charles 
was himself fatigued by an activity which exceeded his 
strength. He declared that he must march to the 
relief of Bristol, and, pending the arrival of some 
troops which had been recalled from the west for this 
purpose, he returned to Eagland Castle, attracted by 
the charms of that residence, or in order to arrange 
with the Marquis of Worcester that great and mys- 

wortli, part iv. vol. i. p. 231. — Lesley had left the siege of Hereford in 
the early part of August, and the battle of Kilsyth did not occur until 
the 15th. He had, therefore, evidently heen detached from the Scot- 
tish army in order to pursue the King, and could not have been so 
soon recalled to defend his country. 


terious business which they had been so long medi- 
tating together.' 

No sooner had he arrived at Eagland than he re- 
ceived some most unexpected intelligence. Prmce 
Rupert had surrendered Bristol, on the 11th of Sep- 
tember, at the first assault, almost without offering 
any resistance, and before he had felt any lack of either 
ramparts, provisions, or soldiers. Charles was filled 
with consternation ; his affairs were now utterly 
ruined in the west, and his hopes most bitterly dis- 
appointed. He wrote at once to the Prince from 
Hereford, on the 14th of September:^ " Nej)hew, — 
Though the loss of Bristol be a great blow to me, yet 
your surrendering it as you did is of so much affliction 
to me, that it makes me not only forget the considera- 
tion of that place, but is likewise the greatest trial of 
my constancy that hath yet befallen me. For what is 
to be done after one that is so near me as you are, 
both in blood and friendship, submits himself to so 
mean an action (I give it the easiest term) ? such — 
I have so much to say, that I ^vill say no more of it ; 
only, lest rashness of judgment be laid to my charge, 
I must remember you of your letter of the 12th of 
August, whereby you assm-ed me that, if no mutiny 
happened, you would keep Bristol for four months. 
Did you keep it four days ? Was there anything like 
a mutiny ? More questions might be asked, but now, 
I confess, to little purpose. My conclusion is to desire 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 249 — 251 ; Walker's 
Discoui'ses, p. 136 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol, i. pp. 121 — 123. 
* Rushworth, part iv. vol. i, pp. 65 — 68. 

o 2 


you to seek your subsistence, until it shall please God 
to determine of my condition, somewhere beyond 
seas ; to which end I send you herewith a pass ; and I 
pray God to make you sensible of your present condi- 
tion, and give you means to redeem what you have 
lost ; for I shall have no greater joy in a victory than 
a just occasion, without blushing, to assure you of 
my being, your loving uncle and most faithful friend, 
C. R."^ 

On the same day he wrote to Oxford, whither the 
Prince had retired, to order the Lords of the Council 
to require liim to give up his commission, to watch all 
his movements, to dismiss Colonel William Legg, the 
governor of Oxford, who was a particular friend of 
Rupert, and, finally, to arrest both the colonel and the 
prince if any tumult were excited. His letter was 
addressed to Sir Edward Nicholas, Secretary of State, 
and terminated with this postcript : " Tell my son 
that I shall less grieve to hear that he is knocked on 
the head, than that he should do so mean an action as 
is the rendering of Bristol castle and fort upon the 
terms it was."^ 

One resource still remained to the King — his old 
plan, which he had already attempted without success, 
— to join Montrose. It was, moreover, necessary that 
he should march towards the north to relieve Chester, 
which was again besieged, and which, since the loss of 
Bristol, was the only port to which succour could be 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 252. 
^ Evelyn's Diary and Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 165 ; Clarendon's 
History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 253. 


sent him from Ireland, now his only hope. After 
spending a week at Hereford in deep despondency, he 
set out on his march across the mountains of Wales, 
the only road by which he could escape a body of 
Parliamentarians who, under the command of Major- 
general Poyntz, were watching all his movements. 
His own army consisted of about five thousand men, 
chiefly Welsh infantry, and Cavaliers from the northern 
counties. He was already within sight of Chester 
when the Parhamentarians, who had begun their 
march later, but had come by an easier and more 
direct road, came up with his rear-guard.' Sir Mar- 
maduke Langdale, who commanded it, charged the 
enemy with such vigour, that they were forced to fall 
back in disorder. But Colonel Jones, who was direct- 
ing the siege, detached a body of troops, and fell sud- 
denly on the royalist rear. Poyntz rallied his men. The 
King, placed between two fires, saw his best officers 
fall aroimd him, and was soon compelled to fly. He 
returned to Wales in utter despair, separated once 
more, as by an insurmountable barrier, from the camp 
of Montrose, which was now his last hope. 

But even this hope was now a mere delusion ; for 
ten days, Montrose, like the King, had been a fu- 
gitive, in search of a hiding-place and soldiers. On 
the 13th of September, at Philiphaugh, in Ettrick 
Forest, not far from the English border, Lesley had 
surprised him in a weak position, and before he sus- 
pected his approach. Notwithstanding all his efibrts 

' At Rowton Heath, on the 24th of September, 1645 ;\vt>rth, 
part iv. vol. i. p. 117 ; Clareudou's Rebellion, vol. v. p. 284. 


to keep them together, the Highlanders had left him to 
return home and deposit their booty in a place of 
safety. Several noblemen, among others the Earl of 
Aboyne, envious of his renown, had also left him with 
their vassals ; and others, such as the Lords Traquair, 
Hume, and Eoxburgh, distrustful of his good fortune, 
had not kept their promises to join him/ Brilliant 
and headstrong in his character, he filled mean spirits 
with envy, and inspired the timid with no feeling 
of security. A tendency to boastfulness disfigured 
his genius and diminished his influence ; though his 
friends served him with passionate ardour, and his 
soldiers followed him with enthusiasm, he was not 
respected by his equals. His power, moreover, rested 
solely upon his victories ; and the prudent men, who 
daily became more numerous, regarded him with sur- 
prise, as a meteor whose course nothing can check, but 
which must quickly pass out of sight. One reverse 
sufficed to obhterate all his successes ; and the day 
after his defeat, the conqueror of Scotland was looked 
upon as no better than an audacious outlaw. 

On hearing of this terrible blow, Charles looked 
around him with terror, uncertain where to rest his 
hope. Nor did he know whom to consult in his 
emergency. His wisest advisers, Capel, Colepepper, 
and Hyde, were with his son. Lord Digby was 
almost the only one who remained with him, and he 
was still adventurous and confident, ever ready to meet 
reverses with new schemes, but, notwithstanding the 
sincerity of his zeal, chiefly anxious to maintain his 

' Rushw'orth, part iv. vol. i. p. 231 ; Guthrie's Memoirs, p. 198. 


own influence. The King's idea was to retire at 
once to the Welsh coast, and spend the winter in 
the Isle of Anglesey, which was not far from Ireland, 
and could easily be defended. But he was without 
difiiculty dissuaded from thus forsaking his kingdom, 
in which he still possessed many strong towns, Wor- 
cester, Hereford, Chester, Oxford, and Newark. The 
majority were in favour of his proceeding to Worcester, 
but nothing could have been more unpalatable to Lord 
Digby than such a step. He was the declared enemy 
of Prince Eupert, and it was he who, after the sur- 
render of Bristol, had fomented the King's anger, and 
urged him, it was said, to treat his nephew with such 
severity. Rupert was furious, and was resolved, at all 
risks, to see the ELing, justify himself, and revenge the 
injury. At Worcester, he would easily have found an 
opportunity for doing so, for his brother. Prince 
Maurice, was governor of the town. Of all places to 
which the King, coidd retire, Newark was the one 
which Rupert would find it most difficult to reach, 
and obtain a hearing. To the great surprise of all 
around him, the King decided on going to Newark.^ 

The prince was soon informed of his resolution, and 
notwithstanding all orders to the contrary, set out at 
once to see the King. Charles reiterated his determina- 
tion not to receive him ; but Lord Digby was uneasy. 
Either from chance or design, the report suddenly 
spread that Montrose had repaired his defeat, beaten 
Lesley, and made his way to the borders. Without 
waiting for further information, the King set out with 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 2b8. 


Lord Digby and two thousand horse, to make a thh'd 
effort to join him. His error was soon dispelled ; after 
two days' march, it became undeniably certain, that 
Montrose, w^ithout soldiers, was still wandering through 
the northern Highlands. The King could do nothing 
but return to Newark, as Digby himself admitted. 
But for his own part, he was fully resolved not to 
return thither, at the risk of meeting Prince Rupert ; 
he therefore persuaded the King that it was indis- 
pensably necessary to send assistance to Montrose, 
and undertook to convey it himself. They parted ; 
Digby, with fifteen hundred horse, nearly all the 
King's remaining army, continued his march towards 
the north ; and Charles returned to Newark, with 
three or four hundred horse under his command, and 
John Ashburnham, his valet, for his only councillor.^ 

On his arrival, he learned that Rupert was at Bel- 
voir Castle, nine miles from Newark, with his brother 
Maurice, and an escort of a hundred and twenty 
officers. He sent him word to remain there until 
further orders, as he was already offended at his 
having come so far without permission. But the 
prince continued to approach, and many officers of 
the garrison of Newark, including even the governor, 
Sir Richard Willis, went out to meet him. He ar- 
rived, and presented himself before the King, un- 
announced, and with his whole retinue. 'Sire," he 
said, " I am come to render an account of the loss of 
Bristol, and to clear myself from those imputations 
which have been cast on me." Charles, equally per- 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebelliou, vol. v. j). 294. 


plexecl and irritated, returned him scarcely any answer. 
It was supper time ; the prince's escort withdrew, and 
the royal party sat down to table ; the King con- 
versed with Maurice, ^vithout saying a word to Rupert, 
and when supper was over, retired to his own room.^ 
Rupert took up his abode at the governor's house. 
The next day, however, the King consented that a 
council of war should be called ; and after dehberating 
three hours, it adopted a declaration that the prince 
had been wanting neither in courage nor fidehty. No 
entreaties could obtain any further concession from the 

This was not enough for the prince and his parti- 
zans. They remained at Newark, giving unrestrained 
expression to their ill humour. The King, on his side, 
determined to put a stop to the constantly-increasing 
disorders of the garrison. For two thousand men, 
there were twenty-four general officers or colonels, 
whose pay absorbed nearly aU the contributions of 
the country.^ The gentlemen of the neighbom-hood, 
even those most devoted to the King, complained 
bitterly of the governor. Charles resolved to remove 
him, but in order not to lose his services, to give him 
some office about his person. He therefore announced 
to Willis his appointment as colonel of the Royal Horse 
Gruards. Sir Richard declined, saying, that this pro- 
motion would be regarded as a disgrace, and that he 
was too poor to live at Court. " I will take care 
and provide for your support," said the King, dis- 

' Clarcudon'a History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 296. 
' Ibid. vol. V. pp. 298, 299. 


missing liim. On the same day, Charles had just sat 
down to dinner, when Sir Eichard Willis, with the 
two princes, Lord Grerrard, and about twenty officers 
of the garrison, abruptly entered the room. " Wliat 
3^our Majesty said to me in private," said WiUis, " is 
now the pubhc talk of the town, and very much to my 
dishonour." " Sir Kichard is to be removed from his 
government," added Eupert, " for no fault that he has 
committed, but for being my friend." " It is the 
plot of the Lord Digby," said Lord Gerrard, " who is 
a traitor, and I will prove him to be so." Surprised 
and perplexed, Charles rose from table, and moving 
towards his own room, ordered Willis to foUow him. 
" No," replied Willis, " I have received a public injury, 
and I therefore expect a public satisfaction." At this 
refusal, Charles, losing all self-command, darted towards 
them, pale with anger, and with a loud voice and threat- 
ening gestures, ordered them " to depart from his pre- 
sence, and come no more into it." Agitated in their 
turn, they all left the room hurriedly, returned to the 
governor's house, sounded to horse, and left the town 
with about two hundred Cavaliers. 

All the garrison, and all the inhabitants, hastened 
to offer the King fresh assurances of their undimi- 
nished devotion and respect. In the evening, the 
malcontents sent to him to request passes, and be- 
sought him not to consider their conduct mutinous. 
" I will not now christen it a mutiny," said the King, 
" but it looks very like one. As for the passes, they 
shall be immediately prepared for as many as desire to 
have them." Before he had recovered from the 


emotion into which he had l)een thrown by this scene, 
news readied him that Lord Digby, on his march to 
Scotland, had been encountered and defeated by a body 
of Parhamentarians at Sherburne, hi Yorkshire, that 
his Cavahers were utterly dispersed, and that no one 
knew what had become of Digby himself/ The north, 
therefore, now offered the King neither soldiers nor 
hope. Even Newark had ceased to be a place of 
safety ; Poyntz had approached with his troops, 
taking possession of all the neighbouring places one 
after another, and drawing his lines every day closer 
and closer around the town, so that it was already 
doubtful whether the King would be able to pass. 
On the 3rd of November, at about eleven o'clock in 
the evening, four or five hundred horse, the surviving 
remnant of several regiments, were assembled on the 
market-place ; the King made his appearance, took 
the command of one of the squadrons, and left 
Newark by the Oxford road. He had shaved off his 
beard to avoid recognition; two small royalist gar- 
risons, which lay on his route, were informed of his 
design ; he rode night and day, with great difficulty 
avoiding the troops and towns of the enemy ; and on 
reaching Oxford, on the 6th of November, he be- 
lieved himself once more in safety, for there he found 
his Council and Court, and was able to resume his 
old habits, and to take some repose.^ 

He was, ere long, pursued tliither by misfortune. 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. v. pp. 292, 293 ; Rush- 
worth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 128 — 134. 

^ Clarendon's History of the RebeUiou, vol. v. pp. 301, 302 ; Walker's 
Discourses, pp. 146, 147 ; Evelyn's Diary, vol. iv. pp. 170 — 172. 


Wliilst he had been wandering from county to county 
and from town to town, Fairfax and Cromwell, fear- 
ing no opposition on his part, and fully convinced 
that the troops under Poyntz would be sufficient to 
hold him in check, had pursued the course of their 
triumphs in the west. In less than five months, 
fifteen important places, including Bridgewater, Bath, 
Sherborne, Devizes, Winchester, Basing House, Ti- 
verton, and Monmouth, had fallen into their hands. 
To those garrisons which manifested any willingness 
to receive their overtures, they readily granted ho- 
nourable conditions; but when a bolder answer was 
given, they immediately stormed the place. ^ At one 
moment, the Clubmen caused them some uneasiness. 
After having dispersed them on several occasions by 
fair words, Cromwell found it necessary to attack 
them forcibly. He did so with his usual rapidity and 
thoroughness ; for he well understood the art of 
passing at once, as occasion required, from gentle- 
ness to severity, and from severity to gentleness. 
At his suggestion, the Parliament passed an Act, 
on the 23rd of August, declaring all associations of 
this kind to be treasonable -^ some of the leaders were 
arrested ; the fears of the people were calmed by the 
severe discipline maintained in the army ; the Club- 
men quickly disappeared ; and when the King re- 
entered Oxford, the position of his party in the west 
was so desperate that, on the very next day, the 
7th of November, he wrote to order the Prince of 

1 Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 89. 

^ Parliauieutai'y History, vol. iii. col. 390 ; Whitelocke, p. 266. 


Wales to hold himself m readmess to pass over to the 

For himself, he had no plan, no idea what to do ; 
sometimes he gave way to the most passionate an- 
guish, and sometimes he strove to forget his power- 
lessness in complete inaction. He urged his council, 
however, to suggest to him some expedient or course 
of action, from which he might hope to gain some 
result. There was no alternative ; the council pro- 
posed that a message should be sent to the Par- 
liament to request a safe-conduct for four negociators. 
The King consented to this without any objection.^ 

Never had the Parliament been less incHned to 
peace, A hundred and thirty new members had 
recently been admitted into the House of Commons, 
in the place of those who had deserted their post to 
follow the King. This measure had long been post- 
poned, at first from motives of policy, afterwards from 
the difficulty of carrying it into execution, and subse- 
quently from design ; but it had, at length, been 
adopted in compliance with the demand of the Inde- 
pendents, who were eager to profit by their successes 
on the battle-field, in order to strengthen their party 
at Westminster.^ They used every exertion to carry 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 303. 

* Ibid. vol. V. p. 337 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 406. — The 
message is dated on the 5th of December, 1645. 

* On the 13th of September, 1644, the question of filHng up the 
vacant seats was first mooted in the House of Commons. The propo- 
sition led to no result until August, 1645. On the 21st of that month, 
on the petition of the borough of Southwark, the House voted, by a 
majority of three votes only, that new elections should take place in 
Southwark, Bury St. Edmunds, and Hythe, in consequence of the 
absence of the five representatives of those boroughs. In the last five 


the elections, appointing them separately one after 
another ; sometimes delajing and sometimes hastening 
them, as their likelihood of success varied, and em- 
ploying alternately craft and violence, the usual tactics 
of conquerors when in a minority. Many men, who 
soon became eminent leaders of their party — Fairfax, 
Ludlow, Ireton, Blake, Sidney, Hutchinson, and Fleet- 
wood — now entered the House. The elections, how- 
ever, did not everywhere lead to the same result : 
many of the counties returned to Westminster men, 
who, though opposed to the Coiu't, were strangers to 
all faction, and friends to legal order and peace. But, 
on theu' arrival at the seat of government, they were 
destitute of experience, had no bond of union or 
recognised leaders, and were but little disposed to rally 
round the old Presbyterian chiefs, who had, for the 
most part, lost their former reputation for uprightness, 
energy, and ability. They created little sensation, 
and exercised little influence ; and the first conse- 
quence of this recruitment of the House was greatly 
to increase the power and daring of the Independents.^ 
The acts of the Parliament, from this time forth, 
assumed a more decisive character. It had been dis- 
covered that, during their residence in London, the 
King's Commissioners had been intriguing with a view 

months of 1645, a hundred and forty-six new members were elected. 
Of the fifty-eight members who signed the order for the execution of 
Charles I., seventeen were persons elected at this period. In 1646 
there were eighty-nine new elections. See the Journals of the House 
of Commons for the above dates. 

' HolUs's ]\Iemoii-s, p. 42 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, pp. 72, 73 ; White- 
locke, pp. 166, 168 ; Old ParUamentary History, vol. ix. p. 12 ; vol. xiv. 
pp. 306—309. 


to form plots and rouse the people; on the lltli of 
August, it was resolved that no more Commissioners 
should be received, that no further negociations should 
he carried on, but that the Houses should prepare 
their propositions of peace in the form of bills, and 
that the King should be required simply to adopt or 
reject them, as he would have done, if resident at 
Whitehall, and acting according to regular practice.^ 
On the 20th of September, the Prince of Wales offered 
to act as mediator between the Eang and the people, 
and Fairfax transmitted his letter to the Parliament, 
saying that he thought it "a duty not to hinder the 
hopeful blossom of the young peace-maker." But no 
answer was sent him.^ The term assigned for Crom- 
well's continuance in his command was on the point 
of expiring: on the 12th of August, his commission 
was again renewed for four months, without any 
reason being assigned for the step.^ The Eoyalist party 
were treated with redoubled severity : a former ordi- 
nance had allowed the wives and children of dehn- 
quents a fifth part of their sequestrated estates ; on 
the 8th of September, this ordinance was repealed.* 
Another ordinance, which was long resisted by the 
Lords, enacted the sale of a considerable portion of 
the property of the bishops and other delinquents.^ 
A similar revolution took place in the camp, and in 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 390. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Kebellion, vol. v. p. 339 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. col. 392. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol, iii. col. 390. 

* Eusliworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 209. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 391 ; Whitelocke, p. 172. 


the conduct of the war. Orders had been issued on 
the 24th of October, 1644, that no quarter should be 
given to the Irish who were taken in England with 
arms in their hands ;^ they were now shot by hun- 
dreds,^ or tied back to back, and thrown into the sea.^ 
Even among Englishmen, there no longer existed that 
gentleness and courtesy which had so frequently been 
manifested in the earlier campaigns, and which re- 
vealed a similarity of condition, education and man- 
ners in the two parties, and their retention of peaceful 
habits and desires even in the midst of war. In the 
Parhamentarian ranks, Fairfax was almost the only 
leader who retained this feeling of refined humanity ; 
the of&cers and soldiers who surrounded him had, for 
the most part, risen from the ranks, and though brave 
and able men, were rough in their manners, or fanatics 
of violent and sombre disposition, whose only thought 
was victory, and who regarded the Cavaliers in the 
light of enemies alone. The Cavaliers, on their part, 
feeling it almost an insult to be overcome by such 
adversaries, sought their consolation or revenge in 
ridicule, epigrams, and songs, which daily grew more 
insolent in their character.* Thus the war became 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. ii, p. 783. 

* Ibid, part iv. vol. i. p. 231 ; Baillie's Letters, vol. ii. p. 164. 
Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 122, 

* The most remarkable of these songs are those which were composed 
in ridicule of David Lesley and his Scots, when he broke np the siege 
of Hereford to march to the defence of Scotland, which had been almost 
entirely subjugated by Montrose, whom he defeated on the 13th of 
September, 1645, at the battle of Philiphaugh. No defeat had yet 
robbed the Cavaliers of such brilliant hopes, and their auger was there- 
fore vented with unusual vigour. One of the most spirited of these 
songs will be found in Appendix VIII. 


stern, and sometimes even cruel, in its nature, as 
though it were carried on between men whose know- 
ledge of each other had produced only mutual con- 
tempt and hatred. At the same time, the misunder- 
standing between the Scots and the Parliament, which 
had hitherto been kept in check, broke out unre- 
strainedly ; the former complained that their army 
was not paid ; the latter expressed its indignation 
that an army of allies should, like a hostile force, 
pillage and devastate the counties which it occupied.^ 
In a word, the increase of the national excitement all 
over the country, the deepening of all feelings of 
enmity, and tlie harsher and more decisive measures 
adopted by the Parliament, left but little probability 
that peace would terminate, or a truce suspend, the 
already rapid course of events. 

The King's overtures were rejected, and all safe- 
conduct refused to his negociators. He repeated his 
demand in two other messages, with no greater success ; 
he was told that the past intrigues of his courtiers in 
the City rendered it impossible to allow them to come 
again. ^ He oftered to repair to Westminster in person, 
to treat directly with the Parliament -^ but notwith- 
standing the remonstrances of the Scots, this propo- 
sition was also rejected.* He renewed his entreaties,^ 
less in the hope of succeeding in his suit, than in 
order to discredit the Parliament in the opinion of the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 393, 394—398, 405. 

'^ December 26, 1645 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 414. 

•■• December 26—30, 1645 ; ibid. vol. iii. cols. 415—417, 

* Januaiy 13, 1646 ; ibid. vol. iii. cols. 418 — 421. 

' January 15, 1646 ; ibid. vol. iii. col. 421. 



people, who were anxious for peace. But his enemies 
had recently become possessed of a surer means of 
casting discredit upon himself. They solemnly an- 
nounced that they had at length discovered certain 
proof of the duplicity of his language ; that he had 
just concluded with the Irish, not a mere cessation of 
arms, but a treaty of alliance ; that ten thousand of 
those rebels, under the command of the Earl of Gla- 
morgan, were soon to land at Chester ; that the price 
of this abominable assistance was the complete abolition 
of all penal laws against the Catholics, full hberty in 
the exercise of their worship, and the acknowledgment 
of their right to the churches and lands of which they 
had taken possession, — in other words, the triumph of 
Popery in Ireland, and the ruin of the Protestants. 
A copy of the treaty, and several letters relating to it, 
had been found in the carriage of the Archbishop of 
Tuam, one of the leaders of the insurgents, who had 
been accidentally killed in a skirmish, on the 17th of 
October, mider the walls of SHgo. The Committee of 
both kingdoms, which, for three months, had kept 
these documents in reserve for some important occa- 
sion, now laid them before Parhament, which ordered 
their immediate publication.^ 

The King's discomfiture was extreme ; the facts 
were undeniable ; the Parhament did not even know 
all. For nearly two years,^ Charles had been personally 
conducting this negociation, without the knowledge of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 428 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. 
p. 238. 

2 The King's commission to Glamorgan is dated on the 1st of 
April, 1644. 


his party or council, and sometimes even without com- 
municating his plans to the Marquis of Ormonde, his 
lieutenant in Ireland, although he had no doubt of his 
zeal, and could not dispense with his co-operation. A 
Catholic nobleman, Lord Herbert, the eldest son of the 
Marquis of Worcester, who had recently been created 
Earl of Grlamorgan, alone possessed the King's entire 
confidence in this business. Brave, generous, reckless, 
and passionately devoted to the cause of his imperilled 
sovereign and his oppressed rehgion, Gflamorgan 
travelled incessantly between England and Ireland, 
between Dublin and Kilkenny, undertaking all that 
Ormonde declined to do, and alone knowing how far 
the King's concessions might be extended. It was he 
who conducted the correspondence of Charles with 
Einuccini, the Pope's nuncio, who had arrived in 
Ireland in October, 1645, and with the Pope himself. 
Finally, the King had formally authorized him, by an 
act dated on the 12th of March, 1645, signed with 
his own hand, and known to themselves alone, to 
concede to the Irish all that he might deem necessary, 
in order to obtain from them effectual help ; and had 
promised to approve and ratify all, however illegal 
the concessions might be; merely desiring that 
nothing should transpire, until he could usefully avow 
the whole transaction. The treaty had been concluded 
on the 20th of August preceding, and Glamorgan, who 
still remained in Ireland, urgently pressed its execu- 
tion. This was the secret of the frequent visits and 
long sojom-ns of the King at Eagland Castle, the 
residence of the Marquis of Worcester, and of those 


mysterious hopes to which he sometimes vaguely 
alluded in the midst of his reverses.^ 

News reached Oxford and Dublin almost at the 
same time, that this treaty had become known in 
London. Ormonde at once perceived the great injury 
which would accrue to the Bang's affairs from this 
discovery, even among his own party. Either because 
he was really unaware, as he himself states, that 
Charles had authorized such concessions, or, more 
probably, because he was anxious to put the King in a 
position to disavow them, he ordered the instant arrest 
of Glamorgan,^ on the ground that he had exceeded 
his powers, and gravely compromised his sovereign by 
granting the rebels privileges which all the laws 
denied them. Steadfast in his devotion to the King's 
service, Glamorgan remained silent, and did not pro- 
duce the secret acts signed Charles, which he had in 
his hands, but stated that the King was not bound to 
ratify all that he had thought it his duty to promise 
in his name. Charles, on his side, hastened to dis- 
avow his conduct, in a proclamation addressed to the 
Parliament on the 29th of January, 1646,^ and in an 
official letter to the Council at DubHn on the 31st of the 
same month. ^ According to his statement, Glamorgan 
had instructions merely to raise troops, and to second 
the efforts of the Lord Lieutenant ; but, among both 

* Dr. Lingard has collected and stated with great clearness all the 
facts relating to this negociation, in his History of England, vol. vi. 
pp. 537—541, 655—664. 

On the 4th of January, 1646. 
^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 435. 

* Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. iii. pp. 445—447. 


parties, mendacity was now only an old and useless 
practice ; and no one, not even among the common 
people, was deceived by the falsehood. On the 1st of 
February, Grlamorgan was released from arrest, and 
immediately recommenced his negociations for the 
introduction of an Iiish army into England, on the 
same terms as before. The Parhament voted, on the 
31st of January, that the King's justification was un- 
satisfactory ;^ on the 27th, Cromwell was, for the last 
time, continued in his command ;^ and Charles found 
himself compelled once more to seek safety in war, 
though he was no longer in a position to carry 
on warlike operations. 

Two bodies of troops alone remained at his dis- 
posal : one in Cornwall, under the command of Lord 
Hopton, the other on the frontiers of Wales, under 
Lord Astley. Towai'ds the middle of January, the 
Prince of Wales, who was still governor of the west, 
though he had been forsaken by Goring and Greenville, 
his former generals, had sent for Lord Hopton, long 
the leading man in the western counties, and 
besought him to resume the command of the wreck 
of an army which still remained about him. " My 
lord," answered Hopton, " it is a custom now, when 
men are not willing to submit to what they are en- 
joined, to say that it is against their honour, that their 
honour will not suffer them to do this or that. For 
my part, I could not obey your Highness at this time, 
without resolving to lose my honour. I shall have to 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ill. col. 438. 
'"■ Ibid. vol. iii. col. 428. 


command men whom only their friends fear and their 
enemies laugh at, who are only terrible in plunder and 
resolute in running away. But since your Highness 
has thought necessary to command me, I am ready to 
obey, even with the loss of my honour." And he 
placed himself at the head of seven or eight thousand 
men.' But he soon became as hateful to them as their 
excesses were offensive to him ; even the brave could not 
endure his discipline and vigilance, after having been 
accustomed under Groring to a less troublesome and 
more profitable mode of warfare. Fairfax, still bent 
on reducing the west to submission, lost no time in 
marching against them ; and on the 1 6th of February, 
at Torrington on the borders of Cornwall, Hopton 
suffered a defeat, more disastrous in its consequences 
than bloody in its character. As he retreated from 
town to town, he strove in vain to rally his army ; 
but both officers and soldiers ahke failed him. " From 
the hour I undertook this charge," he said, " to the 
hour of their dissolving, scarce a party or guard 
appeared with half the number appointed, or within 
two hours of the time."^ Fairfax daily pressed him 
more closely. At the head of the small corps which 
still remained faithful to him, Hopton soon found 
himself driven to the furthest extremity of Cornwall. 
At Truro, he was informed that, weary of the war, the 
people of the country contemplated putting an end to 
it by seizing the Prince of Wales and giving him up 
to the Parliament. The critical moment had now 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 307. 
'^ Ibid. vol. V. p. 316. 


arrived ; the Prince put to sea, with his council, but 
retired only to the island of Scilly, where he was still 
on Enghsh soil, and almost within sight of the coast. 
Free from anxiety on his account, Hopton wished to 
try the fortune of battle once more; but his troops 
loudly demanded that he should capitulate. Fairfax 
sent to offer him honourable conditions ; Hopton evaded 
compliance ; his officers declared that, if he would not 
consent to terms, they would treat without him ; he 
then allowed them to treat on their own account, but 
neither he nor Lord Capel would be included in the 
capitulation. When the articles had been signed and 
the army disbanded, these two noblemen embarked to 
join the Prince at Scilly; and a few insignificant 
garrisons were now all that remained to the King in 
the south-west.^ 

Lord Astley had no better fate ; he was at Wor- 
cester with three thousand men ; the King sent him 
orders to join him at Oxford, and marched out himself, 
with fifteen hmidred horse, to meet him. He was 
anxious to have about him a sufficient body of men to 
wait for the reinforcements from Ireland, which he 
still expected. But on the 22nd of March, before 
they had been able to effi3ct a junction. Sir William 
Brereton and Colonel Morgan, at the head of a body 
of Parliamentarians, came up with Astley, whose 
movements they had been watching for more than a 
month, at Stow, in Grloucestershire. The Cavaliers 
were completely routed; eighteen hundred of them 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 321, 322 ; Rush-" 
worth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 99 — 115. 


were killed or taken prisoners, and the rest fled. 
Astley himself, after a desperate resistance, fell into 
the hands of the enemy. He was old, wearied by the 
fight, and found it painful to walk ; the soldiers, moved 
by his grey hairs and his courage, brought him a 
drum ; he sat down on it, and addressing Brereton's 
officers, said : " Gentlemen, you may now sit down 
and play, for you have done all your work, if you fall 
not out among yourselves."* 

That his enemies might thus be made to quarrel was 
now the King's only hope, and he attempted at once 
to sow discord among them. For some time already, 
and even whilst he was loading man}" of the Presby- 
terian leaders with dangerous attentions, he had main- 
tained a secret correspondence with the Independents, 
and particularly with Vane, who was no less active in 
intrigue than passionate as an enthusiast. Very 
recently, on the 2nd of March, his Secretary of State, 
Sir Edward Nicholas, had written to urge Vane to use 
his influence to obtain leave for the King to come to 
London, and treat in person with the Parliament, and 
had promised him that, if the Houses insisted on the 
predominance of Presbyterian discipline in the Church, 
the lioyalists would join with the Independents " in 
rooting out of the kingdom that tyrannical govern- 
ment, that my master may not have his conscience 
disturbed, yours also being free."^ It is not known 
what answer was sent by Vane to this letter; but, 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 139 — 141 ; Old Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. xiv. pp. 297—302. 

* Evelyn's Diary and Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 173. 


after Astley's defeat, the King himself wrote to Vane : 
" Be very confident that all things shall be performed 
according to my promise. By all that is good, I 
conjure you to dispatch that courtesy for me with all 
speed, or it will be too late ; I shall perish before I 
receive the fruits of it. I may not tell you my neces- 
sities, but if it were necessary so to do, I am sure you 
would lay all other considerations aside, and fulfil my 
desires. This is all; trust me, I will repay your 
favour to the full. I have done. If I have not an 
answer within four days after the receipt of this, I 
shall be necessitated to find some other expedient. 
God direct you! I have discharged my duty."^ At 
the same time, he sent a message to the Parliament, 
offering to disband his troops, to throw open his garri- 
sons, and to take up his residence once more in White- 

At this proposal, and on the supposition that the 
King, without waiting for an answer, might suddenly 
make his appearance in the capital, the greatest alarm 
prevailed in Westminster ; whether politicians or fana- 
tics, Presbyterians or Independents, all were fully con- 
scious that, if the King were at Whitehall, riots would 
not break out in the City against him ; and all were 
equally resolved not to place themselves at his mercy 
They at once took the most violent measures to avert 
this danger ; aU persons were forbidden, on the severest 
penalties, either to receive the King, or to go out to 

' Evelyn's Diary and Correspondence, vol. iv. p. 174 ; Clarendon's 
State Papers, vol. ii. p. 227. — The letter was neither dated nor signed. 

* On the 23rd of March, 1646 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col 


meet him if he came to London, or to supply any one 
with the means of approaching his person. The com- 
mittee of militia received authority to prevent any 
concourse of people, to arrest all who came with the 
King, to liinder any procession to welcome him, and 
even, in case of need, to secure his person from all 
danger. All papists, delinquents, reformado officers, 
soldiers of fortune, or other persons who had taken 
part against the ParHament, were ordered to quit 
London within three days/ Finally, on the 8rd of 
April, a court-martial was instituted, and the punish- 
ment of death decreed against all persons who should, 
either directly or indirectly, maintain any correspond- 
ence with the King, or come without a pass from any 
camp or town in the King's hands, or harbour or con- 
ceal any person who had borne arms against the 
Parliament, or voluntarily allow any prisoner of war 
to escape, and so forth.^ Never had any act of the 
Parliament borne the impress of so much terror. 

Yane, on his side, left the King's letter unanswered, 
or at all events, made no attempt to comply with his 

Meanwhile, Fairfax's troops were advancing rapidly 
to blockade Oxford; and already Colonel Eains- 
borough had encamped, with three regiments, within 
sight of the town. The King sent an offer to surrender 
to Eainsborough, if he would pledge his word to take 
him at once to the Parliament. Eainsborough refused 

' By Acts of the 31st March and 3rd April, 1646 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. cols. 452, 453 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 249. 
^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 252. 


to do so. In a few days, the blockade could not fail to 
be complete ; and however long it might be continued, 
the result was inevitable — the King must fall as a 
prisoner of war into the hands of his enemies.^ 

One only refage remained accessible to him, and 
that was the camp of the Scots. For more than two 
months, M. de Montreuil, the French ambassador in 
England, from pity of the King's distresses, rather 
than in obedience to any instructions he had received 
from Mazarin, had been labouring to secure him this 
last asylum. Eebuffed at first by the Scottish Com- 
missioners who were residing in London, and con- 
vinced by a visit to Edinburgh that nothing was to be 
expected from the Scottish Parhament, he had finally 
addressed himself to some of the leaders of the army 
which was besieging Newark ; and they had seemed to 
him so favom-ably disposed that, on the 1st of April, 
1646, he had felt himself justified in promising the 
King in the name and under the guarantee of the 
King of France, that the Scots would receive him as 
their legitimate Sovereign, would guard himself and 
his family from all danger, and would even co-operate 
with him to the utmost of their power in procuring 
the re-estabiishment of peace. The irresolution and 
frequent retractions of the Scottish officers, however, 
who, though willing to save the King, had no wish to 
quarrel with the Parhament, soon made it evident to 
Montreuil that he had gone too far, and he hastened 
to send information of his too great precipitancy to 
Oxford. But in the meanwliile, the daily -increasing 

• Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 393. 


pressure of necessity had rendered both the King and 
Montreuil himself less exigent ; and the Queen, who, 
though resident in Paris, had many friends and agents 
in the Scottish army, urged her husband to place 
entire confidence in its loyalty. In subsequent con- 
ferences, the officers made some few promises to Mon- 
treuil. He at once informed the King of this, but 
carefully impressed upon him, at the same time, that 
the step was fraught with great danger, and that any 
other refuge would be preferable ; and merely stated 
that, if he had no other asylum, he would be sure to 
find full security, for his person at least, in the camp 
of the Scots. ^ 

Wliether he had made up his mind or not as to the 
wisdom of the step, Charles was no longer able to 
wait. Fairfax was already at Newbury, and in three 
days the blockade of Oxford would be complete. At 
midnight, on the 27th of April, attended only by 
Ashburnham and Dr. Hudson, a clergyman who was 
well acquainted with the road, the King left Oxford 
on horseback, disguised as Ashbm'nham's servant, and 
carrjdng a valise behind him. At the same time, in 
order to mislead all suspicions, three men rode out at 
every other gate of the town. The King took the 
road to London. On reaching Harrow hill, within 
sight of his capital, he halted in great anxiety : he 
might have gone on, re-entered Whitehall, and ap- 
peared suddenly in the midst of the City, which would 
in all probability have welcomed his return. But 

» Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 383 — 391 ; Cla- 
rendon's State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 211 — 226. 


nothing was more repugnant to him than any bold or 
unusual resolve, for he was sadly deficient in presence 
of mind, and was most fearful of those contingencies 
which might compromise his dignity. After pro- 
longed hesitation, he turned away from London, and 
proceeded northwards, but slowly and carelessly, Kke 
a man who was still uncertain what to do. Montreuil 
had promised to meet him at Harborough, in Leices- 
tershire, but did not keep his appointment. The 
King, in great uneasiness, sent Hudson in search of 
him, and fell back into the eastern counties, wan- 
dering from town to town — from house to house — 
chiefly along the coast, incessantly changing his dis- 
guise, and inquiring everywhere for news of Montrose, 
whom he still earnestly desired to join. But this also 
was too long and difficult an enterprise for him to 
attempt. Hudson returned, and announced that no 
change had taken place in the aspect of affairs ; 
Montreuil still promised him a safe, if not an agree- 
able, retreat in the Scottish camp. Charles at length 
decided on going thither, from weariness rather than 
from choice ; and early on the morning of the 5th of 
May, nine days after his departure from Oxford, 
Montreuil conducted him to KeDiam, the head- 
quarters of the Scots. ^ 

On seeing the King, the Earl of Leven and his 
officers affected extreme surprise ; information of his 
arrival was sent immediately to the Parliamentary 

' Kushworth, part iv. vol. i. {). 267 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. v. p. 394 ; Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. i>. 228 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 203. 


Commissioners ; and expresses were despatched with 
the news to Edinburgh and London. Both officers 
and soldiers treated the King with extreme respect ; 
but, in the evening, under the pretext of paying him 
the honours due to his rank, a strong guard was 
placed at his door ; and when, in order to ascertain 
his real position, he attempted to give the watchword 
for the night, Lord Leven "told him, in his homely 
manner, that he, being the older soldier, would save 
his Majesty that trouble."^ 

' Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 352. 




It became known in London, on the 2nd of May, that 
the King had escaped from Oxford, but no clue had 
been obtained either as to where he was, or whither it 
was his intention to proceed. A report was spread 
that he was in concealment in the City, and all who 
harboured him were again threatened with death, 
without mercy. Fairfax sent word that he had gone 
into the eastern counties, and two officers of approved 
fidelity, Colonels Russell and Wharton, were sent 


thither immediately, with orders to search for him in 
all quarters, and take him at all risks/ All parties, 
both Parliamentarians and Royalists, were harassed by 
the same uncertainty, and bore their hopes and fears 
with equal impatience. 

On the evening of the 6th of May, the news at 
length arrived that the King was in the Scottish 
camp. On the following day, the Commons voted 
that the two Houses alone possessed the right of dis- 
posing of the King's person, and that he should be 
conducted without delay to Warwick Castle. The 
Lords refused to ratify the vote ; but they agreed 
that Poyntz, who was quartered near Newark, should 
be ordered to watch all the movements of the Scottish 
army ; and Fairfax himself was directed to hold him- 
self in readiness to march in case of need.^ 

The Scots, on their side, were anxious to return 
home. On the very day of his arrival among them, 
they induced the King to send orders to Lord 
Bellasis, the governor of Newark, to open to them the 
gates of the town ; they then gave up the place to 
Poyntz and his troops, and a few hours afterwards, 
with the King in their advanced guard, began their 
march towards Newcastle, on the borders of their own 

The Independents were animated by mingled 
feelings of anxiety and irritation. For more than a 
year they had succeeded in all their undertakings : 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 267 ; Whitelocke, p. 203. 
^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 465, 466. 

'■' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 267 — 271 ; May's Breviary, p. 135 ; 
Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 467. 


masters of the army, they had been everywhere victo- 
rious, and had produced, by their victories, a strong 
impression on the imagination of the people : under 
their banners were enlisted all the men of bold spirit, 
restless ambition, and lofty hopes — all who had their 
fortunes to make, or entertained immoderate desires, 
or meditated great designs. Genius itself could find 
scope and freedom only in their ranks. Milton,^ still 
young, but ah-eady remarkable for the elegance and 
extent of his learning, had recently asserted, in nobler 
language than had ever before been used for the pur- 
pose, liberty of conscience, hberty of the press, and 
freedom of divorce;^ and the Presbyterian clergy, 
filled with indignation at his boldness, had vainly 
denounced his writings to the Pai'liament, and placed 
the toleration of such works on the hst of its sins.^ 
Another man, already well known by liis determined 
resistance to t^a-anny, John Lilburne, had begun his 
unwearied warfare against lords, judges, and lawyers, 
and the noisiest popularity ah'eady attached to his 
name.* The number and confidence of the Dissenting 
congregations,^ all of whom made common cause with 

' Born in London, on the 9th of December, 1608. 

* In five pamphlets against Prelacy, and upon Reformation of the 
Church, pubhshed in 1641-2 ; in a pamphlet on ' The Doctrine and 
Discipline of Divorce,' pubhshed in 1644 ; and in a ' Speech for the 
Liberty of Unlicensed Printing,' also published in 1644. 

^ Milton's Prose Works, vol. Hi., j'cissim. 

* Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. pp. 19—28. 

* The number of Anabaptist congregations, for instance, was fifty- 
four in 1648. Thomas Edwards, a Presbyterian Minister, pubhshed in 
1645, under the title of Gaiignvna, a list of these sects, with a view to 
call down upon them the anger of Parliament ; he enumerated sixteen 
principal denominations, and yet had omitted several. — Neal's History 
of the Puritans, vol. iii. pp. 310—31.3. 



the Independents, daily increased. In vain had the 
Presbyterians at length obtained from the Parliament 
the official and exclusive establishment of their 
church :^ with the help of the lawyers and free- 
thinkers, the Independents had succeeded in main- 
taining the supremacy of the Parliament in religious 
matters;^ and the measure, thus robbed of its 
strength, was carried out slowly and imperfectly.^ At 
the same time, the personal influence of the leaders of 
the Independent party, and of Cromwell especially, 
was visibly on the increase. When they came from 
the army to Westminster, the Houses welcomed them 
with solemn demonstrations of respect;* and when 
they returned to the army, the gifts of money and 
lands, gratuities and offices, which were lavished on 
their creatures, attested and augmented their im- 
portance.^ Throughout the country, in London and in 
the provinces, in all matters involving politics or reli- 
gion, interests or ideas, the social movement pro- 
nounced itself more and more openly in favour of the 

1 By various ordinances or votes of the 23rcl August, 20tli October, 
and 8th November, 1645, and the 20th February and 14th March, 
1646.— Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 205, 210, 224. 

* Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. iii. pp. 231 — 270 ; Commons 
Journals, vol. iv. pp. 287, 303 ; Baillie's Letters, vol, ii. pp. 194, 196, 
198 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 159. 

^ The Presbyterian Church was completely established only in 
London and Lancashire. — Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 347. 

■* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 463, 529. 

^ On the 7th of February, 1646, the Parliament granted Cromwell 
lands of the annual value of 2500L, from the sequestrated estates of 
the Marquis of Worcester. Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 439. 
Some mouths later, an annuity of 5000?. was conferred on Fairfax. In 
October, 1646, Sir William Brereton received a gratuity of 5000Z. ; and 
in December, 1646, 2000?. was presented to Sir Peter Killigrew. — 
Whitelocke, pp. 224, 231. 


Independent party. And in the midst of all this 
prosperity, when on the verge of obtaining the reins of 
power, they found themselves threatened with ruin ; 
for they could not fail to lose all if the King and the 
Presbyterians should combine together against them. 

They used every effort to ward off this blow. Had 
they been free to follow the bent of their own inclina- 
tion, they would probably have ordered the army to 
march at once against the Scots, and recapture the 
King by main force ; but, notwithstanding their suc- 
cess in the recent elections, they were compelled to 
act with greater reserve ; for they were in a minority 
in the Upper House, and in the House of Commons 
they possessed only a precarious ascendancy, derived 
rather from the inexperience of the new members 
than from their real sympathy. They consequently had 
recourse to indirect measures. By all possible means, 
boldly and craftily, openly and secretly, they endea- 
voured either to offend the Scots, or to incense the 
people against them, in the hope of bringing about a 
rupture. The Scottish couriers were arrested, and 
their despatches intercepted at the very gates of 
London, by subalterns whom they vainly strove to 
bring to punisliment ; ^ and petitions were poured in 
against them from the northern counties, in which 
loud complaints were made of their extortions and 
disorders, and of the sufferings entailed upon the 
country by their presence.^ On the 26th of May, 
Alderman Foote presented a petition from the Cit}^ in 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 469 ; Whitelocke, p. 205. 
^ Whitelocke, pp. 207, 209, 21G, 217, 221. 

Q 2 


their favour, and pra3^ed the ParHament to take mea- 
sures to repress the new sectaries, who were the pro- 
moters of all disturbances in Church and State •} the 
Lords thanked the Common Council for their address, 
but the Commons would hardly condescend to return 
a brief and dry answer. Some regiments of Essex's 
old army still remained, in which Presbyterian 
opinions prevailed ; among others, a brigade quartered 
in Wiltshire, under the command of Major-General 
Massey, the valiant defender of Gloucester : com- 
plaints of every kind were got up against it, and it 
was finally disbanded.^ In the Parliament, in tlie 
newspapers, in all public places, and, most of all, in 
the army, the Independents never mentioned the 
Scots without insult, sometimes expressing indigna- 
tion at their rapacity, sometimes ridiculing their par- 
simony ; appealing with coarse, but effectual artfulness, 
to national prejudices and popular suspicions, and neg- 
lecting no opportunity of awakening contempt or 
hatred for their enemies.^ At length, on the 11th of 
June, the Commons voted that there was no longer 
any need of the Scottish army, and that, after paying 
it a hundred thousand pounds, and obtaining an 
account of the whole sum due to it, it should be 
requested to return home.* 

These intrigues did not produce the effect which 
was anticipated : the Scots manifested neither vexation 
nor anger ; but their conduct was stolid and hesitating, 

» Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 474 — 480 ; Ludlow's Memoirs 
p. 77. 

^ Whitelocke, pp. 209, 216, 222, 225. ^ HoUis's Memoirs, p. 45. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 484. 


which suited their enemies still better. The embar- 
rassment of the leaders, who were inclined to serve 
the King, was extreme. With incurable duphcity, 
because he believed himself released from all moral 
obhgations towards rebel subjects, Charles was medi- 
tating their ruin even while he implored their help. 
" I am not without hope," he wrote to Lord Digby, 
on the 26th of March, a few days before he left 
Oxford, — " I am not without hope that I shall be able 
so to draw either the Presbyterians or the Independ- 
ents to side with me for extirpating one the other, 
that I shall be really King again. "^ The Presby- 
terian body, on their side, both in Scotland and 
England, swayed by their ministers, were as zealous 
as ever for the Covenant and for the triumph of their 
chm'ch, and would hear of no accommodation or alli- 
ance with the King, except on those terms ; so that 
the more moderate men, who looked anxiously to- 
wards the futm*e, could neither repose confidence in 
the King, nor abate their pretensions in the slightest 
degree in their dealings with him. In this per- 
plexity, assailed at once by the accusations of their 
adversaries and the requirements of their party, their 
speeches were always contradictory, and their actions 
neutralized each other ; they were desirous of peace, 
promised the King that they would obtain it, and 
were constantly telling his friends of the horror they 
felt for the Independents ; and yet their declarations 
of zeal for the Covenant, of firm attachment to the 
Piirliament, and of inviolable union with their English 

' Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. iii. p. 452. 


bretliren, had never been more frequent or empbatic/ 
and never had they displayed greater distrust and 
severity towards the King and his Cavahers. Six of 
the most illustrious companions of Montrose, who had 
been taken in the battle of Philiphaugh, were con- 
demned and executed; an act of rigour which could 
have been prompted only by revenge, and for which 
the civil war in England had as yet furnished no pre- 
cedent.^ Before leaving Oxford, Charles had written 
to the Marquis of Ormonde, that he was proceeding to 
the Scottish camp solely in rehance on their promise 
to support him and his just rights in case of need f 
and although their language had probably been less 
explicit than his own, it can scarcely be doubted that 
they had really given him reason to hope for their 
support. Ormonde pubhshed the King's letter on the 
21st of May; the Scots lost no time in contradicting 
it, and declared it to be " a most damnable untruth."'' 
His person was guarded more strictly every day ; all 
who had borne arms on his side were forbidden access 
to liim, and his letters were almost invariably inter- 
cepted.^ Finally, to give signal proof of their fidehty 
to the cause of the Covenant, the Scottish leaders 
required the King to receive instruction in the true 
doctrine of Christ; and the most celebrated of their 
preachers, Henderson, proceeded to Newcastle, offi- 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 471, 473, 488 ; Old Parlia- 
mentai-y History, vol. xv. p. 8. 

'^ Laiiig's History of Scotland, vol. iii. p. 334. 

'* Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. iii. p. 455. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 480 — 483. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. pji. 407, 408 ; White- 
l(xke, pp. 206, 208. 


cially to undertake the conversion of the captive 

Charles maintained the controversy with great 
addi'ess and dignity, professing unalterable attach- 
ment to the Anglican Church, and arguing without 
acrimony against his adversary, who was himself 
temperate and respectful. During the course of the 
discussion, the King wrote to order those Eoyalist 
governors who still held out to surrender, and to 
request the Parliament to hasten the despatch of their 
propositions -^ but 'at the same time, he sent instruc- 
tions to Ormonde to continue his negociations with 
the Irish, although he had ofiiciaUy ordered him to 
break them off ;^ and, on the 20tli of July, he wrote 
to Glamorgan, who was stiU the only person to whom 
he had confided his secret designs : "If you can raise 
a large sum of money by pawning my kingdoms for 
that pm-pose, I am content you should do it ; and if I 
recover them, I will fully repay that money. And 
tell the nuncio that, if once I can come into his and 
your hands — since all the rest, as I see, despise me — I 
will do it."^ 

At length, on the 23rd of July, the propositions of 
the Parliament reached the King ; the Earls of Pem- 
broke and Sufiblk, with four members of the House of 
Commons, were deputed to lay them before him. 

* The controversy began on the 29th of May, and lasted until the 
16th of July ; all the notes which passed between the king and Hen- 
derson are printed in the folio edition of the ' Works of King Charles 
the Martyr,' pp. 155—187. (London. 1662.) 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 486, 487. 

^ Ibid. vol. iii. col. 487 ; Lingard's History of England, vol. vi. p. 361. 

"* Birch's Enquiry into Glamorgan's Transactions, p. 245. 


Mr. Goodwin, one of the deputation, was about to 
read them, when the King interrupted him by asking 
whether they had powder to treat. "No, Sire," was 
the answer, " Then," said Charles, " saving the ho- 
nour of the business, an honest trumpeter might have 
done as much." Goodwin finished reading. " I am 
sure," said the King, " you cannot expect a present 
answer from me, in a matter of this consequence." 
Lord Pembroke told him they had but ten days 
allowed them to wait for his Majesty's answer. 
" Very weD," replied Charles, " mtliin that time you 
shall receive it."' 

Several days elapsed, but the Commissioners re- 
ceived no communication from the King. He was 
reading the propositions over and over again, in great 
despondency, for they were harsher and more humili- 
ating than those which he had hitherto scornfully- 
rejected. He was required to adopt the Covenant, 
completely to abolish the Episcopal Church, to intrust 
the command of the army, navy, and militia to the 
Parhament for twenty y^ears, and to consent to the 
exception, by name, of seventy-one of his most faith- 
ful friends from any amnesty, and to the exclusion of 
his entire party — of all persons who had borne arms in 
his cause — from all public emplo3^ments dm'ing the 
pleasure of Parliament."^ Yet he was urged on every 
side to accept these hard conditions. M. de BeUicvre, 
the French ambassador, who arrived at Newcastle on 
the same day as the message from the two Houses, 

Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 513 ; Whitelocke, p. 218. 
^ Ibid., vol. iii. cols. 499—512. 


strongly advised him to do so, in the name of his 
Court.' Montreuil brought him letters from the 
Queen, who earnestly advocated compliance :^ at the 
suggestion of Bellievre, she even despatched from 
Paris a gentleman of her household, Sir William 
Davenant, with orders to tell the King that his re- 
sistance was disapproved by all his friends. " By 
what friends?" asked Charles, angrily. "Lord Jer- 
myn, Sire." " Jermyn does not understand anything 
of the Church." " Lord Colepepper is of the same 
mind." " Colepepper has no religion ; is the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer of this mind?" "We do not 
know, Sire ; the Chancellor is not at Paris ; he has 
deserted the Prince, and chosen to remain in Jersey, 
instead of accompanying the Prince to the Queen ; so 
that her Majesty is much displeased with him." 
" My wife is mistaken," said the King ; " the Chan- 
cellor is an honest man, who will never desert me, nor 
the Prince, nor the Church; I am sorry he is not 
with my son." Davenant urged the point with all 
the vivacity of a poet and the levity of a courtier, 
until the King grew angry, and ordered him to leave 
his presence.^ On the part of the Presbyterians, 
equally strong efforts were used ; several towns in 
Scotland, Edinburgh among others, addressed friendly 
petitions to the King on the subject;* and the City 
of London wished to do the same, but was prevented 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 512; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. v. pp. 409-411. 
* Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 216, 
3 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol, v. p. 412. 
■* Whitelot-ke's Memorials, j)p. 214, 220. 


by a formal order from the House of Commons/ 
Menace was at last added to entreaty : the General 
Assembly of the Church of Scotland demanded that, 
if the King refused the Covenant, he should not in 
any case be allowed to enter Scotland ; ^ and in solemn 
audience, in presence of the Scottish Commissioners, 
the Chancellor, Lord Loudoun, declared to him that, 
if he persisted in his refusal, he would certainly be 
denied admission into Scotland ; and that, in England, 
he would probably be deposed, and another Govern- 
ment instituted.^ 

But threats and prayers alike failed to overcome the 
King's pride, sustained by his religious scruples, and 
the secret hopes with which he was still inspired by 
credulous or intriguing friends.* After having de- 
layed his answer from day to day, he sent for the 
Commissioners on the 1st of August, and gave them a 
written message, in which, without absolutely re- 
jecting the propositions, he again demanded to be 
received in London, in order that he might treat 
personally with the Parliament.^ 

The Independents were unable to restrain their 
delight. On the return of the Commissioners, the 
customary vote of thanks to them was proposed. 
"AVe owe more thanks to the King than anybody!" 
exclaimed one of the members. " What will become 
of us, since the King refuseth these propositions ? " 
anxiously inquired a Presbyterian. " Nay, what had 

' Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. pp. 5 — 7 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, 
p. 78. '^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 419. 

'^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 319. " Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 79. 

* rarliamcntary History, vol. iii. cols. 513 — 616. 


become of us, if he had granted them ? " replied an 
Independent/ On the iOth of August, a message 
arrived from the Scottish Commissioners, offering to 
evacuate all the places they occupied, and to withdraw 
their army from England.^ The Lords voted that 
their Scottish brethren had deserved well of the 
country : the Commons would not join in tliis vote, 
but, on the 14th of August, they passed an ordinance, 
forbidding all persons to speak evil of the Scots, or to 
print anything to their discredit.^ For a moment, 
both parties, one of which had been disheartened and 
the other delighted by the King's refusal, seemed 
desirous only to regulate their interests and debates in 
harmonious concert. 

But the truces which prudence or spite may effect 
between antagonistic passions are necessarily short- 
Hved. The offer of the Scots to withdraw gave rise 
to two questions : how the arrears which were due to 
them, and which they had long been claiming, were 
to be settled? and who was to have the disposal of 
the King's person ? As soon as these questions were 
mooted, the struggle recommenced. 

On the first point, the Presbyterians gained an 
easy victory : the demands of the Scots were, it is 
true, exorbitant ; after deducting all that had been 
already paid them, they still demanded nearly seven 
hundred thousand pounds, exclusive of " the great 

' Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons, p. 283. 

" Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 516. 

^ Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. pp. 61 — 63. This ordinance 
was carried in the Commons by a majority of a hundred and thirty 
votes only, against a hundred and two. 


losses of the kingdom of Scotland, sustained through 
its engagement to England," the estimate of which 
they left " to the consideration of the honourable 
Houses."' The Independents protested, with bitter 
irony, against so costly a brotherhood, and, in their 
turn, prepared a detailed account of the sums levied 
and exactions practised by the Scots in the north ; 
according to which statement, Scotland was more 
than four hundi-ed thousand pounds in England's 
debt.^ But such recriminations could not be ad- 
mitted, or even seriously discussed, by sensible men ; 
the withdrawal of the Scots was evidently necessary ; 
the northern counties clamorously demanded relief: 
in order to induce them to retire, it was indispensable 
to pay them ; for a war would have been far more 
costly, and would have involved the Parliament in 
much greater difficulty. The troublesome obstinacy 
of the Independents appeared to be nothing more 
than blind j)assion or party manoeuvre : the Presby- 
terians, on the other hand, promised to make the 
Scots lower their claims. All the wavering, or dis- 
trustful, or reserved men, who belonged to no par- 
ticular party, and who, more than once, from disgust 
for Presbyterian despotism, had joined to give the 
Independents a majority, ranged themselves, on this 
occasion, on the side of their adversaries. Four 
hundred thousand pounds were voted^ as the utmost 

' Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. pp. 66 — 71. 

^ Ibid. vol. XV. pp. 71 — 75. 

'■* In four votes of 100,000?. each, voted on the 13th, 21st, and 27th 
of August, and the 1st of September. Old Parliamentary History, 
vol. XV. pp. 61. 65, 76. 


concession the Scots might hope to obtain ; half of 
which was to be paid on their departure, and half at 
the expiration of two years. They accepted the offer, 
and a loan, on mortgage of Church lands, was imme- 
diately negociated in the City, to provide the means 
of payment.' 

But when the disposal of the King's person was 
brought in question, the position of the Presbyterians 
became very embarrassing. Even had they desired 
that he should remain in the hands of the Scots, they 
could not venture to suggest such an idea, for it was 
absolutely repugnant to the national pride. All 
agreed in mamtaining that it was the privilege and 
honour of the English people alone to dispose of their 
sovereign ; and what jurisdiction could the Scots 
claim to exercise on the soil of England ? They were 
merely auxiliaries, paid auxiliaries, and, moreover, 
men who evidently cared only for their pay ; let them 
take their money and return home ; England neither 
needed nor feared them. The Scots, on their side, 
notwithstanding their desire to avoid a rupture, could 
not quietly endure such contemptuous treatment. 
Charles, they said, was their King as well as the 
King of the Enghsh; they had an equal right to 
watch over his person and destiny ; and the Covenant 
made it their duty to do so. The quarrel became 
very animated; conferences, pamphlets, declarations, 
and mutual accusations, daily became more numerous 
and vehement; the people, without distinction of 
parties, daily expressed themselves more strongly 

' lUishworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 376 ; HoUis's Memoirs, p. 6G. 


against the pretensions of the Scots; national pre- 
judices and antipathies rapidly revived; and the 
avariciousness, narrow-minded prudence, and theo- 
logical pedantry of the Scots daily became more dis- 
tasteful to their more liberal-minded and boldly- 
fanatical allies. The political leaders of the Presby- 
terian j)arty, HoUis, Stapleton, and Glynn, weary of a 
struggle in which they felt they were subject to 
constraint and subordination, impatiently sought 
means to bring it to a conclusion. They persuaded 
themselves that, if the Scots surrendered the King 
into the hands of the Parliament, it would become 
easy to disband that fatal army, which was the sole 
support of the Independents, and the true enemy of 
both Parliament and King. They therefore advised 
the Scots to yield, as the best way to advance the 
interests of their cause ; and at the same time, influ- 
enced, doubtless, by the same arguments, the Lords 
gave their consent to the voie which the Commons 
had passed five months previously — " That his Ma- 
jesty shall be disposed of as both Houses of the 
Parhament of England shall think fit."^ 

The Scottish Presbyterians, at least for the most 
part, were quite willing to believe in the wisdom of 
this advice, and to pursue it, as they were embar- 
rassed by their own resistance, and could neither 
abandon nor continue it satisfactorily. But the 
King's friends among the party had recently acquired 

* The Lords adopted this vote on the 24th of September, 1646. — 
Piushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 329 — 372 ; Holhs's Memoirs, pp. 92—94 ; 
Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 420 ; Baillie's Letters, 
vol. ii. p. 257 ; Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii. pp. 369, 560. 


a little more boldness and power. The Duke of 
Hamilton was at "their head ; he had been imprisoned 
for tlu-ee years at St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, 
in consequence of the distrust with which his 
wavering conduct had inspired the Court at Oxford, 
and even the King himself; but when that fortress 
fell into the hands of the Parliamentarians, he had 
obtained his liberty, and had spent several days in 
London, paying the most assiduous visits to the 
influential members of both Houses ; after which, he 
proceeded to Newcastle, where Charles had just 
arrived with the Scottish army, speedily regained his 
former favour, and, on his return to Edinburgh, made 
the sincerest efforts to insure the King's safety/ 
Around him immediately rallied nearly all the higher 
nobihty of the kingdom, and the moderate Presby- 
terians of the burgher class ; all the sensible men who 
were disgusted by the blind fanaticism of the mul- 
titude and the insolent domination of the ministers, 
and all the honest and timid men, who were ready to 
make any sacrifice for the sake of a little repose. They 
obtained the despatch of a new and solemn depu- 
tation, who waited on Charles, at Newcastle, and be- 
sought him on their knees to accept the propositions 
of the Parliament. The earnest entreaties of these 
suppliants, all of whom were his fellow-countrymen, 
and nearly all companions of his youth, shook the 
King's resolution : " Upon my word," he said to 
them, " all the dangers and inconveniences which you 

» Clarendon's History of tlxe Eebellion, vol. v. pp. 527, 528 ; Eush- 
worth, part iv. vol. i. p. 327. 


have laid before me, do not so much trouble me as 
that I should not give satisfaction to the desires of 
my native country, especially being so earnestly 
pressed upon me. I desire to be rightly understood ; 
I am far from giving you a negative, nay, I protest 
against it; my only desire is to be heard, and that 
you will continue to press those at London to hear 
reason. If a King should refuse this to any of his 
subjects, he would be thought a tyrant." On the 
very next day, probably after fresh entreaties, he 
offered to reduce the establishment of the Episcopal 
Church to five dioceses — those of Oxford, Bath and 
Wells, Winchester, Bristol, and Exeter ; and to allow 
the Presbyterian system to prevail throughout the 
rest of the kingdom, merely reserving liberty of con- 
science and worship for himself and his friends until, 
in concert with the Parliament, he had put an end to 
all their differences. But no partial concession could 
satisfy the Presbyterians ; and the greater his willing- 
ness to yield, the more they doubted his sincerity. 
His proposal was scarcely listened to. Hamilton, in 
discouragement, talked of retiring to the Continent : 
a report was spread, at the same time, that the Scot- 
tish army was about to return home. The King 
wrote at once to the duke : — " Hamilton, I have so 
much to write, and so little time for it, that this 
letter will be suitable to the times, without method or 
reason. Those at London think to get me into their 
hands, by telling our countrymen that they do not 
intend to make me a prisoner. 0, no, by no means ! 
but only to give me an honourable guard forsooth, to 


attend me continually, for the security of my person. 
AVherefore I must tell you (and 'tis so far from a 
secret that I desire every one should know it) that 1 
will not be left in England when this army retires, 
unless clearly, and according to the old way of under- 
standing, I may remain a free man, and that no 
attendant be forced upon me on any pretence what- 
soever." He therefore entreated Hamilton not to 
leave the country, and ended his letter with these 
words : " Your most assured, real, faithful, constant 
friend."' Hamilton remained; the Scottish Parlia- 
ment met in November, 1646, and its first sittings 
seemed to indicate feelings of strong and active good- 
will towards the King. On the 16th of December, it 
declared that it would maintain monarchical govern- 
ment in the person and descendants of his Majesty, as 
well as his just rights to the crown of England ; and 
that instructions should be sent to the Scottish Com- 
missioners in London to make arrangements for the 
King to repair thither with honour, safety, and 
liberty. But on the next day, the Standing Com- 
mittee of the Greneral Assembly of the Presbyterian 
Church addressed a public remonstrance to the Parlia- 
ment, accusing it of listening to perfidious counsels, 
and complaining that it imperilled the union between 
the two kingdoms, the only hope of true believers, in 
order to serve a prince who obstinately rejected the 
Covenant of Christ.^ Against such intervention, 

' The letter is dated September 26, 1646. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. 
pp. 327—329. 

" Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 390 ; Laing's History of Scotland, 
vol. iii. pp. 364—368. 



Hamilton and his friends were powerless. The docile 
Parliament retracted its previous vote, and all that 
the moderate men could obtain was, that new efforts 
should be made to induce the King to accept the 
propositions. Charles, in his turn, replied by another 
message, demanding to treat in person with the 

At the moment that he gave expression, for the 
fifth time, to this unavailing wish, the Houses were 
signing the treaty which regulated the withdrawal of 
the Scottish army and the method of its ^jayment.^ 
The loan opened in the City had been immediately 
taken up : on the 16th of December, the two hundred 
thousand pounds, which the Scots were to receive 
before their departure, were enclosed in two hundred 
boxes, sealed with the seal of both nations, packed on 
thirty-six waggons, and conveyed from London under 
an escort of infantry.^ Skippon, who commanded the 
detachment, issued a proclamation that any officer or 
soldier who should, either by word or deed, give any 
just occasion of offence to any officer or soldier of the 
Scottish army, should be immediately and severely 
punished.* The convoy entered York on the 1st of 
January, 1647, amid the firing of cannon from the 
town to celebrate its arrival ;^ and three weeks after, 
the Scots received their first payment at Northal- 

' Rusliwoi'th, part iv. vol. i. p. 393. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 532 — 536. 

^ Rusliwortli, part iv. vol. i. p. 389 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 533. 

•» Whitclocke, p. 23C. 

* Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. p. 217 ; Drake's History of 
York, p. 171. 


lerton. The King's name was not mentioned in tlie 
course of this negociation ; but, on the 31st of 
December, eight days after the treaty had been signed, 
the two Houses voted that he should be taken to 
Holmby House, in Northamptonshire;^ and his per- 
son constituted so essential a part of the bargain, that 
the Commons debated the question whether Commis- 
sioners should be sent to Newcastle to receive him 
solemnly from the hands of the Scots, or whether they 
should merely require him to be given up, without 
ceremony, to Skippon, together with the keys of the 
town and the receipt for the money. The Inde- 
pendents insisted strongly on the latter plan, as 
they would have been delighted to humble the King 
and their rivals, both at the same time; but the 
Presbyterians succeeded in obtaining its rejection;^ 
and on the 12th of January, nine Commissioners, 
three Lords and six Commoners,^ with a numerous 
retinue, set out from London for the purpose of 
respectfully taking possession of their sovereign's 

Charles was playing at chess when he first received 
information of the vote of Parliament, and of his own 
approaching removal to Holmby House; he quietly 
finished his game, and merely answered that, when 
the Commissioners arrived, he would acquaint them 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 538. 

2 On the 6th of January. — Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. p. 264. 

=* The Earls of Pembroke and Denbigh, Lord Montague, Sir John 
Coke, Sir Walter Earl, Sir John Holland, Sir James Harrington, 
Mr. Carew, and Major-General Brown. 

* Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. p. 265 ; Herbert's Memoirs, 
p. 7. 

R 2 


with his pleasure.^ Meanwhile, the anxiety of those 
about him visibly increased ; his friends and servants 
sought help or refuge for him on every side — now 
meditating his escape, and now endeavouring to 
kindle a new insurrection in some part of the king- 
dom.^ Even the populace began to show some com- 
passion for his fate. A Scottish minister, who 
preached before him at Newcastle, gave out the fifty - 
second Psalm, beginning \\ath these words : — 

" Why dost thou, tyraut, boast thyself 
Thy wicked works to praise ?" 

But the King rose up suddenly, and began to sing 
the fifty-sixth Psalm : — 

" Have mercy, Lord, on me, I pray, 
For men would me devoui* — " 

and the whole congregation, with one voice, joined 
with him in the prayer.^ Ihit popular compassion is 
slow to manifest itself, and long remains ineffectual. 

The Commissioners arrived at Newcastle on the 
23rd of January, and, on the 10th, the Scottish Par- 
liament had officially consented to surrender the 
King.'' " I am bought and sold," said Charles, when 
he heard this.^ Yet he received the Commissioners 
with apparent calmness, talked cheerfully with them, 
congratulated Lord Pembroke on having been able, at 
his age and in such inclement weather, to take so 

' On the 15th of January. — Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons 
p. 307 ; Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. p. 278. 

* Whitelocke, p. 233 ; Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. pp. 269, 

» Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 230. 

•• Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 541. 

•' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 236. 


long a journey without fatigue, inquired into the state 
of the roads, and seemed, in short, desirous to con- 
vince them that he was glad to be restored to the 
ParHament.' Before taking leave of him, the Scot- 
tish Commissioners, and particularly Lord Lauderdale, 
the most clear-sighted of them all, made a last effort 
to induce him to sign the Covenant : " If the King 
will adopt it," they said, " instead of giving him up to 
the English, we will take him to Berwick, and obtain 
reasonable conditions for him." They even offered a 
large sum to Montreuil, who still acted as their inter- 
mediary, if he could only obtain a promise from the 
King." Charles persisted in his refusal, making no 
complaint of the conduct of the Scots towards him, 
but treating the Commissioners of both nations with 
equal courtesy, and evidently striving to avoid any 
manifestation of distrust or irritation.^ Tired at 
length of their useless delay, the Scots took their 
departure ; on the 30tli of January, Newcastle was 
given up to the English troops ; and on the 9th of 
February, the King left the town, under the escort of 
a regiment of cavalry. They travelled slowly ; eager 
crowds tlu-onged to see him as he passed ; persons 
afflicted with the Kinoj's evil were brou<rht to him, 
and ranged round his carriage or near his door, that 
he might touch them. The Commissioners grew 
alarmed, and forbade these gatherings;* but their 

' Herbert's Memoirs, ]i. 8. 

"^ Letter from M. de Montreuil to M. de Brieiiue, February 2, 1647 ; 
ill Thurloe's State Papers, vol. i. p. 87. 

^ Thurloe's State Papers, \ol. i. p. 87. 

* By a declaratiou published at Leeds, on the 9th of February, 1647. 
— Pai'liaiiienlHry History, vol. iii. col. 541). 


efforts were unavailing, for no one was as yet accus- 
tomed to exercise or fear oppression, and even the 
soldiers did not venture to drive back tlie people too 
rouglily.' Wlien near Nottingham, Fairfax, whose 
head-quarters were in the town, went out to meet the 
King, dismounted as soon as he perceived him, kissed 
his hand, and then, remounting his horse, rode by his 
side through the streets, in respectful conversation. 
'' The General is a man of honour," said the King, as 
he left him, " he has kept his word with me."^ And 
on the ICth of February, on entering Holmby, where 
a number of gentlemen and other persons from the 
neighbourhood had assembled to celebrate his arrival, 
he openly expressed his satisfaction at the reception 
he had met with from his subjects.^ 
• At Westminster, even the Presbyterians felt some 
disquietude at these expressions of public feeling ; but 
their anxiety was soon banished by their joy at 
finding themselves, at length, masters of the King's 
person, and free to attack their enemies undisguisedly. 
Charles arrived at Holmby on the 1 6th of February ; 
and on the 19th, the Commons voted that the army 
should be disbanded, with the exception only of a 
sufiicient force to carry on the war in Ireland, to 
garrison important towns, and to maintain order 
throughout the kingdom.* The dismissal of Fairfax 

' Herbert's Memoirs, p. 11. 

* Whitelocke, p. 238. It is unknown to what promise Charles 
alluded ; perhaps to a promise of meeting and talking with him as 
Fairfax did. 

^ Herbei-t's Memoirs, p. 11. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii col. 558. This motion was carried 
by a hundred and fifty-eight votes against a hundred and forty-eight. 


from the command of the troojDS which were to be 
retained was ahuost carried ; ^ but, though he was not 
removed, it was resolved that no member of the 
House should serve with him, that he should have no 
officer above the rank of colonel under his orders, and 
that his officers should all be required to conform to 
the Presbyterian Church, and to adopt the Covenant.^ 
The Lords, on their side, to relieve, as they said, the 
counties near London which were most devoted to the 
popular cause, demanded that the army, until dis- 
banded, should remove its quarters to a greater dis- 
tance from the capital.^ A loan of two hundred 
thousand pounds was opened in the City, in order to pay 
the disbanded troops a portion of their arrears/ And 
finally, a Special Committee, including Hollis, Sta- 
pleton, Grlynn, Maynard, Waller, and nearly all the 
Presbyterian leaders, was appointed to superintend the 
execution of these measures, and, more particularly, to 
hasten the despatch of the succour for which the un- 
fortunate Irish Protestants had so long been waitino-.^ 
This attack was not unforeseen; for two months, 
the Independents had felt their influence decline in 
the House, as most of the newly-elected members, 
who had at first voted with them on account of their 

' This motion was rejected by a majority of twelve votes only — a 
hundred and fifty-nine against a hundred and forty-seven, — Old Parha- 
meutary History, vol. xv. p. 331 ; Whitelocke, [). 239. 

2 This motion was carried by a hundred and thirty-six votes against 
a hundred and eight. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 558. 

3 On the 24th of March, 1647.— Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. 
p. 335. 

■* lUishworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 449 ; Old Parliamentary History, 
vol. XV. p. 348. 
■'' Hollis's Memoirs, p. 75 ; Uushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 450. 


dread of Presbyterian despotism, were now beginning 
to turn against them.' "It is a miserable thing," 
said Cromwell, one day, to Ludlow, " to serve a Par- 
liament ; to whom let a man be never so faithful, if 
one pragmatical fellow amongst them rise up and 
asperse him, he shall never wipe it off; whereas, 
when one serves under a Greneral, he may do as much 
service, and yet be free from all blame and envy. If 
thy father were alive, he would let some of them 
hear what they deserve."^ Ludlow was a sincere 
republican, who had hitherto kept aloof from the 
intrigues of his party, though he fully shared in its 
passions ; he did not understand Cromwell's meaning, 
and made no return to his advances ; but others were 
more easily deceived and gained over. Cromwell 
already had many able accomplices and blind tools in 
the army : Ireton, who soon after became his son-in- 
law, who had been bred to the bar, but was now 
Commissary-General of the cavalry, a man of bold, 
obstinate, and subtle mind, capable of pursuing the 
most daring designs noiselessly and with deep crafti- 
ness, though under an appearance of frankness and 
rough honesty ; Lambert, one of the most dashing 
officers in the army, a vain and ambitious man, who, 
like Ireton, had been educated for the bar, and had 
derived from his legal studies a fluent and insinuating 
eloquence, which he loved to display before his 
soldiers ; Harrison, Hammond, Pride, Eicli, and 
Eainsborough, all of them colonels of tried valour and 
popular reputation, and all personally attached to 

' Hollis's ]\[einoir.s, {>. 74. '' Ludlow'.s Memoirs, p. 79. 


Cromwell — Harrison, because they had sought the 
Lord together in devotional meetings ; Hammond, 
because he had obtained for him the hand of one of 
Hampden's daughters;' and the others, eitlier be- 
cause they acknowledged the ascendancy of his genius, 
or expected to rise with him, or simply obeyed him as 
soldiers. By their means, Cromwell, although, since 
the conclusion of the war, he had resumed his seat at 
Westminster, maintained all his influence in the 
army, and made his indefatigable activity felt even 
during his absence. As soon as the question of dis- 
banding was mooted, his friends were loudest in their 
murmurs , to them, intelligence, hints, and advice, 
were constantly sent from London, which they imme- 
diately circulated throughout the army, privately 
exhorting the soldiers to insist on the payment of the 
whole of their arrears, to refuse to go to Ireland, and 
not to allow themselves to be separated from their 
comrades. In the meanwhile, Cromwell, in order to 
disarm suspicion, remained inactive in London, 
deplored the disaffection of the army from his place in 
the House, and was lavish in his protestations of 
devotedness to the Parliament.^ 

The first symptom of resistance was a petition, 
which arrived on the 25th of March, signed only by 
fourteen officers, and written in a respectful and con- 
ciliatory tone.^ They promised to proceed to Ireland 
as soon as ordered, and contented themselves with 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 489. 
^ Hollis's Memoirs, p. 84 ; Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. p. 34 ; 
Sir John Berkley's Memons, p. 39. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 560. 


modestly suggesting that it would be advisable, first 
of all, to pay their arrears, and to furnish those gua- 
rantees which the troops had a right to expect. The 
House replied to them with thanks, but haughtily 
intimated that it became no one to give instructions to 
the Parliament.' No sooner had their answer reached 
the army, than a new petition was prepared, in much 
firmer and more definite language. It demanded that 
the arrears should be speedily liquidated ; that no one 
should be forced to go to Ireland against his will; 
that disabled soldiers, and the widows and children of 
those who had fallen in action, should receive pen- 
sions ; and that immediate supplies should be sent to 
prevent the troops from becoming a burden on their 
cantonments. The petition was drawn up in the 
name, not of a few individuals, but of the entire body 
of ofiicers and soldiers, and addressed, not to the 
Houses of Parliament, but to Fairfax, the natural 
representative of the army, and guardian of its rights. 
It was read to all the regiments, and threats were 
used to those ofiicers who declined to sign it.~ 

Upon the first intelhgence of these proceedings, the 
Houses sent orders to Fairfax to prohibit them, de- 
claring that all who should persist in such conduct 
would be considered enemies of the State and dis- 
turbers of the public tranquilhty ; and, further, re- 
quiring certain of the officers to come to London to 
give explanations.^ 

• Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 562, 
^ Ibid., cols. 562—567 ; Wliitelockc, p. 240. 

" This declaration is dated on the 30th of March, 1647. — Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. iii. col. 567. 


Fairfax promised obedience ; Hammond, Pride, 
Lilburne, and Grimes, went to Westminster on tlie 
1st of April, and positively denied the charges 
brought against them. " There was no petition read 
at the head of each regiment," said Pride. It had 
been read at the head of each company ; but the 
House did not insist : it was enough, they said, that 
the scheme was abandoned and disowned.' 

The preparations for disbanding the army were now 
resumed ; the loan opened in the City was taken up 
slowly, and proved insufficient ; a general tax of sixty 
thousand pounds a month was established to supply 
the deficiency.^ The formation of the army intended 
for Ireland was especially hastened ; all who were 
wiUing to enlist were promised great advantages ; 
Skippon and Massey were appointed to command it.^ 
Five Commissioners, all of them of the Presbyterian 
party, proceeded to head-quarters to announce these 

On the very day of their arrival, the 1 5tli of April, 
1647, two hundred officers met in Fairfax's house to 
confer with them. Lambert inquired who was to 
have the command in Ireland. " Major-Greneral 
Skippon and Major-Greneral Massey are named by 
both Houses," was the reply. " If we had assurance 
that Major-General Skippon would go," said Ham- 
mond, " I doubt not but a great part of the army 
would engage with him, such is the endeared respect 

• Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. j). 444 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 80. 

^ This ordinance, though proposed early in April, was not finally 
carried until the 23rd of June following. — Rushworth, \ art iv. vol. i. 
p. 582. The tax was voted for a year, 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 462 ; Holhs's Memoirs, p. 8L 


and high esteem we all have of the worth and valour 
of that great soldier ; but let us also have the General 
officers, of whom we have had so much experience." 
"Yes, yes!" cried the assembled officers; "Fairfax 
and Cromwell ! and we all go." The Commissioners, 
quite disconcerted, left the room, requesting all who 
were willing to volunteer for Ireland to come to them 
at their lodgings ; but only about twelve or fifteen 
responded to this appeal.' 

A few days after, on the 27th of April, a hundred 
and forty-one officers addressed a solemn justification 
of their conduct to the Parliament. " AVe hope," 
they said, "by being soldiers, we have not lost the 
capacity of subjects, nor divested om'selves thereby of 
our interests in the commonwealth — that in pur- 
chasing the freedoms of our brethren, we have not 
lost our own. For our liberty of petitioning, we hope 
the House will never deny it unto us ; you have not 
denied it to your enemies, but justified and com- 
mended it in a special declaration. For the desire of 
our arrears, necessity, especially of our soldiers, en- 
forced us thereunto ; and we hoped that the desires of 
our hardly-earned wages would have been no unwel- 
come request, nor argued us guilty of the least dis- 
content or intention of mutiny. But since the false 
suggestions of some men have informed you that the 
army intended to enslave the kingdom, we cannot but 
earnestly implore your justice in the vindication of us, 
as in your wisdom you shall think fit."" 

' Rusliworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 4.57 ; Whitelocke, p. 24u. 
^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 568 ; Rii.shworth, part iv. vol. i. 
pp. 469—472. 


This letter liad scarcely been read to the House, 
when Skippon rose, and presented another petition, 
which had been brought to him on the previous 
evening- by three private soldiers. In it, eight regi- 
ments of horse positively refused to take service in 
Ireland, on the ground that " they saw designs were 
upon them, and many of the godly party in the 
kingdom," and that " there was an intention to dis- 
band and new model the army, which was a plot con- 
trived by some who had lately tasted of sovereignty, 
and being lifted up above the ordinary sphere of 
servants, endeavoured to become masters, and were 
degenerated into tyrants." At this personal attack, 
the Presbyterian leaders, in equal surprise and irrita- 
tion, required that all business should be suspended, 
in order that the three soldiers might be brought to 
the bar of the House and examined. They presented 
themselves, with resolute countenances and unembar- 
rassed demeanour ; their names were Edward Sexby, 
William Allen, and Thomas Sheppard. " Where was 
this letter got up?" inquired the Speaker. " At a 
rendezvous of several regiments." "Who wrote it?" 
" A council of agents for each regiment." " Are your 
officers engaged in it?" "Very few of them know of 
it." "Surely this letter came by promotion of 
Cavaliers in the army : were you ever Cavaliers ?" 
" We have been engaged in the Parliament's service 
ever since Edgehill battle," said the troopers, and one 
of them added : " When I was upon the ground, with 
five dangerous wounds, Major-General Skippon came 
by, and, pitying m}^ sad condition, gave me five shil- 


lings to procure some relief; the General knows 
whether I lie or not." " It is true," said Skippon, 
looking with interest at the soldier. " But what is 
the meaning of this clause, wherein the word ' sove- 
reignty ' is expressed ?" demanded the Speaker. " We 
cannot give a punctual answer, being only agents ; 
but, if we may have the queries in writing, we will 
send or carry them to our regiments, and return our 
own and their answers."^ 

A violent tumult now arose in the House; the 
Presbyterians were loud in their threats. Cromwell, 
leaning towards Ludlow, who was sitting next to 
him, said, " These men will never leave, till the army 
pull them out by the ears."^ 

Anger, however, soon gave way to uneasiness : the 
House had made an alarming discovery ; it no longer 
had a few discontented soldiers to hold in check ; the 
whole army had leagued together, was erecting itself 
into an independent and, possibly, rival power, and 
already possessed its own peculiar government. Two 
councils, composed, the one of officers, and the other 
of agents or agitators appointed by the soldiers, regu- 
lated all its proceedings, and were preparing to nego- 
ciate in its name. Every precaution had been taken 
for the maintenance of this growing organization ; 
each squadron or company elected two agitators : 
whenever it became necessary for them to meet, every 
soldier contributed fourpence towards their expenses ; 
and the two councils were pledged to act always in 

' Eushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 474 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 89 ; 
Lucllow's Memoirs, p. 81 ; Whitelocke, p. 245. 
* Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 81. 


common.' At the same time, a report was spread, 
and not altogether groundlessly, that propositions had 
been sent to the King by the army ; and that it had 
offered to reinstate him in his just rights, if he would 
place himself at its head, and under its protection.^ 
Even in the Parliament itself, on the appearance of 
this new power, and in dread of its strength rather 
than of its triumph, prudent men became timid ; 
some of them left London ; others, like Whitelocke, 
allied themselves with the Generals, and particularly 
with Cromwell, who eagerly welcomed their over- 
tures.^ The House resolved to try what could be 
done by concession, and to conciliate the army by 
means of its own leaders. Instead of the six weeks' 
pay which had at first been voted, pay for two months 
was promised to the troops which were to be dis- 
banded ;■* an ordinance of general indemnity was pre- 
pared, to cover all the disorders and illegal acts that 
had been committed during the war ;^ and a fund was 
set apart for the relief of the widows and children of 
soldiers.'' Finally, Cromwell, Ireton, Skippon, and 
Fleetwood, the four Grenerals who were members of 
the House of Commons, and who possessed the confi- 

' Eushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 485 ; Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 106 ; 
Hollis's Memoirs, p. 89. 

* At the beginning of April, propositions of this nature had actually 
been made to the King by several officers ; but Charles rejected them. 
— Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. p. 3G5. 

^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 249. 

* On the 14th of May, 1647.— liushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 484. 

■■' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 484, 489. This ordinance was 
finally adopted on the 21st of May. 
•^ Hollis's Memoirs, p. 91. 


dence of the army, were directed to restore liarmon}'- 
between it and the Parliament/ 

A fortnight elapsed before their presence at head- 
quarters appeared to have produced any beneficial 
effect. They wrote frequently to the Speaker, but 
their letters announced no progress : at one time, the 
council of officers liad refused to give an answer 
without the concurrence of the agitators ; at another, 
the agitators themselves had demanded time to con- 
sult the soldiers.^ Even under the eyes of the Par- 
liamentary Commissioners, this hostile government 
dail}^ acquired greater consistency and strength : but 
Cromwell, nevertheless, continued to write that he was 
exhausting his energies in vain efforts to appease the 
army, that his own popularity had suffered greatly in 
consequence, and that he would soon incur the sus- 
picion and hatred of the soldiers.^ Some of the Com- 
missioners at length returned to London, bringing 
with them the same proposals and refusals which had 
previously been made on the part of the army.* 

The Presbyterian leaders expected this ; and, taking 
advantage of the feeling in the House, which was 
irritated at finding all its hopes disappointed, they 
obtained in a few hours the adoption of more decided 
resolutions. On the motion of Hollis, it was voted 
that those troops which would not engage for Ireland 

' They went down to head-quarters at Saffron Walden, in Essex, on 
the 7th of May, 1647. 

* Rnshworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 480, 485, 487 ; Huntington's Memoirs, 
p. 12. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol, v. p. 43.5. 

* Rnshworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 491. 


should be immediately disbanded ; and the time, 
place, and means, indeed, all the details of this mea- 
sure, were arranged. The various corps were to be 
dissolved suddenly and separately, each in its own 
quarters, almost at the same moment, or at very short 
intervals, that they might neither concert a plan of 
resistance or assemble together. The money neces- 
sary for carrying out this operation was forwarded to 
different points ; and Commissioners, all of them Pres- 
byterians, were sent to superintend its execution.' 

They found the army in a state of the most violent 
confusion. Aware of the blow which threatened them, 
most of the regiments had mutinied ; some, after 
expelling the officers whom they distrusted, had put 
themselves in motion, with flying colours, to join their 
comrades ; others had entrenched themselves in 
churches, declaring that they would not separate ; 
some had seized upon the money intended for the 
payment of the disbanded troops ; and all loudly 
demanded a general rendezvous, at which the whole 
army might make known its desires. A letter was 
immediately despatched to Fairfax, in the name of the 
soldiers, declaring that if their officers refused to lead 
them, they would combine together to defend their 
rights without them. Fairfax, in great grief and dis- 
quietude, exhorted the officers, appealed to the soldiers, 
and wrote to the Parliament ; but, though sincere, 
he was powerless with all parties, and equally inca- 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 582 ; Piushworth, part iv. vol. i. 
pp. 493, 494, 490 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 91. These resolutions were 
adopted by the House of Lords, on the 22nd of May, 1647. 



pable of renouncing popularity or exercising authority. 
On the 29th of May, he convoked a council of war, 
at which all the officers, with the exception of six, 
voted that the resolutions of the two Houses were not 
satisfactory ; that the army could not separate without 
obtaining better guarantees ; that its quarters should, 
in the meanwhile, be brought closer together ; that a 
general rendezvous should be appointed to calm the 
fears of the soldiers ; and that an humble representa- 
tion from the council should inform the Parliament of 
what they intended to do.^ 

Further illusion was impossible. After its authority 
had been thus set at defiance, the Parliament could no 
longer rely on its own resources *. to meet such enemies, 
it needed other strength than the power of its name, 
and other support than the majesty of the law. This 
could be furnished only by the King on one hand, 
and on the other by the City, which still continued 
Presbyterian, and seemed hkely soon to become 
Eoyalist. Some measures had aheady been taken 
with a view to this contingency. With the consent of 
the Common Council, the command of the militia had 
been taken from the Independent party, and intrusted 
to an exclusively Presbyterian committee ; ^ a more 
numerous guard was stationed at the doors of the two 
Houses ; and an additional sum of twelve thousand 
pounds had been voted for its maintenance,^ while 
numbers of Peformado officers, faithful survivors of 

• Kiishworth, part v. vol. i. pp. 496 — 500 ; Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. cols. 584 — 588 ; Hollis's Memoirs, pp. 92, 93. 

2 By an ordinance of the 4th of May, 1647. IJuKshwortli, part iv. 
vol. i. lip. 472, 478. ^ Ibid, part iv. vol. i. p. 496. 


Essex's army, were allowed to reside unmolested in 
the City. To the great grief of his party, Essex 
himself was no longer Hving ; he had died suddenly 
on the 14tli of September in the preceding year, on 
liis return from a hunting-party, just at the time 
when he was said to be preparing to make a decided 
effort in favour of peace ; and his loss had seemed so 
fatal a blow to the Presbyterians, that reports were 
current of his having been poisoned by their enemies.' 
But Waller, Poyntz, and Massey were still full of zeal, 
and read}'- to declare themselves. As for the King, the 
Parliament had reason to fear that he was less favour- 
ably disposed towards it : twice,^ with the stern rigour 
of theological animosity, they had refused to permit his 
chaplains to visit him ; and two Presbyterian minis- 
ters, Marshall and Caryll, solemnly conducted divine 
worship at Holmby, though Charles invariably re- 
fused to attend their ministrations.^ His most faith- 
ful servants had also been removed from attendance 
on his person ; ^ all attempts at correspondence with 
his wife, children, or friends, were severely prohibited ; '' 
and it was with great difficulty that even Lord Dun- 
fermline, one of the Commissioners of the Scottish 
Parliament, had obtained permission to visit him." 
Finally, he had recently addressed to the Parliament 
a detailed answer to the propositions he had received 

' Old Parliamentary History, vol. xv. p. 97 ; Whitelocke, p. 228 ; 
Clareiulon's History of the Itebellion, vol. v. p. 429. 

■^ Oil the 19th of February and <sth of March, 1647. 

^ ParHamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 557—559 ; Herbert's Memoirs, 
p. 11. ■* Herbert's Memoirs, pp. 13 — 16. 

■■* Piushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 453, 482 ; Herbert's Memoirs, p. 12. 

« On the 13th of May ; Rushwoi-th, part iv. vol. i. p. 483. 


at Newcastle, and more than a fortnight had elapsed 
before any disposition was shown to take it into con- 
sideration.' After all this vexatious rigour, a recon- 
cihation seemed difficult. Meanwhile, the necessity 
was pressing ; if the King had cause to complain of 
the Presbyterians, he knew at least that they did not 
desire his ruin. Even at Holmby, notwithstanding 
the strict surveillance to which he was subjected, he 
received all the honours usually paid to royalty ; his 
household was maintained with splendour, and Court 
etiquette was rigidly observed. By the Presbyterian 
Commissioners who resided with him, he was treated 
with the utmost deference and respect. They accord- 
ingly lived on very good terms together : sometimes 
the King would invite them to accompany him in his 
walks, and sometimes he would play with them at 
chess or bowls ; always treating them with attention 
and politeness, and seeking their society."'^ Certainly, 
Ifiought the Presbyterians, he could not fail to per- 
ceive that the enemies of the Parliament were his 
enemies also, nor could he refuse the only chance of 
safety which was offered him. On the 20th of May, 
the Lords voted that his Majesty should be invited to 
take up his residence nearer London, at Oatlands 
Hoase -^ the Commons, without positively joining in 
the vote, intimated a similar wish ; the correspondence 
with the Commissioners in charge of the King, and 
particularly with Colonel Greaves, the commander 
of the garrison, became active and mysterious ; and 

' On the 12th of May ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cola 577—681. 

* Herbert's Memoirs, p. 12. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 581. 


men had already begun to talk, in Westminster and 
the City, of their hope that the King would soon be 
reconciled to his Parliament, when, on the 4th of 
June, news suddenly arrived that, on the previous 
evening, he had been carried off from Holmby by a 
detachment of seven hundred men, and that the army 
now had him in its power. 

In fact, on the 2nd of June, as the King was play- 
ing at bowls, after dinner, on Althorpe Down, two 
miles from Holmby, the Commissioners who accom- 
panied him remarked with surprise, among the by- 
standers, a stranger in the uniform of Fairfax's 
regiment of Gruards. Colonel Greaves asked him who 
he was, whence he came, and what news he brought 
from the army ; the man replied with somewhat 
haughty bluntness, as though conscious of his own 
importance, but not a braggart. Soon afterwards a 
report spread among the King's attendants that a 
numerous party of horse was drawing near Holmby. 
" Did you not hear of them ?" asked Greaves of the 
stranger. " I did more than hear of them," he re- 
plied, " for I saw them yesterday within thirty miles 
of Holmby." This created great alarm ; all returned 
at once to Holmby ; arrangements were made for 
resisting any attack ; and the garrison promised to re- 
main faithful to the Parliament. Towards midnight 
a body of cavalry arrived under the walls of the place, 
and demanded admission. " Who is your com- 
mander?" inquired the Commissioners. "We all 
command," was the answer. One of them, however, 
came forward, the same person who had been seen 


some hours before on Althorpe Down. " My name 
is Joyce," he said ; "I am a cornet in the General's 
Life Guard, and my business is to speak to the King." 
" From whom ? " asked the Commissioners. " From 
myself," he replied. The Commissioners laughed. 
" It's no laughing matter," said Joyce ; " I came not 
hither to be advised by you, nor have I any business 
with the Commissioners ; my errand is to the King, 
and speak with him I must and will, presently." 
Greaves and Major-General Brown, one of the Com- 
missioners, ordered the garrison to hold themselves in 
readiness to fire ; but the soldiers had been talking 
with the new comers ; the portcullis was lowered, 
the gates were opened, and Joyce's troopers were 
already in the court-yard, dismounting from their 
horses, shaking hands with their comrades, and stating 
that they had come, by order of the army, to take the 
King to a place of safety, as there was a plot to 
carry him off, conduct him to London, raise fresh 
troops, and kindle a second civil war ; and Colonel 
Greaves, the commander of the garrison, had, they 
said, promised to execute that treacherous deed. On 
hearing this, the soldiers shouted that they would 
stand by the army ; Greaves disappeared, and fled in 
all haste. After parleying for some hours, the Com- 
missioners saw that they must abandon all hope of 
resistance. It was now noon. Joyce took possession 
of the house, posted sentinels in every direction, and 
retired till evening, in order to give his men some 

At ten o'clock he returned, and demanded to be 


taken at once to the King. He was told that the 
King was in bed. " No matter," he said ; " I have 
waited long enough ; I must see him ;" and, with a 
cocked pistol in his hand, he proceeded towards the 
apartments which Charles occupied. "I am sorry," 
he said to the gentlemen in attendance, "I should 
disquiet the King, but I cannot help it, for speak with 
him I will, and that presently." He was asked 
whether he had obtained permission from the Com- 
missioners to speak with his Majesty. " No," he 
replied ; " I have ordered a guard to be set at their 
chamber doors, and I have my orders from those that 
fear them not." They urged him to lay aside his 
arms ; but he absolutely refused to do so. They 
hesitated to admit him, and he became angry. The 
King, awakened by the noise of the dispute, rang his 
bell, and gave orders that he should be admitted at 
once. Joyce entered, hat in hand, but still carrying 
his pistol, and with a determined, though not insolent 
air. The King sent for the Commissioners, and had 
a long conference with him in their presence ; after 
which he dismissed him, saying, " I will willingly go 
with you^ if the soldiery will confirm what you have 
promised me." 

The next morning, at six o'clock, Joyce's troopers 
were drawn up on horseback in the com't-yard. The 
Kitig made his appearance in the doorway, attended 
by the Commissioners and his servants. Joyce ad- 
vanced to the foot of the steps. " Mr. Joyce," said 
the King, " I desire to know what commission you 
have to secm-e my person ?" "I am sent by authority 


of the army," said the cornet, " to prevent the designs 
of our enemies, which, if not prevented, might have 
caused another war, and involved the whole kingdom 
in blood again." " I know no lawful authority in 
England," returned the King, " but my own, and 
next under me, the Parliament. Have you nothing 
in writing from Sir Thomas Fairfax, your General?" 
" I have authority from the army," said Joyce, " and 
Sir Thomas Fairfax is a member of the army." " I 
am not answered," replied Charles ; " Sir Thomas 
Fairfax, being your Greneral, is not properly a member, 
but the head of the army." " At all events, he is 
included in the army," said the cornet ; " but I pray 
your Majesty not to ask me such questions^ for I con- 
ceive I have sufficiently answered you already." " I 
pray, Mr. Joyce," said the King, " deal ingenuously 
with me, and tell me what commission you have." 
"Here is my commission." "Where?" "Behind 
me," he said, pointing to his soldiers. The King 
smiled, and answered, "It is as fair a commission, 
and as well written, as any I have seen in my life. 
Your instructions are in fair characters, legible with- 
out spelling ; a company of proper men, well mounted 
and armed. But what if 1 should yet refuse to go 
with you ? I hope that I may be used with honour 
and respect, and that you would not force me to do 
anything contrary to my conscience or my honour ?" 
The soldiers shouted that they would not ; and Joyce 
added, " Our principles are not to force any man's 
conscience, much less your Majesty's." " Now, gentle- 
men," said the King, " for the place you intend to 


have me to ?" " If it please your Majesty, to Oxford." 
" That is no good air." " Then, to Cambridge." 
The King said he would prefer Newmarket, as " it 
was an air that did very well agree with him." Joyce 
consented, and the King was about to witlidraw, when 
the Commissioners stepped forward, " Gentlemen," 
said Lord Montague to the soldiers, " we are here in 
trust from both Houses, and desire to know whether 
all the party do agree to what Mr. Joyce hath said ?" 
" All ! all !" shouted the troopers. " All that are 
willing," said Major- General Brown, " that the King 
shoidd stay with us, the Commissioners of Parliament, 
let them speak." " None ! none !" was the reply. 
After this proof of their utter powerlessness, the Com- 
missioners gave way ; three of them got into the car- 
riage with the King, the others mounted on horseback, 
and Joyce gave orders to march. ^ 

A messenger set out at the same moment for London, 
bearing a letter from Joyce to Cromwell, announcing 
the complete success of their enterprise. If he did 
not find Cromwell in London, the letter was to be 
dehvered to Sir Arthur Haslerig, and in his absence, 
to Colonel Fleetwood. Fleetwood was the person 
who received it -^ Cromwell was at head-quarters, with 
Fairfax, who was filled with consternation when he 
heard of what had happened. " I do not like it," he 
said to Ireton. " AVho gave those orders?" " I 

' Eushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 502, 513 — 517 ; Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. iii. cols. 588 — 601 ; Herbert's Memoirs, pp. 17 — 19 ; Ludlow's 
Memoirs, p. 82 ; Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. v. p. 437. 

* Hollis's Memoirs, \). 97 ; Whitelocke, p. 250; Huutiugtoa's Reasons 
for laying down his Commission, p. 4. 


gave orders only for securing the King," answered 
Ireton, " and not for taking him away from Hohnby." 
" If it had not been done," said Cromwell, who had 
just arrived from London, " the King would have been 
fetched away by order of Parliament."^ Fairfax at 
once sent Colonel Whalley with two regiments of 
horse, to meet the King and take him back to Holmby. 
Charles refused to return thither, protesting against 
the violence to which he had been subjected, but really 
very glad to change his place of confinement, and to 
notice the prevalence of discord among his enemies. 
Two days later, on the 7tli of June, at Childersley, 
near Cambridge, Fairfax himself, with Cromwell, 
Ireton, Skippon, Hammond, Lambert, Eich, and all 
his staff, came to meet him. Most of them, following 
the example of Fairfax, kissed his hand respectfully ; 
Cromwell and Ireton alone stood aloof. ^ Fairfax pro- 
tested to the King that he had had nothing to do 
with his removal. " I'll not believe it," said Charles, 
"unless you hang Joyce." Joyce was summoned. 
" 1 told his Majesty," he said, "that I had not the 
Greneral's commission. I had the commission of the 
whole army. Let it be drawn to a rendezvous, and if 
three or four parts of it do not approve what I have 
said, I will be content to be hanged at the head of my 
regiment." Fairfax said something about having him 
tried by court-martial, but did nothing of the kind. 
" Sir," said the King to him as he left him, " I 
have as good interest in the army as you ;" and he 

' Huntington's Reasons, pp. 4, 5, 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 445. 


repeated liis request to be taken to Newmarket. 
Colonel Wlialley was sent thither with him, to guard 
him against any further surprise ; Fairfax returned to 
head-quarters, and Cromwell to Westminster, where 
his four days' absence had occasioned great astonish- 

He found both Houses a prey to the most sudden 
alternations of rage and fear, firmness and cowardice. 
At the first news of the King's captm-e, the alarm had 
been general; Skippon, whom the Presbyterians still 
persisted in regarding as one of their own party, pro- 
posed, in a lachrymose tone, that a solemn fast should 
be ordained, to implore the Lord to re-estabhsh har- 
mony between the Parhament and the army ; and in 
the meanwhile it was voted, on the one hand, that a 
large instalment of arrears should be paid forthwith ; 
and, on the other, that the declaration in which the 
first petition from the officers had been termed sedi- 
tious, should be rescinded, and expunged from the 
journals.^ Further information, by awakening anger, 
restored some degree of courage to the Parliament : a 
detailed account of the proceedings at Holmby was 
received from the Commissioners ; it became known 
that Joyce had written at once to Cromwell ; and 
many even thought they knew exactly on what day, 
at head-quarters, in a conference between several 
officers and the principal agitators, and at the instiga- 
tion of Cromwell, tliis audacious coup-de-main had been 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 545, 549 ; Herbert's Memoirs, p. 25 ; 
Warwick's Memoirs, p. 299; Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 116. 

^ On the 5th of June, 1647. — Parliameutai'y History, vol. iii. cols. 
592, 597 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 105. 


suggested and planned.^ When the Lieutenant-general 
reappeared in the House, these suspicions were ex- 
pressed ; but he vehemently repelled them, calling 
God, angels, and men to witness that, until that day, 
Joyce had been as unknown to him as the light of the 
sun is to the child in its mother's womb.^ But Hollis, 
Glynn, and Grimstone, firmly convinced of his guilt, 
sought for proofs in every quarter, and were resolved 
to avail themselves of the slightest ground for demand- 
ing his arrest. One morning, a short time before the 
House met, two officers came to Grimstone, and in- 
formed him that, at a recent meeting of officers, the 
question had been discussed, whether it would not be 
well to purge the army, so as to leave in it none but 
men in whom full confidence could be placed ; and 
that the Lieutenant-general had said, " I am sure of 
the army ; but there is another body that has more 
need of purging, namely, the House of Commons, and 
I think the army alone can do that." Grimstone 
asked them whether they would repeat this statement 
to the House. They expressed their readiness to do 
so, and accompanied him to Westminster. The House 
was sitting, and a debate in progress. As soon as he 
entered, Grimstone moved the adjournment of the 
debate, saying that " he had a matter of privilege of 
the highest sort to lay before the House," involving 
its very existence and liberties ; and he then accused 
Cromwell, who was present, with a design to employ 
the army to coerce the Parliament. " My witnesses 

' On the 30th of May, according to HolHs's Memoirs, p. 96. 
* Harris's Life of Cromwell, p. 07, note. 


are at the door," he said. " I demand that they be 
admitted." The two officers were brought in, and re- 
peated their statement. As soon as they had with- 
drawn, Cromwell fell on his knees, burst into tears, 
and, with a vehemence of words, sobs, and gestures, 
that filled all beholders with surprise or emotion, he 
poured forth a flood of pious entreaties and fervent 
prayers, imprecating on himself all the curses of God 
if any man in the kingdom were more faithful than he 
was to the Parliament. Then, rising from his knees, 
he spoke for more than two hours, of the Parliament, 
the King, the army, his enemies, his friends, and him- 
self; mingling all these topics together without the 
slightest attempt at arrangement ; assuming by turns 
a haughty and a humble tone ; sometimes verbose and 
sometimes vehement, but making it his chief endeavour 
to persuade the House that there was no reason for 
alarm, no cause for anxiety, and that, " except a few 
that seemed inclined to return back to Egypt," all the 
officers and soldiers were devoted to its service, and 
might easily be retained in its allegiance. In short, 
his success was so great, that when he resumed his 
seat, he had secured such an ascendancy for his friends, 
that, " if they had pleased," said Grimstone, thirty 
years afterwards, " the House would have committed 
me and my witnesses to the Tower as calumniators." ' 
But Cromwell was too sensible to care for revenge, 
and too clear-sighted to deceive himself as to the real 
value of his victory. He perceived at once that such 
scenes could not be repeated ; and on the evening of 

' Burnet's History of his Own Time, vol. i. pp. 82, 83. 


this great triumph, he secretly left London, and joined 
the assembled army at Triploe Heath, near Cambridge;' 
and laying aside the disguise, which he now felt it 
impossible even for his hypocrisy to maintain any 
longer, in his conduct towards the Presbyterians and 
the House, he openly placed himself at the head of the 
Independents and the soldiers. 

A few days after his arrival, the army was on its 
march towards London : a solemn engagement to 
maintain their cause to the last, had been subscribed 
by all the regiments. On the 14th of June, under the 
title of An Humble Representation, they had sent to 
both Houses, not a mere enumeration of their own 
grievances, but an imperious statement of their views 
on public affairs, the constitution of Parliament, the 
election of its members, the right of petition, and the 
general reform of the State. ^ Finally, to these unpre- 
cedented demands, they added articles of impeachment 
against eleven members of the House of Commons,^ 
who they said, were enemies of the army, and the sole 
authors of the fatal errors into which the Parliament 
had fallen respecting it. 

The Presbyterians had expected this blow, and en- 
deavoured to provide themselves with means of defence 
against it. For a fortnight, they had used every effort 
to curry favour with the city of London ; complaints 

' On the lOtli of June.— Hollis's Memoirs, p. 99. 

^ Piiishworth, pai't iv. vol. i. p. 564. 

^ The eleven naembers wei-e — Denzil Hollis, Sir Philip Stapleton, Sir 
William Lewis, Sir John Clotworthy, Sir William Waller, Sir John 
Maynard, Serjeant Glynn, Anthony Nichols, Major-General Massey, and 
Colonels Harley and Walter Long, — JJushworth, part iv. vol. i. ]i. 670. 


had been made of the taxes on salt and meat — they 
were abolished ;^ the apprentices had protested against 
the suppression of religious holidays, and particularly 
of Cliristmas, which had formerly been a day of enjoy- 
ment all over England, — days of public recreation 
were instituted in their stead. ^ A general outcry con- 
tinued to be made against the rapacity of many mem- 
bers, who had accumulated to their own advantage, 
employments, indemnities, and profits on sequestra- 
tions ; the Commons voted that no member of their 
House should, in future, receive any lucrative office, or 
gift, or assignment of the lands of delinquents; but 
that they should even restore to the public treasury 
the sums which they had already received, and that 
their estates should be subjected to the common law 
with respect to the payment of their debts. ^ Finally, 
the committee wliich had been appointed to receive the 
complaints of private individuals against members of 
the House, had fallen into desuetude ; it was restored 
to vigorous operation/ 

But that time had now arrived when concessions 
only serve to prove distress, and parties acknowledge 
their faults only to expiate them. The citizens de- 
tested, but feared, the Independents ; while, notwith- 
standing their attachment to the Presbyterian leaders, 
they regarded them with neither respect nor confidence, 

' On the lltli and 25th of June. — Whitelocke, p. 252; Rushwoi'th, 
part iv. vol. i. j). 592. 

^ On the 8th of June. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 594 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 239, 251 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 460, 548. 

^ On the 10th of June.— Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 603 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 252. 

■* On the 3rd of June. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 500. 


as unpopular and vanquished patrons. For a short 
time, these measures appeared to produce some effect ; 
the Common Council declared its firm intention to 
stand by the Parliament ;^ some squadrons of cavalry 
were formed among the citizens ; the militia was re- 
cruited ; and crowds of Eeformado officers sent offers of 
service to Massey, Waller, and HoUis. Preparations 
of defence were made round London;^ on the 11th of 
June, the Houses voted that the army should be called 
upon to retire, and to surrender the King to their Com- 
missioners, and that his Majesty should be invited to 
take up his residence at Eichmond, under the protec- 
tion of the Parhament alone. ^ But the army still con- 
tinued to advance. Fairfax wrote in its name to the 
Common Council, to complain that recruits were being 
raised by its permission/ The Council sent an un- 
meaning apology, alleging fear as an excuse for its 
conduct, and protesting that if the army would retire, 
or consent to remain quartered at a distance of forty 
miles from London, all dissensions would quickly cease.' 
Fairfax replied that this answer had come too late, 
that his head-quarters were abeady established at St. 
Alban's, and that a month's pay was absolutely indis- 
pensable.'' The Parliament granted the pay, and in- 

« On the 10th of June. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 601 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 251. 

2 Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 552 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 614, ^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 614. 

" On the 11th and 14th of June.— Ibid. vol. iii. cols. 608, 628. 

* On the 12th and 15th of June. — Ibid. vol. iii. col. 630 ; Rushworth, 
part iv. vol. i. p. 557. 

« Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 500 ; ParUamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 613. 


sisted on a retrograde movement/ The army de- 
manded that, first of all, the eleven members who were 
hostile to its interests, should be expelled from Parlia- 
ment.^ The Commons could not consent to deal them- 
selves so fatal a blow with their own hands : the matter 
had already been discussed on several occasions ; and a 
majority had always replied that a vague accusation, 
with no facts to support the charge, and no proofs to 
establish the facts, could not be allowed to deprive 
members of Parliament of their rights.^ In answer, 
the army stated that the original accusation against 
Lord Strafford had been equally vague and general ; 
and that, as the House had done in that case, it would 
be ready to furnish proofs as the trial advanced.* And 
it continued its march. On the 26th of June, its head- 
quarters were at Uxbridge. The City sent commis- 
sioners to it, but in vain. The alarm increased every 
day ; the shops were shut ; and the eleven members 
were severely censured for an obstinacy fraught with 
so much danger to both Parliament and City. They 
at once understood this language, and voluntarily 
offered to resign their seats. ^ This patriotic offer was 
accepted with eager gratitude ; and on the very day of 
their retirement, the Commons voted that the army 
had their full approval in all it had done, and that 

' On the 15th and 21st of June. — ParUamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 631, 639. 

* On the 23rd of June. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 640 — 

^ Hollis's Memoirs, p. 119 ; Parhamentary History, vol. iii. col. 653. 

* Kushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 594. 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 654 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 124 ; 
Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii., Appendix, p. 38. 



they would provide for its support ; that commissioners 
should be appointed to regulate the affairs of the king- 
dom, in concert with delegates from the army ; that, 
in the meanwliile, the King should be requested not to 
come to Richmond, as he had lately been desired to 
do ; and that, in no case, should he reside nearer 
London than the head-quarters.' On these conditions, 
Fairfax fell back a few miles, ond appointed ten com- 
missioners to treat with those of the Parliament.^ 

At the time when the King was informed of these 
resolutions, he was preparing to set out for Richmond, 
in accordance with the wish of the Parliament, or, at 
least, to endeavour to do so ; for, ever since the ex- 
pression of that wish, he liad been subjected to the 
strictest surveillance, and as he was dragged from 
town to town in the train of the army, he found his 
lodgings surrounded by numerous guards as soon as 
he arrived at any halting-place. He loudly expressed 
his displeasure at this treatment. " If any man 
should hinder my going," he said, " now my two 
Houses have desired me, it shall be done by force, by 
laying hold of my bridle ; which, if any one were so 
bold as to do, I would endeavour to make it his last 
act."^ When he learned that the Houses themselves 
were opposed to his departure, that they had yielded 
all the army demanded, and were negociating with it 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 656. 

■^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 596 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 661. The commissioners of the ai'my were — Cromwell, Ireton, 
Fleetwood, Eainsborough, Sir Hardress Waller, Harrison, Rich, Ham- 
mond, Lambert, and Desborough. 

^ Huntington's Reasons for laying down his Commission, p. 5. 


as with a conqueror, lie smiled disdainfully at this 
humiliation of his first adversaries, and hastened to 
give another direction to his intrigues. With the 
exception of the measm'es which had been taken to 
prevent any attempt at escape, he had no cause to 
complain of the army ; the officers were quite as 
respectful, and far more yielding in their behaviour 
towards him, than the Parliamentary Commissioners 
had been. Two of his chaplains, Drs. Sheldon and 
Hammond, had been permitted to reside with him, 
and to conduct Divine worship according to the 
Anglican ritual, without molestation. His old ser- 
vants, and even Cavaliers who had recently borne 
arms in his cause, were no longer indiscriminately 
banished from his presence ; the Duke of Richmond, 
the Earl of Southampton, and the Marquis of Hert- 
ford, obtained leave to visit him ; for the leaders of 
the army took delight in thus exhibiting their gene- 
rosity and power to eminent Royalist noblemen ; and 
even in the lower ranks, the military spirit shrank 
from those subtle precautions and annoying severities 
from w^hich the King had so frequently suffered at 
Newcastle and Holmby.^ Since the surrender of 
Oxford, his youngest children, the Duke of York, the 
Princess Elizabeth, and the Duke of Grioucester, had 
resided either at St. James's Palace or Sion House, 
near London, under the care of the Earl of North- 
umberland, to whose keeping the Parliament had in- 
trusted them. Charles expressed a strong desire to 

• Herbert's Memoir.s, p. 14 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. V. p. 442. 

T 2 


see them, and Fairfax at once urged liis request in an 
official letter to botli Houses : " Who," he said, " if 
they can imasrine it to be their own case, cannot but 
be sorry if his Majesty's natural affection to his 
children, in so small a thing, should not be complied 
with?"^ The interview took place at Maidenhead, 
on the 15th of July, in the presence of an immense 
concourse of people, who strewed evergreens and 
flowers along the roads by which the royal family 
were to pass ; and, far from feeling any anger or 
suspicion, the officers and soldiers, moved, hke the 
populace, by a father's joy at the sight of his children, 
made no objection to his taking them to Caversham, 
where he then resided, and keeping them with him 
for two days.^ Some of them, however, and par- 
ticularly Cromwell and Ireton, who were too clear- 
sighted to imagine that their struggle with the Pres- 
byterians was at an end, and their victory secure, were 
filled with anxiety for the future, and, on carefully 
calculating all the chances, put it to one another 
whether the favour of the King, restored by their 
means to his throne, would not be the best guarantee 
for their party, and the surest means of fortune and 
power for themselves.^ 

Rumours of this state of feeling, of the courtesy 
with which the King was treated by the army, and of 
the steps which some of its leaders were taking 
towards a reconciliation with him, soon spread 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 679. 

^ Kushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 625 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. v, p. 471. 

' Huntington's Reasons for laying down his Commission, p. 7. 


through the country. Many even went so far as to 
mention the conditions which had been offered to the 
King, and pamphlets were cu'culated, some in praise, 
and others in censure, of the Independent party. Its 
leaders thought it necessary officially to contradict 
these reports, and, in angry tones, to demand the 
punishment of their authors.^ But their negociations 
with the King were, nevertheless, continued ; many 
officers were assiduous and respectful in their atten- 
tions to him ; famihar, and almost friendly relations 
sprang up between them and the Cavaliers, as be- 
tween men wlio had fought honourably, and were 
now desirous only to live in peace. The King him- 
self Avrote to the Queen on this subject with con- 
siderable confidence. Ere long, among the few exiles 
who had accompanied her to Paris, or who had taken 
refuge in Normandy, at Rouen, Caen, or Dieppe, 
these new hopes became the topic of general conversa- 
tion. Two men, more especially, endeavoured to 
foster them, making it appear that they knew more 
about the matter than they chose to explain, and that 
no one could render the King such important ser- 
vices, at this juncture, than themselves. One of 
these, Sir John Berkley, had distinguished himself by 
his valiant defence of Exeter, and had not surrendered 
the town until three weeks before the King's flight to 
the Scottish camp ; the other, John Ashburnham, had 
left Charles only at Newcastle, and then from sheer 
necessity, in order to escape from the clutches of the 
Parliament : both of them were vain, intriguing, and 

' Old Parliamentary Histury, vol. xvi. pp. 60 — 62. 


talkative, but Berkley had most courage, and Ash- 
burnham more craftiness and greater influence with 
the King. Both of them — Berkley, by chance, and 
Ashburnham, by order of Charles himself — had had 
enough intercourse with some of the principal officers 
of the army to believe themselves entitled to boast of 
it, and able to turn it to advantage. The Queen 
unhesitatingly believed all their assurances ; and, by 
her command, about the beginning of July, they 
both set out, at an interval of a few days, to offer 
their services as negociators between the King and 
the army.^ 

Berkley had no sooner landed than a Cavalier of 
his acquaintance, Sir Allen Apsley,^ came to meet 
him, with a message from Cromwell_, Lambert, and 
some other officers, to assure him that they had not 
forgotten their conversations with him after the 
taking of Exeter, nor his excellent advice, and that 
they were quite ready to profit by it ; they, therefore, 
begged him to come to them with all speed. On re- 
ceiving this message, proud to find himself of more 
importance than even his own vanity had led him to 
imagine, Berkley, without making any stay in 
London, hastened to head-quarters, which ^were then 
at Reading. Before he had been there three hours, 
Cromwell had sent to apologize for not being able to 
pay him an immediate visit ; and at ten o'clock on 
the same evening, he called upon Berkley, with 
Colonel Bainsborough and Sir Hardress Waller. All 

' Berkley's Memoirs, pp. 12 — 16 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebel- 
lion, vol. V. p. 447. 

^ The brother of Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson. 


three made protestations of their good intentions 
towards the King ; Rainsborough somewhat drily, 
but Cromwell with great earnestness. " T have 
lately seen," he said, " the tenderest sight that ever 
my eyes beheld, the interview between the King and 
his children. Never was man so abused as I was in 
my sinister opinions of the King, who, I think, is the 
uprightest and most conscientious man in his three 
kingdoms. We of the Independent party have in- 
finite obligations to him for not consenting to the 
Scots' propositions at Newcastle, which would have 
totally ruined us. 1 wish that Grod would be pleased 
to look upon me according to the sincerity of my 
heart towards his Majesty!" Moreover, he stated, all 
the ofiicers were convinced that, if the King were not 
restored to possession of his just rights, no one in 
England would be able securely to enjoy his Hfe or 
property ; and a decisive step on their part would, ere 
long, leave his Majesty in no doubt with regard to 
their true sentiments. Berkley was deUghted. On 
the following day, he obtained an audience of the 
King, and gave him an account of this interview. 
Charles listened coldly, as a man who had already 
frequently received such overtures, and either put no 
faith in them, or desired, by his reserve, to obtain a 
higher price for his belief. Berkley witlidrew in con- 
fusion, but thought, not without some feeling of re- 
sentment, that the King, who knew him little, might 
perhaps have some prejudice against him, and that 
Ashburnham, who was expected speedily to arrive, 
would be more successful in persuading him. In the 


meanwhile, he continued his negociations with the 
army ; the officers came to him in crowds, and so did 
the mere agitators — some of them were friends and 
instruments of Cromwell, hut others distrusted him, 
and warned Berkley to be on his guard ; " For," they 
said, " he is one who will always make his advantages, 
and he is resolved to prosecute his ambitious ends 
through all means whatsoever ; for he not only dis- 
sembles, but really changes his way to those ends, so 
as he may be always the leader." Ireton, however, 
Cromwell's most intimate confidant, appeared to 
Berkley to deal honestly with him ; for he communi- 
cated to him the propositions which the general 
council of officers had in preparation, and even 
adopted some alterations which he suggested in them. 
Nothing so moderate had previously been offered to 
the King ; they demanded that he should resign the 
command of the militia and the right of appointing to 
great offices of State for ten years ; that seven of his 
principal counsellors should remain banished from the 
kingdom ; that all civil and coercive power should be 
withdrawn from the clergy, whether bishops or Pres- 
byterian ministers ; that no peer created since the 
commencement of the civil war should be allowed to 
take his seat ; and that no Cavaher should be elected 
a member of the next Parhament. " As we have pre- 
vailed in the war," said Ireton to Berkley, " we must 
make some distinction between ourselves and the 
worsted." Moreover, these conditions, less rigorous in 
themselves than those proposed by the two Houses, 
were not accompanied by any obligation to abolish 


the Episcopal Cliurcli, or to ruin nearly all the 
Royalists by enormous fines, nor did they establish the 
legal incapacity, as it were, of the King and his party, 
during the pleasure of Parhament. The army, it is 
true, demanded, on the other hand, new reforms which, 
in reahty, were of a more serious character ; such as a 
more equal distribution of electoral rights and public 
taxes ; a great change in civil procedure ; the destruc- 
tion of a host of political, judicial, and commercial 
privileges ; and, in sliort, the introduction, into social 
order and the laws, of many principles of equality 
until then unknown. But, even in the idea of their 
authors, these demands were not directed against the 
King, or intended to diminish his dignity and power ; 
and no one believed the royal prerogative to be in- 
terested in the maintenance of rotten boroughs, the 
scandalous profits of lawyers, or the frauds of debtors. 
Berkley, therefore, considered these conditions far less 
harsh than he had ever ventured to hope ; and never, 
he thought, had a crown so nearly lost, been recovered 
at so cheap a rate. About the 28th of July, he 
sohcited and obtained permission to communicate 
them to the King, before they were officially presented 
to him by the army. His surprise was even greater 
than at the first interview : Charles thought the con- 
ditions very harsh, and said indignantly ; "If they 
had a mind to close with me, they would never impose 
so hard terms upon me." Berkley ventured to remon- 
strate, and insisted on the danger of refusal ; but the 
King abruptly broke off the conversation by saying, 
" They cannot subsist without me, and, therefore, I 


do not doubt but that I shall very shortly see them 
glad to condescend farther, and accept more equal 
terms." ^ 

Berkley was vainly endeavouring to discover a 
reason for this confidence, when news arrived at head- 
quarters that the most violent excitement prevailed in 
the City, that Westminster was closely surrounded by 
bands of citizens and apprentices, and that the Par- 
liament might, at any moment, be forced to vote the 
King's return, the readmission of the eleven members, 
and other resolutions equally fatal to the army and its 
partizans. During the last fortnight — and especially 
since leave of absence for six months had been sent to 
the eleven members,^ so as to deprive their friends 
of all immediate hope, — symptoms of the most 
menacing character, mobs, petitions, and tumultuous 
cries, had preceded this outbreak ; it had been finally 
occasioned by a measure which both parties regarded 
as decisive. The Presbyterian Committee, which for 
two months had had the command of the London 
militia, was dissolved on the 23rd of Jul^-^, and the 
Independents resumed possession of that important 
branch of authority. The City could not consent to 
allow itself to be thus represented and commanded by 
its enemies ; in a very few hours, the excitement 
became general ; a paper was posted up in Skinners' 
Hall, containing an engagement to make every effort 
to enable the King to return to London mth honour 

» Berkley's jMemoirs, pp. 23, 25, 28, 30, 32. 

2 On the 20th of July. — Parhamentary History, vol. iii. col. 712 ; 
Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 628. 


and freedom, and it was instantly covered with an im- 
mense number of signatures : on the departure of the 
courier for head-quarters, copies of it were sent to 
all parts of the kingdom ; the Eeformado officers made 
common cause with the people ; and everything seemed 
to indicate a movement as general as it was earnest.^ 

The army immediately resumed its march towards 
London; Fairfax wrote a threatening letter in its name; 
in both Houses, the Independent party, relying on its 
support, declared all persons who should sign the 
City engagement, to be guilty of treason. But the 
threat came too late to restrain the pubhc excite- 
ment. On the 20th of July, two days after this de- 
claration was issued, numerous bodies of apprentices, 
Reformados, and boatmen, thronged round West- 
minster Hall, with loud and insulting cries, making it 
evident that they had come to execute some audacious 
pm'pose. On taking their seats, the Commons, in 
alarm, ordered that the doors should be shut, and 
that no member should leave the House without 
permission. A petition arrived from the Common 
Council, in moderate and respectful language, demand- 
ing that the command of the militia should be restored 
to the officers who had just been displaced, and informing 
the Parliament of the irritation of the people, but in no 
respect braving its authority. While this petition was 
under discussion, the Speaker was informed that the 
assembled multitude had another to present ; two mem- 
bers went out to receive it ; it was read without delay, 
and was found to express the same wishes as that of the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 712 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. 
p. 635 ; Whitclocke, p. 258 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 144. 


Common Council, in much less intemperate language 
than had been anticipated. But the debate was pro- 
tracted ; the answer was delayed ; the day was draw- 
ing to a close ; the mob, instead of growing weary, 
grew angry ; all the approaches to the House were 
occupied ; and the noise of footsteps and voices was 
heard in the hall. Shouts for admission soon became 
audible, and the door was assailed with violent blows. 
Many of the members drew their swords, and for a 
moment drove back the intruders. The House of 
Lords was in equal danger : some apprentices had 
scaled the windows, and were throwing down stones, 
quite ready to proceed to greater violence if they were 
not attended to. The members still resisted ; but at 
length the door of the House of Commons f^s broken 
open, and forty or fifty of the most furious rioters 
rushed in, with their hats on their heads, and the 
most menacing gestures, exclaiming, " Vote ! vote ! " 
The crowd pressed on behind them ; the House gave 
way ; the obnoxious ordinance was rescinded, and the 
command of the militia restored to the Presbyterian 
Committee. The tumult seemed at an end ; the 
members rose to depart : the Speaker had left the 
chair, but a band of rioters seized him, and forced him 
to resume his seat. "What further would you 
have ? " he asked. " That the King be desired to 
come to London forthwith." The proposition was 
immediately put to the vote and adopted. Ludlow 
alone opposed it by a loud negative.^ 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 717 ; Eusliworth, part iv. vol. i. 
pp. 640—644; Wliitelockc, pp. 260, 261; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 144; 
Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 88. 


At this news, almost equal excitemeut prevailed in 
the arm}?-, especially in the lower ranks, among the 
agitators and soldiers ; the King was accused on all 
sides of complicity and perfidy. Lord Lauderdale, 
who had come from London to confer with liim on 
the part of the Scottish Commissioners, was regarded 
w4th so much distrust that, one morning, before he 
was up, a body of soldiers abruptly entered his bed- 
room, and forced him to leave immediately, without 
revisiting the King.' Ashburnham, who had arrived 
three days previously, excited great irritation and 
suspicion by his disdainful insolence ; he utterly 
refused to have any dealings with the agitators. 
" I was always bred in the best company," he said to 
Berkley, "and therefore cannot converse with such 
senseless fellows ; if we can gain the officers over to the 
King, there is no doubt but they will be able to com- 
mand their own army, and, therefore, I am resolved 
to apply myself totally to them;"^ and, in fact, the 
Generals were almost the only persons whose acquaint- 
ance he sought. But even among those officers who 
had made advances to the King, several now began to 
hold themselves apart. " Sir," said Ireton to him, 
"you have an intention to be the arbitrator between 
the Parhament and us, and we mean to be it between 
your Majesty and the Parliament." ^ Feeling some 
anxiety, however, at what had taken place in London, 
they resolved, on the ist of August, to lay their pro- 
positions officially before him. Ashburnham and 
Berkley were present at the conference. Charles was 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 737. 
* Berkley's Memoirs, pp. 32, 33. » Ibid. p. 15. 


haughty and ungracious, Hstened to the propositions 
with an ironical smile, and rejected nearly all of them 
in brief and bitter words, as though he were confi- 
dent of his own strength, and glad to give expression 
to his displeasui'e. Ireton bluntly urged the matter 
on him, saying that the army would make no further 
concessions ; Charles interrupted him, and said, " You 
cannot be without me ; you will fall to ruin if I do 
not sustain you." The officers looked at Berkley and 
Ashburnham with surprise, as if to ask the meaning 
of this reception ; and Berkley, in his turn, attempted, 
but in vain, by anxious glances to warn the King of 
his imprudence. At length he went up to him, and 
whispered, " Your Majesty speaks as if you had some 
secret strength and power that I do not know of; and 
since your Majesty hath concealed it from me, 1 wish 
you had concealed it from these men too." ^ Charles 
perceived that he had said too much, and hastened to 
lower his tone ; but the officers, or at least most of them, 
had already taken their resolution. Rainsborough, 
indeed, who was more opposed than the rest to any 
accommodation, had quietly left the room to proclaim 
it through the army that it was impossible to put any 
confidence in the King ; and the conference ended 
listlessly and unsatisfactorily, as between persons who 
could no longer agree with or delude one another. 

The officers had but just returned to head-quarters, 
when a number of carriages arrived from London, and, 
to the great astonishment of the crowd, more than 
sixty members of Parliament alighted from them, 

' Berkley's Memoirs, pp. 34, 35. 


headed by the Speakers of the two Houses, Lord 
Manchester and Lenthall/ who stated that they had 
fled from the fury of the populace, and come to the 
army to seek Hberty and safety. The delight of the 
soldiers was equal to their surprise : they had dreaded 
a violent rupture with the Parliament, and now the 
Parliament itself, its legal leaders and faithful mem- 
bers, had come to them for protection. Both officers 
and soldiers thronged round the fugitives, listened 
with indignation to the narrative of the dangers and 
insults to which they had been exposed, loaded them 
with thanks and offers of service, and praised the 
Lord for their patriotic resolution. Cromwell and his 
friends alone feigned surprise ; for the last five days, 
by means of their correspondents in London, and 
particularly by the intervention of St. Jolin, Haslerig, 
Vane, and Ludlow, they had been labouring to effect 
this schism in the Parliament.^ 

Berkley hastened to communicate this melancholy 
news to the King, and conjured him to write without 
delay to the leaders of the army, to give them reason 
to hope a better reception for their proposals, or at 
least to rebut all suspicions, and lessen the ill effect 
of their last interview. This, he said, was the advice 

' This number is very uncertain. Hollis (p. 145) positively enume- 
rates eight Lords and fifty eight members of the House of Commons. 
Rush worth (part iv. vol. i. p. 750) mentions fourteen Lords, and about 
a hundred members of the House of Commons ; and Whitelocke, 
(p. 263) makes the same statement. When the names were called 
over in the House of Lords on the 30th of July, twenty peers were 
absent (Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 727). All the fugitives, 
however, did not leave London simultaneously. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 723 — 731 ; Rushworth, part iv. 
vol. i. p. 646 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 88. 


of Cromw'ell and Ireton, who, on these terms, would 
still answer for the friendly disposition of the army. 
But Charles had also received news from London : 
the riot had broken out with his full consent ; and he 
w^as informed that, on the very daj of the departure 
of the fugitives, the remaining members, who were far 
m.ore numerous, had elected two new Speakers, Mr. 
Pelham for the House of Commons, and Lord Wil- 
loughby of Parham for the House of Lords ; that the 
eleven excluded members had resumed their seats ; 
and that the Houses, thus reconstituted, had imme- 
diately given orders that the army should suspend its 
march, that the City shoidd prepare all its means of 
defence, and that Massey, Bro\vn, Waller, and Po}Titz 
should raise regiments with all possible haste. The 
ardour of the Londoners was, it was said, extreme : at a 
meeting of the Common Council, thousands of appren- 
tices had presented themselves, and sworn to do their 
utmost in its defence, against any enemies, and in 
spite of all risks. The inhabitants of the borough of 
Southwark alone had expressed opposite sentiments ; 
but when they brought their petition to Guildliall, 
Poyntz, with some of his officers, had driven them 
back so roughly, that it was not expected they would 
venture to return. Money was being raised, and 
cannon had been placed on the ramparts. Finally, 
the King was formally invited to retm-n to London ; 
and this request, after being proclaimed by sound of 
trumpet through all the streets, was to reach him in a 
few houi's, or at latest, on the following day.^ 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. pp. 652 — 656; Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. col. 728 ; Whitelocke, p. 262. 


The King told Berkley that he would wait, as 
there would alwa3^s be time enough to write such a 
letter. Meanwhile, a messenger arrived from head- 
quarters ; new fugitives from Westminster had come 
to join their colleagues ; others had written word 
that they intended to retire into the country, and that 
they utterly disavowed the pretended Parliament. 
Even in London, the Independents, who, though not 
numerous, were bold, had lost neither time nor 
courage ; they obstructed, delayed, and weakened all 
the measures that they could not positively prevent ; 
the money raised was slowly turned to use ; Massey's 
recruits were scantily provided with arms ; some Pres- 
byterian ministers, Marshall among others, gained over 
by the army, spread alarm and suggested compromise 
wherever they went; and many honest members of both 
the Parliament and the Common Council ah-eady wel- 
comed every proposal of reconcihation, and rejoiced in 
the hope of having the honour of restoring peace. 
Finally Cromwell sent word to Ashburnham that, 
within two days, the City would be in the power of 
the army.^ 

Charles still hesitated : he assembled his most 
trusted servants ; the letter was drafted, discussed, set 
aside, and resumed; at length he signed it.^ Ash- 
burnham and Berkley set out with it to head-quarters ; 
on their road they met a second messenger, who had 
been sent by two friendly officers to urge its imme- 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 38 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 90 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 263 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 148. 

* On the 4th of August. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 753, 



diate transmission ; and when they reached the camp, 
'they found that the submission of the City had arrived 
before them. On the 3rd of August, the fugitive 
members had reviewed the army on Hounslow Heath 
amidst the loudest acclamations ; and it was now 
marching with them to London, in the certainty of 
entering the City without any obstacle. The King's 
letter and proffer of alliance were no longer of any 
value to the conquerors.^ 

Two days afterwards, on the 6th of August, a 
brilliant and formidable cavalcade proceeded from Ken- 
sington to Westminster ; three regiments formed the 
vanguard, and a fourth brought up the rear ; between 
them rode Fairfax and his staff, with the fugitive 
members in their carriages ; and behind them thronged 
vast crowds of their partizans, eager to share in their 
triumph. The road was lined by a double file of 
soldiers, all with branches of laurel in their hats, and 
shouting, '' Grod save the Parliament ! the free Par- 
liament !" At Hyde Park, the Lord Mayor and 
aldermen were waiting to congratulate the general on 
the restoration of peace between the army and the 
City ; but Fairfax scarcely vouchsafed them any answer 
as he passed. Further on, at Charing Cross, the 
Common Council also presented themselves in a body, 
and met with an equally unfavourable reception. On 
reaching Westminster Hall, it was found that the 
Presbyterian leaders had either fled or hidden them- 
selves ; Fairfax restored the patrons of the army to 
their seats, listened modestly to their pompous thanks, 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 39 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 750. 


heard them vote a month's pay for his troops, and 
then went to take possession of the Tower, of which 
he was at once appointed Governor.' 

Two days afterwards, with Skippon in command of 
the centre, and Cromwell heading the rear, the whole 
army marched through London in serious silence and 
the strictest order ; no excess was committed, no citizen 
received even the slightest insult;^ the leaders were 
anxious at once to quiet and intimidate the City. 
Their object was fully gained ; on seeing the troops 
pass on with such exact discipline and haughty bearing, 
at once so docile and so dangerous, the Presbyterians 
shut themselves up in their houses, the Independents 
resumed undivided possession of power, and the timid 
rallied confidently round the victors. The Common 
Council invited Fairfax and his officers to a public 
dinner : he declined the invitation ; but the only 
resiilt of his refusal was to induce them to hasten the 
completion of a richly-chased golden ewer which they 
intended to offer him.^ A number of the apprentices 
even came to present him theu' congratulations, and 
he received them in solemn audience, as he was 
dehghted to make it appear that the army had many 
partizans among that formidable body.* The two 
Houses, on their side, and especially the Lords, made 
a great parade of servile gratitude : they voted, on the 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol, ii. p. 756 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 736 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 169. 

^ Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 90 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, 
vol. V. p 469 ; Whitelocke, p. 264. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 761 — 764; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 178. 

* Rushwoi'th, part iv. vol. ii. p. 778. 

u 2 


6tli of August, that all that had been done in the 
absence of the members who had fled to the army was 
absolutely null and void, and did not need to be 
rescinded/ This vote caused the Commons some 
alarm; they were ready to revoke any act, and to 
prosecute the authors of the riot which had caused the 
secession ; but most of the members had remained at 
Westminster, and had concurred in those very acts 
which they were now called upon to declare abso- 
lutely null, and they thrice refused to yield tliis point.^ 
On the next day, the 20th of August, a body of 
cavalry encamped in Hyde Park ; picquets were sta- 
tioned round the House of Commons, and at all its 
approaches ; in the House itself, Cromwell and Ireton 
supported the resolution of the Lords with arguments 
and threats ;^ it was at length adopted ; and now 
nothing was wanting to complete the triumph of the 
army, for even those who had been brought into 
subjection by it, joined in proclaiming the legitimacy 
of its conduct. 

After this great and facile success, the revolutionary 
movement, which, even among the Independents, had 
hitherto been restrained and regulated by the neces- 
sities of the conflict, took free course ; all passions, 
hopes, and dreams, grew bolder, and were manifested 
with less reserve. In the higher ranks of the popular 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 745. 

^ On the lOth and 19th of August, the proposition was rejected by 
ninety-six votes against ninety- three, eighty-five against eighty- three, 
and eighty -seven against eighty-four. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 756-773. 

3 HoUis's Memoirs, p. 172; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 758 — 
773 ; Whitelocke, p. 264. 


party, in the House of Commons, and in the general 
council of officers, repubhcan schemes assumed a 
positive and definite shape ; for some time previously, 
Vane, Ludlow, Haslerig, Martyn, Scott, and Hutchin- 
son, had scarcely attempted to answer when accused 
of hostility to monarchy; they now spoke of it with 
undisguised contempt : the sovereignty of the people, 
represented by one sole assembly appointed by the 
people, was the ruling principle of theii* actions and 
speeches ; and in their private conversations, all idea 
of an accommodation with the King, no matter on what 
terms, was treated as treason. In the lower ranks both 
of the army and people, the fermentation of the public 
mind was no less general and intense ; unprecedented 
reforms of every kind were demanded ; reformers 
sprang up on every side, on whose impetuous desires no 
law could impose respect, and to whom no obstacle 
seemed insurmountable ; for they were all the more con- 
fident and imperious, in projDortion to the profundity 
of their ignorance and obscurity, and their pamphlets 
and petitions daily hurled fresh defiance at all who op- 
posed them. When cited before the judges, they called 
in question the authorit}^ of the judges themselves, and 
required them to leave seats which they had usurped ; 
when attacked by Presbyterian ministers in the 
churches, they dashed suddenly towards the pulpit, 
tore the preacher from his place, and preached in their 
turn, with sincere enthusiasm, though they artfully 
turned their wild creed to the advantage of their 
passions. No clear and complete doctrinal system, 
no precise and general purpose, characterized this 


movement ; and though these popular champions 
were all republicans, their ideas and aspirations ex- 
tended far beyond a mere revolution in the Govern- 
ment ; they hoped to effect a change in society itself, 
and to alter the mutual relations, manners, and feeHngs, 
of the community. But in this respect, their notions 
were crude and confused. Some spent their daring 
in noisily promoting some important but partial inno- 
vation, such as the destruction of the privileges of the 
peerage or of the lawyers ; others were content with 
indulging in some pious reverie, such as expecting 
the speedy reign of the Lord. Some, under the name 
of Rationalists, claimed absolute sovereignty for the 
reason of each individual ; ^ others talked of intro- 
ducing a strict equality of rights and property among 
all men, and their enemies took advantage of this 
circumstance to give them all the name of Levellers. 
But neither this unpopular name, which they always 
indignantly rejected, nor any other generic appellation 
could properly be applied to them, for they neither 
formed a sect devoted to any systematic behef, nor a 
faction eager to attain a definite object. Whether 
citizens or soldiers, visionaries or demagogues, an 
earnest though unintelligent craving for innovation, 
a vague instinct of equality, and a rude spirit of inde- 
pendence, animated them all ; and, inspired by a blind 
but disinterested ambition, and inexorable towards all 
whom they deemed weak or selfish, they communicated 
strength or alarm to all parties in turn, as all were 
successively compelled to use and to dupe them. 

' Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 40. 


No one had succeeded so well as Cromwell in his 
treatment of them ; no one lived on terms of such 
trustful intimacy as he did with these obscure but 
powerful enthusiasts. Everything about him had 
pleased them at first sight : — the irregular flights of his 
imagination, his readiness to become the equal and 
companion of the meanest friends, his mystic and 
famihar language, the alternate triviality and enthu- 
siasm of his manner, which passed in tmm for soldierly 
frankness and heavenly inspiration, and even the supple 
freedom of liis genius, which seemed to employ all the 
resources of worldly ability in the service of a holy 
cause. He had, accordingly, sought and found his 
most useful agents among this class — Ayres, Evanson, 
Berry, Sexby, Sheppard, and Wildman ; all of whom 
were leading members of the Council of Agitators, 
and always ready, at a word from the Lieutenant- 
general, to raise the army against either Parliament 
or King. Even Lilbui-ne himself, the most indomitable 
and least credulous of these men, who had lately left 
his regiment because he found it impossible to obey 
orders, felt great confidence in Cromwell. " I have 
looked upon you," he wrote to him on the 25th of 
March, 1647, " as the most absolute, single-hearted 
great man in England, u.ntainted and unbiassed with 
ends of your own ;" and Cromwell had more than once 
turned Lilbm-ne's courage to account, in his conflicts 
with the Presbyterians. But when the ruin of the 
Presbyterians seemed to be complete, when the Inde- 
pendents had the King, the Parliament, and the City, 
in their power, when all the revolutionary passions 


and pretensions burst forth insatiably, blindly, and 
ungovernably, — the position of the leaders of the 
victorious party, and particularly of Cromwell, who 
was already the object of universal attention, soon 
became affected. In their turn, they incuiTed suspicion 
and felt alarm. Many of their friends had viewed 
with disapprobation the negociations which had been 
commenced with the King ; necessity alone, the danger 
of falling beneath the sway of the Presbyterians, had 
overcome their repugnance, and silenced their distrust. 
But now all necessity had disappeared ; the Lord had 
dehvered all their enemies into the hands of His 
servants. Yet, instead of securing and completmg 
the triumph of His cause, they continued to hve on 
friendly terms, and even to treat, with the delinquents. 
The first and most guilty of all, the man on whose 
head some voices had, two years before,^ called down 
pubhc vengeance, and who lately, in his insane pride, 
had rejected propositions which, perhaps, ought never 
to have been presented to him — the King, far from 
having lost anything by the late events, had almost 
recovered his former power and splendour. By the 
consent of the Generals, he had taken up his abode in 
his palace of Hampton Court, on the 24th of August ; 
and there he was still served with idolatrous pomp, 
and surrounded by a court more arrogant than ever. 
His former advisers, Eichmond, Hertford, Capel, and 
Southampton, had hastened to rejoin him, as though 

' As early as the month of May, 1646, sevei'al Independents de- 
manded that the King should be punished as the greatest delinquent. 
— Bailhe's Letters, vol. ii. pp. 209, 213, 225. 


he had been on the point of resuming and exercising 
sovereign power.' Ormonde himself, the most dan- 
gerous leader of the Irish Eoyalists, who had recently 
withstood the Parliament so boldly in that kingdom, 
and hardly consen,ted to surrender Dublin in obedi- 
ence to the King's orders — even Ormonde, on his 
return to England, had been received by the General, 
the Lieutenant-general, and nearly all the chief officers 
of the army, with assiduous pohteness,^ and was allowed 
free access to the King, with whom he was doubtless 
meditating some fresh insurrection in Ireland. At 
the same time, the King's most active confidants, 
Berkley, Ashburnham, Ford, and Apsley, were con- 
tinually passing to and fro between the Court and 
head-quarters ; the doors of Cromwell and Ireton 
were always open to them, whilst numbers of godly 
men were unable to gain admission.^ Ireton and 
Cromwell, in their turn, maintained a constant corre- 
spondence with the King, either personally or by 
their messengers ; they had been seen walking alone 
with him in the park, and were known to be often 
closeted with him. Even their wives, Mrs. Cromwell, 
Mrs. Ireton, and Mrs. "WhaUey, had been presented 
at Hampton Court, and the King had received them 
with great honours.* So much familiarity was scanda- 
lous ; so much parleying must be preliminary to 
some act of treason. This language daily gained 
ground among the repubhcans and enthusiasts, more 
especially in the private meetings of the soldiers. 

' Herbert's Memoirs, p. 27 ; Hutcliinson's Memoirs, p, 305. 
« Whitelocke, p. 267. ' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 40. 

* Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 40. 


From his prison in the Tower, where he had been 
confined by the House of Lords, in order, if possible, 
to stifle his inflammatory speeches and pamphlets, 
Lilburne loaded Cromwell with the most violent 
reproaches, in a letter which terminated in these 
words : "If you shglit this as you have done all my 
preceding addresses, the uttermost of my strength 
and influence shall speedily be among you, to produce 
such changes in your fortune as you little look for."' 

Cromwell gave Httle heed to Lilbui-ne's counsels 
and threats ; but they became formidable when backed 
by the anger of many of his hitherto devoted ad- 
herents. Though ready to plunge, often rashly, into 
intrigues which promised a hopeful issue, he never- 
theless had a keen and unerring instinct of dangers 
and obstacles, and was always sure, whatever his aim 
or passion might be, to look around him on every side, 
to ascertain his true position, and to act accordingly. 
He now requested Berkley and Ashburnham to visit 
him less frequently, and begged the King to permit 
him to act towards him with greater reserve. " If I 
am an honest man," he said, " I have said enough of 
the sincerity of my intentions ; if I am not, nothing 
is enough."^ At the same time he went to the Tower, 
paid Lilburne a long visit, talked earnestly of his zeal 
for their common cause, vehemently insisted on the 
danger of the least disunion, inquired what he in- 
tended to do when he was set at liberty, and, on 
taking his leave, promised to use his influence with 

' The letter is dated on the 13th of August, 1647. 
* Berkley's Memoirs, p. 42. 


the Committee to whom his complaint had been re- 
ferred, to obtain liis speedy release.^ 

Lilbume was not set at liberty ; the Committee, of 
which Henry Mai'tyn was chairman, even postponed 
their report on his case; and Cromwell's dealings 
with the King, though more reserved, were not less 
active. Though free from the blind presumption of 
his party, and harassed by ambition and doubt, his 
mind was disturbed by the most opposite calculations 
and anticipations, and he was unwilling thoroughly to 
adopt or reject any plan. The success of the repub- 
hcans appeared to him to be doubtful, and the desires 
of the enthusiasts, chimerical; the disputatious and 
passionate insubordination of the soldiers threatened 
his o^vn authority ; his spirit revolted from disorder, 
even while he promoted it ; the name of the King was 
still a power, liis alliance a means of success, and his 
restoration a chance of fortune : he kept this and other 
possibilities in reserve, ready to abandon any one of 
them for a better, pushing his own advancement by 
all means, and daily turning towards that course of 
action which seemed to promise the greatest and most 
immediate success. The King, on his side, well aware 
of the state of feehng in the Parhament and araiy, 
gave a new direction to his negociations : he now 
addressed himself less to the dominant party than to 
its leaders, and promised individual favours rather than 
pubHc concessions. Ireton was offered the govern- 
ment of Ireland; Cromwell was promised the chief 
command of the army, the colonelcy of the King's 

' Biographia Britaniiica, vok v. p. 2950. 


Guard, the title of Earl of Essex, and the order of the 
Garter ; advantages of a similar nature were to be 
conferred on their principal friends. Meantime, two 
Royalists, Judge Jenkins and a Cavalier named Sir 
Lewis Dives, who were prisoners in the Tower with 
Lilburne, were constantly telling him of the treaty 
which, they said, had already been concluded between 
the Generals and the Court ; and by specifying its con- 
ditions, they awakened his suspicions, and encouraged 
him to spread them abroad. If suspected, such a 
transaction would throw the republican party into 
confusion ; if accepted, it would either secure the 
King the support of the leaders, or deprive them, in 
their turn, of all support.^ 

These manoeuvres could not escape the notice of the 
two Generals : they had surrounded the King with 
their spies ; Colonel Whalley, whose regiment had 
been appointed to guard him, was Cromwell's cousin 
and creature; the slightest incidents in the King's 
life, his walks and conversations, the visits and pro- 
ceedings of his counsellors, and the indiscretions of his 
servants, were minutely reported to them;^ and they 
more than once complained that reports from Hampton 
Court, disseminated as it were by design, by destroy- 
ing their influence with the army, disabled them from 
serving the King in that quarter. Ireton particularly, 
a man of sterner mind and less tolerant of falsehood, 
was so much displeased, that he was on the point of 

» Berkley's Memoirs, p. 40 ; Whitelocke, p. 269. 

* In Kushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 795, will be found a letter from 
Whalley, giving an account of the manner in which the King passed 
his time, and of all that occurred at Hampton Court. 


breaking off the negociations. Tliey were, however, 
continued; and soon even the public conduct of the 
Generals seemed to confirm the suspicions of the sol- 
diers. At the instance of the Scots, and in order to 
give some satisfaction to the pacific portion of the 
pubHc, the Parhament had decided, on the 27th of 
August, that the Newcastle propositions should be 
presented once more to the King ;^ and the Earls of 
Lauderdale and Lanark, who had recently arrived at 
Hampton Com-t, again conjured him to accept them, 
and to unite with the Presbyterians, who alone were 
sincere in their desire to save him.^ Alarmed at this 
danger, Cromwell and Ireton redoubled their protesta- 
tions and promises of fidelity to him, urged him to re- 
ject the propositions of the Parliament, and to demand 
that those of the army should be taken as the basis of 
any new negociation ; and they promised to sustain 
his demand by all means in then* power. " We will 
purge, and purge, and purge," said L-eton, " and never 
leave purging the Houses till we have made them of 
such a temper as shall do his Majesty's business ; and 
rather than fall short of what is promised, I would 
join with French, Spaniard, Cavaher, or any that will 
join with me to force them to it."^ Charles followed 
the advice of the Generals; and on receipt of liis 
answer,* a violent debate arose in the House of Com- 
mons. The irritated Presbyterians would not abandon 
then- propositions, and the enthusiasts demanded that 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols, 774, 775. 

2 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 478. 

^ Huntington's Reasons for laying down his Commission, p. 13. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 777 — 779. 


no further offers should be received or made. In 
accordance with theii- promise, Cromwell and Ireton 
urged that the King's desii'e should be granted, and 
a treaty made between him and the Parhament, on 
the terms offered by the army ; but this step, though 
bold, proved unavailing, as both Presbyterians and 
enthusiasts combined to defeat it/ 

The distrust and ill-feeling among the soldiers now 
began to assume a menacing character; throughout 
the cantonments of the army meetmgs were held, 
sometimes tumultuously, and sometimes secretly ; the 
words ambition, treachery^ and falseliood were every- 
where heard in connection with Cromwell's name ; and 
any unguarded expressions he had used were carefully 
treasured up, to be commented upon with angry vehe- 
mence. He had been heard suggesting the necessity 
of putting an end to severities against the Cavaliers ; 
he had said, " Now that I hold the King in my hand, 
I have the Parliament in my pocket ;"^ and at another 
time he had remarked, " Wliat a sway Stapleton and 
HolHs had heretofore in the kingdom! I know nothing 
to the contrary but that I am as well able to govern 
the kingdom as either of them."^ Finally it was 
Cromwell who, in the committee appointed to con- 
sider Lilburne's case, had brought forward a thousand 
little incidents to obtain his detention in prison.* 
Lilburne formally denounced him to the agitators, 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 44 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 81 ; Huntington's 
Eeasons, p. 14 ; Commons' Journals, September 22, 1647. 
* Banks' Critical Review, p. 83. 

^ Huntington's Reasons for laying down his Commission, p. 14. 
■* Biogi-aphia Britannica, vol. v. p. 2950. 


and enumerated all the offices wliicli lie and his adhe- 
rents had engrossed.^ The agitators, in their turn, 
petitioned the Parliament for Lilburne's liberation,^ 
and apphed to Fairfax for the release of four soldiers 
who, they said, had been confined for merely speaking 
in insolent and threatening language of the King.^ 
It was even proposed by Wildman, Lilburne, and 
some others, to get rid of Cromwell by assassination.'* 
No such attempt, however, was made ; but either on 
this ground, or for some other cause, the council of 
agitators itself incurred the suspicion of the soldiers ; 
and it was said that the Lieutenant-general had spies 
among its members who informed him of all that 
occm-red. To escape this danger, several regiments 
appointed, under the name of new agents, agitators of 
a more reHable character, who were instructed to 
watch traitors and to serve the good cause, in all 
places and at any cost. Some of the superior officers, 
and several members of the House of Commons — 
Eainsborough, Ewers, Harrison, Eobert Lilburne,' and 
Scott — placed themselves at the head of this insur- 
rectionary movement; and the most violent faction, 
thus separated from the general council of officers and 
from the Parliament, began openly to proclaim their 
maxims and designs.^ 

Cromwell became alarmed ; he saw disunion in the 

' Biographia Britannica, p. 2949. 
^ rtushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 790. 
^ Ibid. pp.. 808, 811. 

* Hollis's Memoirs, p. 185 ; Berkley's Memoirs, p. 44. 

* The brother of John Lilburne, and colonel of an infantry regiment. 
^ At the beginning of October, 1647.— Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 91 ; 

Journals of the House of Lords, vol. ix. p. .52G-531. 


army, while the RoyaUsts and Presbyterians were 
eagerly watching for an opportunity to profit by its 
dissensions ; and at the same time he found himself 
attacked by men of inflexible resolution, who had 
hitherto been his most faithful allies and his most use- 
ful instruments. The King's intentions, too, daily be- 
came more open to suspicion : "I shall play my game 
as well as I can," said Charles to Ireton, who pressed 
him to join them pubHcly ;^ and Lords Lauderdale and 
Lanark, who were still assiduous in their attendance 
on the King, promised him the support of a Scottish 
army, if he would accept their alliance. The con- 
ditions of the treaty, it was said, had already been 
agreed on ; and even in Scotland, where Hamilton's 
influence was superior to that of Argyle, troops were 
marching towards the border.^ The Enghsli Cavahers, 
on their side, Capel, Langdale, and Musgrave, were 
secretly preparing to rise once more in arms. " Rest 
assured," the King said to Capel, " it cannot be long 
before there will be a war between the two nations, 
in which the Scots promise themselves an universal 
concurrence from all the Presbyterians in England. 
In such a conjuncture, I wish my own party would 
put themselves in arms, as otherwise I cannot expect 
great benefit by the success of either."^ Meantime, 
the position of the army, which was quartered round 
London, became critical ; the City met all demands 
for money to pay the troops, with the utmost apathy ; 

- Memoira of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 305. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 478 ; Rushworth, 
part iv. vol. ii. pp. 786, 810. 

* Clarendon's History of the RebeUion, vol. -v. p. 477. 


^nd the officers found it difficult to govern troops 
whom the}^ were unable to pay.^ Pamphlets were 
everywhere in circulation, containing the most damag- 
ing revelations, both of the designs of the soldiers to 
overthrow the King, and of the King's negociations 
with the Generals. In vain had Fairfax demanded 
and obtained the establishment of a rigorous censor- 
ship;^ in vain had Cromwell represented to the City 
the urgent necessities of the army ; in vain had he 
displayed all the resources of reason and cunning, to 
persuade the fanatics that they must curb their zeal 
if ih.ej mshed to be paid by the moderate men, and 
to convince the moderate men that, in order to check 
the fanatics, they must pay them ;^ in vain, even, had 
he obtained the appointment of several of his trustiest 
adherents, among the new agents of the soldiers :* 
his efforts produced no result ; his prudence even 
turned against him ; he had contrived to obtain 
sources of information and means of action in all 
parties ; and, on every side, an impetuous and irre- 
sistible excitement threatened to frustrate his calcula- 
tions, and to ruin his influence. All his precautions 
had ended only in involving him in increased diffi- 
culties and dangers. 

While in this state of perplexity, one of the nume- 
rous spies whom he had at Hampton Court, even in the 

* Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 804, 815, 829, 837—840 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 272. 

* By an ordinance of the ;30th of September, 1647. — Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. cols. 779 — 781 ; Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 799. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 883, 884. 

* Huntington's Reasons, p! 15. 



King's bedchamber, sent him word that, on that very- 
day, a letter was to be sent to the Queen, explaining 
the King's real intentions with regard to the army 
and its leaders. The letter was sewn np in the skirt 
of a saddle, and the bearer of it, who was not in the 
secret, was to come with the saddle on his head, at 
about ten o'clock at night, to the Blue Boar inn in 
Holborn, where a horse was prepared to carry him to 
Dover, from whence the letter was to be transmitted 
to France. Cromwell and Ireton took their resolution 
at once ; in the dress of common troopers, and 
attended by one trusty soldier, they left Windsor, 
and proceeded to the inn in question. On arriving, 
they posted their man at the gate, and entering the 
inn, called for cans of beer, and sat drinking for some 
time. About ten o'clock, the messenger appeared, 
with a saddle on his head ; their sentinel immediately 
gave them notice of his arrival ; on which they went 
out, sword in hand, seized his saddle on the pretext that 
they had orders to search everything, carried it into 
their room, cut it open, found the letter, and then 
returned the saddle to the terrified messenger, telling 
him good-hum ouredly that he was an honest fellow, 
and might now continue his journey. 

Their information proved correct; Charles had, in 
fact, written to the Queen that both factions courted 
him with equal assiduity, and that whichever bid 
fairest for him should have him, but that he thought 
he would rather close with the Scottish Presby- 
terians than with the army. "Leave me to manage," 
he added, " I am better informed of all circumstances 


than you can be ; but you may be entirely easy as to 
whatever concessions I shall make them ; for I shall 
know, in due time, how to deal with the rogues, 
who, instead of a silken garter, shall be fitted with a 
hempen cord." The two Generals looked at each other 
in amaze ; and, with all their suspicions thus confirmed, 
they returned at once to Windsor, feeling as determined 
in their intentions towards the King as they were 
certain of his views with regard to themselves/ 

It was full time that their conduct sliould cease to 
be perplexed and doubtful ; for the irritation of the 
enthusiasts was finding vent, and had thrown the 
army into the most violent confusion. On the 9th of 
October, in the name of five regiments of cavalry, one 
of which was Cromwell's own regiment, the new 
agitators prepared, under the name of The Case of 
the Army^ a long statement of their suspicions, prin- 
ciples, and wishes. On the 18th, this document was 
solemnly presented to the General; and on the first 
of November, a second pamphlet, entitled. An Agree- 
merit of the people for a Firm and Present Peace, on 
the ground of Common Right, was addressed to the 
whole nation in the name of sixteen regiments. In 
both of these pamphlets, the soldiers accused their 
officers of treason and the Parliament of oppression, 
exhorted their comrades to join them, and demanded 
that the existing Parliament should be speedily 
dissolved ; that, in future, no individual or body of 

' This happened in the month of October. — Clarendon's State Papers, 
vol. i. Appendix, p. 38 ; Forster's Statesmen of the Commonwealth, 
vol. iv. pp. 229—232. 

X 2 


men should share the sovereign power with the House 
of Commons ; that it should be elected triennially ; 
that the right of suffrage should be equally distributed 
all over the land, with a due regard to population and 
taxes, that no member of Parhament should be capable 
of immediate re-election, and that no citizen should 
be imprisoned for debt or forced to perform mili- 
tary service, or be excluded from public employments 
on account of his religion ; that the people, in the 
counties, should elect all their own magistrates ; that 
the civil laws, which extended equally to all, should 
be reformed and recast in a single code ; and finally, 
that certain rights, and particularly liberty of con- 
science, should be proclaimed inviolable, and superior 
to all human authority/ 

At this declaration of popular ideas and hopes, the 
leaders were thrown into great disquietude. Many 
of them, and those not the least sensible, although 
hostile to the Court and to the Presbyterians, never- 
theless regarded kingship and the House of Lords 
as so powerful, and so deeply rooted in the institu- 
tions, laws, and manners of the country, that the 
establishment of a republic, when it was thus dis- 
tinctly mooted, appeared to them only a dangerous 
absurdity. Among the republicans themselves, the 
majority, though sincere and daring in their views, 
were far from sharing all the desires of the soldiers ; 
some, who could now command the elections in their 
town or county, were afraid of losing their influence 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 845, 859 ; Whitelocke, pp. 276, 277 ; 
Godwin's History of the Commonwealth, vol. ii. pp. 445 — 450. 


by the adoption of a new system ; others, who had 
purchased Church property, were alarmed to find that 
the people were mdignant that it had been sold at so 
low a price, and demanded that all such sales should 
be annulled ; tlie lawyers, too, were anxious to retain 
their old position and its profits ; and all earnestly 
rejected the idea of a speedy dissolution of the House, 
and the exposure of the Parliamentarian cause to the 
risks of a new election. Their good sense, moreover, 
revolted at the social unimportance, the insane mysti- 
cism, and the arrogant insubordination of the reform- 
ing soldiers. How was it possible to establish a 
government, in opposition to both Royalists and 
Presbyterians, with an ungovernable faction, so 
insensate as daily to imperil the union of the army, 
for its sole support ? Was it wise to attack, in fur- 
therance of the wild reveries of obscure fanatics, all 
the ancient and venerable institutions and rights of 
the country ? And yet, throughout nearly the whole 
of the kingdom, these same reveries had produced an 
unprecedented excitement in the minds of the lower 
orders ; all the noble but confused notions of absolute 
justice, all the passionate cravings after equality of 
happiness, which, though often dormant, are never 
extinguished in the heart of man, now burst forth on 
every side with blind and furious confidence ; and 
even those leaders who refused to listen to them, 
knew not how to answer them, for, in their souls, 
they cherished the principles which prompted the 
utterance of these desires. 

Their first proceedings were consequently feeble and 


undecided. Both Houses voted that the two pamphlets 
were an offence against the government of the king- 
dom, and that their authors should be prosecuted and 
punished ; but at the same time, out of complaisance 
to the republicans, they declared that the King was 
bound to adopt whatever the Parliament might propose 
to him.^ The general council of officers met at Putney 
on the 22nd of October, invited the principal agitators 
to join them, and directed a committee, of which 
several agitators were members, to prepare a statement 
of their demands with the least possible delay.^ On 
the 2nd of November, the committee presented to 
Parliament a series of propositions, embodying most of 
these demands, but admitting at the same time the 
title and essential prerogatives of the King.^ The 
agitators protested against this ; and they were pro- 
mised, that at an early meeting of the council, the 
question of the continuance of monarchy should be 
freely discussed. But, when the day arrived, Ireton 
abruptly left the council, declaring that he would 
never resume his seat in it, if such matters were so 
much as ventilated by its members. The discussion 
was postponed to the following Monday, the 6th of 
November ; and either with a view still to evade it, or 
because greater complaisance was expected from the 
entire body of soldiers, it was agreed that the army 
should be summoned to a general rendezvous, at which 
it might give expression to its sentiments.^ 

' On the 6th of November. — Parhamentary History, vol. hi. col. 785. 

'^ Rushworth, pai't iv. vol. ii. p. 849. 

^'Ibid. p. 861. 

* Clarendon's State Papers, vi^l. ii. Appendix, p. 41 ; Letter of several 


But Cromwell, who had suggested this remedy, at 
once perceived the danger with which it would be at- 
tended. Each fresh debate would increase disunion in 
the army ; and the more it was consulted, the more it 
would neglect its leaders, and fall into anarchy/ In 
order to make use of it, and even to save it, it was 
necessary, without delay and at any risk, to restore 
discipline among its ranks, and regain authority for its 
commanders. Unavoidable conditions regulated the 
attainment of this object. It was evident that the 
soldiers, or at least the most active among them, the 
leaders and fanatics, were determined to get rid of the 
King ; that they would abandon, and even attack all 
who appeared favom-able to him ; and that that man 
alone would possess their obedience and command then- 
strength, who should adopt their common resolution 
on this point, and become the executor of their will. 
Cromwell made up his mind. When the council met, 
all discussion was forbidden ; the superior officers de- 
clared that, in order to restore harmony in the army, 
both officers and agitators must all return to their 
regiments ; that, instead of one general rendezvous, 
three partial meetings should be held at the quarters 
of the principal brigades ; and that, in the meanwhile, 
the council would suspend its meetings, and allow the 
Greneral and the Parliament to act as they thought fit.^ 
At the same time, the King's position at Hampton 

agitators to their respective regiments ; Godmn's History of the 
Commonwealth, vol. ii. pp. 451, 452. 

' Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 40. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 866. 


Court suddenly changed; his advisers, Richmond, 
Southampton and Ormonde, received orders to depart ; 
his iftost trusted servants, and among the rest Berkley 
and Ashburnham, were withdrawn from attendance on 
his person ^ his guards were doubled : and he was no 
longer allowed the same liberty in his walks. Sinister 
rumours reached him from every side ; it was stated 
that the soldiers intended to seize his person, and re- 
move him from the custody of the officers, just as the 
officers had taken him out of the hands of the ParHa- 
ment. Cromwell himself wrote in some anxiety on 
this point to Colonel Whalley, either because he really 
feared some attempt of the kind, or because he merely 
wished to alarm the King, or more probably because, 
with his constant anxiety to provide against all emer- 
gencies, he was desirous stiU to deceive him as to his 
intentions, and to feign a wish to do him service/ 

These changes and reports, the additional restric- 
tions to which he was subjected, the rumours which 
constantly reached him of treachery, unprecedented 
designs, and even assassination — aU plunged the un- 
happy Charles into a state of anxiety which daily be- 
came more poignant. His imagination, which was 
vivid and sensitive, although sombre, was deeply 
affected by the alteration in his condition ; a bad day's 
sport, an unpleasant dream, the extinction of his lamp 
during the night,^ were all regarded by him as sinister 
omens ; he beheved anything possible on the part of 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p 842 ; Hollis's Memoirs, p. 187 ; Hunt- 
ington's Reasons, p. 15 ; Berkley's Memoirs, p. 48 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 479 ; Hutchinson's Memoirs, p. 305. 

* Herbert's Memoirs, ]). 88. 


his enemies, although his pride refused to believe that 
they would ever venture to dare their utmost. He 
was advised to fly, and the temptation was strong to 
do so ; but whither ? how ? and with what help ? The 
Scottish Commissioners offered to favour his escape ; 
one day, while he was hunting, Lord Lauderdale sent 
him word that he was close at hand with fifty horse, 
and that, if he would join them, they would ride with 
all haste towards the North. ^ But sudden resolutions 
bewildered the King ; and besides, what asylum could 
he expect to find in Scotland, which had already sold him 
to his enemies, and where it would be no longer possi- 
ble for him to reject Presbyterianism and the Covenant ? 
He refused to go. Others recommended him to take 
ship and retire to Jersey, where the facilities he would 
have for passing to tlie Continent would force all par- 
ties to treat him with consideration. But in reliance 
on their secret promises, he stiU reckoned on the good- 
will of the officers ; he flattered himself that their 
coolness was only assumed and temporary, and that, at 
the ensuing rendezvous of the army, they would crush 
the agitators, restore discipline, and resume negociations 
with him. He was unwilling to leave England until 
this hope proved illusory/'^ Yet the idea of flight daily 
became more familiar and urgent : he was told that a 
German prophet had presented himself before the 
council of agitators, announcing that he was sent to 
reveal to them the will of heaven ; but that, when he 

' Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons, p. 324. 

* Berkley's Memoirs, p. 47 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 307 ; Burnefs 
Memoirs of the Hamiltons, p. 326; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 92. 


mentioned reconciliation with the King, they refused 
to hsten to him. By every possible means, Cromwell 
insinuated to the King that he must fly. Some one, 
it is uncertain who it was, recommended the Isle of 
Wight as a safe and convenient place of refuge ; it was 
close to the mainland ; its population was Royahst ; 
and quite recently, Colonel Hammond, nephew of one 
of the King's most faithful chaplains, had been ap- 
pointed its governor. Charles paid more attention to 
this suggestion than to any other, collected information 
about the island, and even made some preparations for 
flight.^ But he still hesitated, and sought reasons for 
deciding on every side. An astrologer, named William 
Lilly, was then famous in London ; and though he in- 
clined towards the popular party, he refused predictions 
and advice to none who would pay for them. The 
King commissioned a woman, Mrs. Whore wood, to 
consult him, on his behalf, with respect to the place to 
which it would be best for him to retire ; and of a 
thousand pounds which the King had lately received 
from Alderman Adams, a devoted Eoyalist, Mrs. 
Wliorewood obtained five hundred for her mission. 

' This evidently appears from a narrative of the King's residence in 
the Isle of Wight, addressed to Charles II., after his restoration, by Sir 
John Bowring, an otherwise obscure man, who was busily employed at 
this period in the secret manoeuvres of Charles I. I am surprised that 
this little work, which, in spite of its errors, and though it was written 
by a man whose sole anxiety was to magnify his own services, never- 
theless contains many curious and characteristic details, should 
hitherto have escaped the notice of historians. Mr. Godwin is, I 
think, the only one who has mentioned it. It was taken from among 
the papers of Lord Halifax, and printed in a small volume of Miscel- 
laiiiefy, Historical and Philolor/ical (pp. 78 — 162), published in London in 
1703. See also Rushworth, part iv. vol, ii. p. 951 ; Hollis's Memoirs, 
p. 187 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 92. 


After solemnly consulting the stars, Lilly replied that 
the King- had better retire towards the east, into Essex, 
about twenty miles from London; and Mrs. Whorewood 
hastened to Hampton Court with the answer.' But 
Charles had not waited for her return : on the 9th of 
November, an anonymous letter, written apparently by 
a sincere friend, warned him that the danger was press- 
ing ; that, on the previous evening, in a nocturnal 
meeting, the agitators had resolved to make away with 
him; and that the worst was to be feared if he did 
not immediately place himself beyond their reach. ^ 
Another communication besought him to beware of 
the guard, which, in two days, was to be posted in the 
palace.^ Filled with dismay, Charles resolved on flight; 
on the 11th of November, at nine o'clock in the even- 
ing, leaving several letters on his table, and attended 
by only one servant, William Legg, he left the palace 
by a back staircase, and hastened to a small door lead- 
ing from the park into the forest, where Ashburnham 
and Berkley, whom he had informed of his design, 
were waiting for him \vith horses. They directed 
their course towards the south-west; the night was 
dark and stormy ; the King alone was acquainted with 
the forest, and served as a guide to his companions ; 
but they lost their way, and it was daybreak before 
they reached the little town of Sutton in Hampshire, 
where Ashburnham had ordered a relay of horses to be 

' Lilly's History of his Life and Times, p. 60 (London, 1715) ; Bio- 
graphia Britannica, vol. v. -p. 2966. 

^ Old Parliamentary History, vol. xvi. p. 328 ; Clarendon's State 
Papers, vol. ii. Appendix, p. 41. 

^ Berkley's Memoirs, p. 50. 


prepared. At the inn at which they halted, a com- 
mittee of Parliamentarians had already assemhled, to 
discuss the affairs of the county. The royal party left the 
place without loss of time, and rode in the direction of 
Southampton, towards that part of the coast which lies 
opposite the Isle of Wight, although the King had 
not yet expressly declared to what place he intended to 
go. When they reached the brow of a hill near the town, 
Charles proposed that they should dismount, and con- 
sult on what was best to be done. First, it is said, they 
inquired about a ship which Ashburnham was to 
have secured, but of which they had received no 
intelligence ; then they proposed to go into the 
western counties, where Berkley assured the King 
he would find numerous and devoted friends ; finally, 
they suggested the Isle of Wight as the most con- 
venient course to pursue, which would put an end to 
the perplexities of their position, and which, from the 
route they had taken, the King had evidently resolved 
to adopt when he left Hampton Court. But the 
governor was not aware of their coming — could he be 
trusted with security ? It was resolved that Ash- 
burnham and Berkley should go into the island, and, 
after sounding Hammond's fidelity, inform him of the 
confidence about to be reposed in him by his sove- 
reign ; and that the King should await their return 
at Titchfield, the residence of the mother of the Earl 
of Southampton. They parted ; and on the following 
morning, the two Cavaliers landed in the island, and 
proceeded at once to Carisbrooke Castle, the residence 
of the governor. Hammond was not there ; he was 


at Newport, the chief town of the island, but was 
expected to return that evening. Ashburnham and 
Berkley rode out to meet him, and when they came 
up with him, informed him, without preamble, of the 
object of their visit. Hammond turned pale, the 
reins fell from his hands, and his whole body trembled. 
" Oh, gentlemen !" he said, " you have undone me by 
bringing the King into this island, if, at least, you 
have brought him ; and if you have not, pray let 
him not come : for what between my duty to his 
Majesty, and my gratitude for this fresh obligation of 
confidence, and my observing my trust to the army, I 
shall be confounded." They endeavom-ed to calm 
him, pointing out the immense service he would 
render the King, and the engagements which the 
army itself had contracted towards his Majesty, and 
' assuring him that if he were not of their opinion, the 
King would certainly not force himself upon him. 
Hammond continued to lament ; but when the two 
Cavaliers, in their turn, appeared to distrust him, and 
were on the point of withdrawing their proposition, 
he manifested less irresolution, asked them where the 
King was, and whether he was exposed to any danger, 
and he even expressed some regret that he had not 
suddenly and entirely trusted himself to his fidelity. 
The conversation continued for some time in this 
tone ; both parties were filled with anxiety, both 
acted with craft, and both were almost equally afraid 
either to break oif the negociation, or to commit 
themselves. At length, Hammond appeared to yield. 
" I believe," he said, " that his Majesty relies on me 


as a person of honour and lionesiy, and, therefore, T do 
engage myself to perform whatever can be expected 
from such a person : let us go to the King, and 
acquaint him with it." Berkley was still doubtful, 
and wished to reject this proposal, but Ashburnham 
accepted it, and they went off together. Hammond 
was accompanied by only one of his captains, named 
Basket. In a few hours, they reached Titchlield, and 
on their arrival, Ashburnham went alone to the King, 
leaving Berkley, Hammond and Basket in the court- 
yard. On hearing, his story, Charles exclaimed, 
" What ! have you brought Hammond with you ? 
Oh, Jack ! thou hast undone me, for I am, by this 
means, made fast from stirring." In vain did Ash- 
burnham m-ge that Hammond had promised fidelity, 
dwell upon the good feeling he had displayed, and 
even adduce his hesitation as a proof of his sincerity. 
The King, in despair, strode hurriedly up and down the 
room, sometimes with folded arms, sometimes raising 
his hands and eyes to heaven, with an expression of 
the utmost anguish. Ashburnham burst into tears, 
and offered to go down and kill Hammond. " No," 
replied the King, " it would be said that he ventured 
his life for me, and that I unworthily took it from 
him. It is too late now to think of anything but 
going through the way you have forced me upon ; and 
we must leave the issue to Grod." Meanwhile, 
Hammond and Basket were growing impatient ; 
Berkley sent word to the King, and they were 
requested to go to him. Charles received them with 
an open and trustful air. Hammond renewed his 


promises to a greater extent than before, though he 
still spoke vaguely and with embarrassment. Night 
was beginning to fall when they embarked for the 
island. A report had already spread that the King 
was coming, and many of the inhabitants went out to 
meet him ; as he passed through the streets of 
Newj)ort, a young woman advanced towards him, and 
presented him with a red rose in full blow, notwith- 
standing the severity of the season, and accompanied 
the gift with a prayer for his Majesty's dehverance. 
Charles was assured that the whi^le population were 
devoted to him ; that Carisbrooke Castle was garrisoned 
by only twelve soldiers ; and that, if he pleased, he 
would always be able easily to escape. His fears 
gradually diminished *, and on the following morning, 
when, from the windows of the castle, he contemplated 
the smiling aspect of both land and sea, when he 
breathed the fresh air of the morning, when he found 
himself treated by Hammond with every demonstra- 
tion of respect, and enjoyed full liberty to ride about 
the island, to retain his servants, and to receive 
whatever visitors he pleased, a feeling of security 
once more entered his mind ; and he told Ashburnham 
that, after all, the governor was an honest man, that 
he was, at all events, out of the reach of the agitators, 
and that he believed he would have no reason to 
regret having come thither.^ 

^ Berkley's Memoirs, p. 57 ; Herbert's Memoirs, p. 38 ; Ludlow's 
Memoirs, p. 94; Clarendon's History of the Kebellion, vol. v. p. 491. 








The Parliamentary Commissioners and the officers of 
the garrison at Hampton Court waited until the 
King appeared at supper, at the usual hour. Sur- 
prised at not seeing him, they at last entered his 
room, and only found there three letters addressed, 
one to Lord Montague, President of the Committee, 
another to Colonel Whalley, and a third to the 
Speaker of the House of Lords. In this last, the 


King gave as the reason of his flight the plots of the 
agitators, and his right to live in freedom and security- 
like any other citizen. The two other letters were 
merely written in order to express to Montague and 
Whalley his appreciation of their attentions, and to 
give directions with regard to the disjDosal of his 
horses, his dogs, his pictures, and the small articles of 
furniture that he had left in his apartments. Not the 
shghtest indication, however, was given of his route, 
nor of the place of his retreat.' 

Grreat consternation was caused "at Westminster on 
the arrival of this intelligence from Hampton Court, 
and still more by a letter which, at the same time, 
arrived from head-quarters at Windsor, written at 
midnight, by Cromwell, w^ho also hastened to convey 
the information.^ He had, therefore, been the first to 
know it, before the House, perhaps before the King's 
departui-e ; for a report had spread that the strict 
surveillance of the garrison at Hampton Court had been 
relaxed on the day of his flight, and even that the 
sentinels had been withdrawn from the posts which 
they had been accustomed to guard. ^ Letters from 
Hammond followed soon after,* who informed the 
House of the King's arrival, protested his devotion to 
their service, and requested directions from them. 
All fears were not, however, dissipated. Cromwell 
also had received letters from Hammond, as if all the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 786. 

* P.vish worth, part iv. vol i. p. 871 ; Carlyle, Cromwell's Letters and 
Speeches, vol. i. p. 314. 

^ Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 94. 

* November 13th, 1647. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 789. 


servants of the Parliament felt themselves bound to 
give him information, and to consult him on every 
occasion ; all which he reported to the House with a 
gaiety which astonished even those who were least 
suspicious/ for it seemed an alarming symptom of 
some success, or some expectation, the nature of which 
they in vain attempted to discover. 

Scarcely two days had elapsed before he filled his 
enemies with new and still greater alarm. On the 
1 5th of November, the first of the three meetings ap- 
pointed for the army, in order to put an end to its dis- 
sensions, was to take place at Ware, in Hertfordshire. 
Cromwell proceeded thither with Fairfax, and sur- 
rounded by those officers on whom he could best rely. 
Only seven regiments had been summoned that day — 
those which had shown the least excitement, and among 
which there seemed the greatest probability that dis- 
cipline might be re-established. It was supposed that 
their submission would intimidate, or their example 
calm, the more passionate. But on their arrival on the 
common at Ware, the generals found nine regiments 
instead of seven ; Harrison's troop of horse, and Eobert 
Lilburne's regiment of infantry, had come without 
orders, and in a state of the most violent excitement. 
The latter had expelled all its officers above the rank 
of heutenant, except Captain Bray, who was in com- 
mand of them. The soldiers all wore in their hats a 
copy of " The Agreement of the People," with the 
inscription, " England's freedom ! Soldiers' rights ! " 
From time to time, as if seized by a common impulse, 

» Clarendon, History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 503. 


their shouts re-echoed across the plain ; Rainsborough, 
Ewers, Scott, and John Lilburne himself, who had re- 
cently been allowed by the Commons to leave the Tower 
every morning for the benefit of his health, galloped 
about, going from troop to troop, encouraging the 
most animated, reproaching the moderate with 
cowardice, and repeating everywhere that, as the sword 
was in their hands, they were in conscience bound 
so to use it as fully and finally to secure liberty for 
theu" country. In the midst of this tumult Fairfax, 
Cromwell and their staff", advanced towards the quieter 
regiments ; and there read to them, in the name of 
the general council of officers, a calm and firm remon- 
strance, reproaching the new agitators with their 
seditious intrigues, and the dangers which, they caused 
to the army, reminding them of the proofs of affection 
and fidehty which their chiefs had given to them, and 
the success that they had obtained under their com- 
mand ; and promising moreover to support in Parlia- 
ment the just demands of the soldiers, both for them- 
selves and for their country, if they on their part 
would sign an engagement to submit to the laws of 
discipline, and to respect henceforward the orders of 
their officers. Seven regiments received this address 
with joyous acclamations. Fairfax then turned to- 
wards Harrison's regiment. The troopers no sooner 
heard his voice and his promises than they tore away 
from their hats " The Agreement of the People," ex- 
claiming that they had been deceived, and that they 
wished to live and die with their general. Lilburne's 
regiment only remained rebellious and violently agi- 

Y 2 


tated ; it had already begun to answer Fairfax's words by 
seditious cries, when Cromwell advanced. " Take that 
paper from your hats," said he to the soldiers ; the 
soldiers refused ; he strode unceremoniously into their 
ranks, pointed out forty of the most mutinous, and 
had them arrested; a court-martial was held on the 
spot, and three soldiers were condemned to death. 
The council ordered that one should be selected by 
lot, and that he should be shot immediately. The 
lot fell on Richard Arnell, a vehement agitator, who 
was accordingly shot at once before the regiment ; the 
two others who had been condemned, were removed 
with their eleven companions. Major Scott and 
Captain Bray were also arrested ; profound silence 
prevailed over the common ; all the divisions returned 
to their quarters ; the two other meetings were held 
without the least murmur, and the entire army seemed 
once more under the control of its chiefs.^ 

But Cromwell did not allow himself to be deceived 
respecting the uncertainty, and even the danger of 
such a triumph. When he announced it to the 
Commons,^ while the majority, delighted at the defeat 
of the agitators, voted him their thanks, the Presby- 
terian leaders did not disguise their coldness, nor the 
Republicans their anger. Every success of Cromwell was 
a matter of suspicion to the former, whatever might be 
its apparent result, while the latter regarded his conduct 

- Rushworth, part iv. vol. i. p. 875 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 791 ; Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. v. p. 505 ; Mazere's 
Select Tracts, vol. i. p. 33 ; Godwin's History of the Commonwealth, 
vol. i. pp. 462—468. 

2 November 19, 1647.— "Whitelocke, p. 279. 


at Ware as a new proof of his treaclieiy. In the House, 
Ludlow opposed the vote of thanks ;^ the preacher 
Saltmarsh came up from the country, as he said, by an 
express command from Grod, in order to declare to the 
Generals that the Lord had forsaken them, since they 
had imprisoned his saints ;^ and, indeed, as soon as 
they had recovered from their momentary stupor, a 
crowd of subaltern and non-commissioned officers and 
soldiers, including nearly all the revolutionary agents 
of the regiments, declared to Cromwell and Ireton that 
no rigour or obstacle should induce them to abandon 
their designs; that they were resolved to rid them- 
selves of the King, and to establish a republic ; that 
at the risk of losing all, they would divide the army, 
two-thirds at least of which would follow them, and 
prosecute their enterprise alone, rather than allow them- 
selves to be put down. Cromwell bad no intention 
of reducing them to this extremity ; he had merely 
desired, by a signal example, to cut short the progress 
of anarchy in the arp^y ; but he knew the power of 
the fanatics, and even now thought only of reconcilia- 
tion with them. Without pronouncing definitely in 
favour of a republic, he spoke ill of the King to all 
those who visited him, acknowledged that they were 
right in expecting nothing further from him, confessed 
that the glories of the world had dazzled even himself 
for a moment, that he had failed to discern clearly the 
work of the Lord, and to confide solely in His saints ; 
and humbled himself before them, and entreated the 
assistance of their prayers that he might obtain pardon 
from heaven. Among others, Hugh Peters, an in- 

' Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 96. * Whitelocke, p. 285, 


triguing and loquacious enthusiast, took upon himself 
to circulate widely his professions and avowals. Even 
to the soldiers in prison, he sent comforting as- 
sm-ances. Only Cromwell insisted, and that in the 
most decisive tone, on the necessity of maintaining 
union and discipline in the army, as the sole means of 
success, and even of safety.^ Many believed his 
words, which were always impassioned and energetic ; 
others who were less blind, felt how great need they 
had of liis genius, and even while doubting the sin- 
cerity of his repentance, could not persuade them- 
selves to reject it. Moreover, most of them acknow- 
ledged that the agitators had acted too hastily, and 
gone too far, and that the soldiers owed to their 
officers more submission and respect. Eainsborough, 
Scott, and Ewers confessed that they had been to 
blame, and promised to act with greater prudence for 
the future. A grand gathering at last took place at 
head- quarters ;^ officers, agitators, and preachers passed 
ten hours together in conversation and prayer ; com- 
mon interests prevailed over individual rancour and 
mistrust, without entirely destroying them : it was 
decided that the prisoners should be set at liberty, that 
Captain Bray should return to his regiment, and that 
the House should be entreated to restore to Eainsbo- 
rough the office of vice-admiral, of which he had been 
deprived ;^ and a solemn banquet was held to celebrate 
this reconciliation, which was purchased by the ruin of 
the King.^ 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 73—75. « December 22, 1647. 

3 Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 943 ; Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. 
Appendix, p. 44 ; Whitelocke, p. 285. 

■* January 9, 1648.— Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 959, 


In the meanwhile^ there arrived at head-quarters 
Sir John Berkley, whom Charles, on learning the 
issue of the meeting at Ware, had sent with all speed 
to the Generals, in order to congratulate them on their 
victory, and to remind them of their promises. 
Berkley, though he conveyed letters not only from 
the King, but also from Hammond, for Fairfax, 
Ireton, and Cromwell, was nevertheless not without 
some anxiety. He had met Cornet Joyce on his way, 
who had expressed astonishment at his confidence, and 
had told him that the agitators, so far from entertain- 
ing any apprehensions, had drawn over the Generals 
to their views, and were preparing to bring the King 
to trial. On his arrival at Windsor, the council of 
officers was assembled; he presented himself before 
them, and delivered his letters to the General. He 
was ordered to withdraw immediately. In about half 
an hour he was recalled. " The General," says Berkley, 
" looked very severely upon me, and, after his manner, 
said that they were the Parliament's army, and, there- 
fore, could not say anything to his Majesty's motion of 
peace, but must refer those matters to them, to whom 
they would send his Majesty's letters." Berkley 
looked towards Cromwell and Ireton ; they saluted him 
very coldly, and with a smile of contempt. He with- 
drew quite amazed ; the day passed without his being 
able to obtain any explanation, or to learn anything 
more ; at length, towards evening. Commandant 
Watson, one of the officers with whom he had pre- 
viously been on the most intimate terms, sent word to 

' Towards the end of the month of November. 


him to be at midnight in a close behind the Garter 
Inn, where he would meet him. Berkley then learned 
what had passed, and what kind of spirit animated the 
army. " You know," said Watson, " that since the 
tumults of the army, we did mistrust Cromwell, and 
not long after Ireton, whereof I informed you. I 
come now to tell you that we mistrust neither, but 
know them and all of us to be the archest villains in 
the world ; for we are resolved, notwithstanding our 
engagements, to destroy the King and his posterity ; 
to which end Ireton made two propositions this after- 
noon, one that you should be sent prisoner to London, 
the other that none should speak with you upon pain 
of death ; and I do hazard my hfe now by doing of it. 
And, therefore, if the King can escape, let him do it 
as he loves his life." Berkley then asked him Avhether 
he should not endeavour to deliver his letters from the 
King to Cromwell and Ireton ; he rephed, " By all 
means, lest they should mistrust you had discovered 

As Watson had foreseen, Berkley obtained from the 
two Generals neither interview nor reply. Cromwell 
sent liim his assurance " that he would serve his 
Majesty so long as he could do it without his own 
ruin, but desu'ed him not to expect that he should 
perish for the King's sake." Su' John hastened to 
communicate these sad tidings to the King, and 
conjui'ed him to escape without a moment's delay. 
Chai'les, perhaps, might have succeeded in so doing ; 
a ship sent by the Queen had been cruising for several 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p]). 69 — 75. 


days, it was said, about tlie island.' But a new 
intrigue had rekindled liis hopes : after a warm debate 
in the House of Commons, it had been voted^ that 
four propositions should be presented to the King in 
the form of bills ; and that, if he accepted them, he 
should be admitted, as he had several times demanded, 
to treat personally with the Parliament. The pro- 
positions were : 1 . That the command of the sea and 
land forces should belong for twenty years to the Par- 
liament, with power to retain it even longer if the 
safety of the kingdom should seem to them to demand 
it. 2. That the King should revoke all his declara- 
tions, proclamations, and other acts published against 
the House, charging it with being an illegal and 
rebellious assembly. 3. That he should annul aU the 
patents of peerage granted since his departure from 
London. 4. Lastly, that the Houses should be em- 
powered to adjourn when and where they should think 
£t. Charles, notwithstanding his distress, had no inten- 
tion of giving his assent to these bills, and thus recog- 
nising the legitimacy of the war which had brought 
all his misfortunes upon him; for he knew that the 
Scottish Commissioners had vigorously opposed them 
— that they had even shown bitter resentment of 
the scorn with which the Houses had treated their 
remonstrances.^ At the same time that he had re- 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 76. 

^ December 14, 1647. The motion took place in the House of Lords 
on the 26th of November, and the Commons adopted it on the 27th, 
by a majority of 115 against 106.— Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 803, 804, 823, 824. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 82.5, 826. 


ceived Berkley's letter, he had received from them 
secret encouragement to reject propositions of such 
an offensive character, and a promise that they would 
themselves come to him in the Isle of Wight, and 
treat with him, in the name of Scotland, on far more 
palatable conditions. The King told Berkley that, in- 
stead of escaping, he thought it best " to conclude vsdth 
the Scots before he left the kingdom, because from 
their desire to have him out of the army's hands they 
would take reason; whereas, if he went before, they 
would never treat with him but upon their own terms."^ 
Lords Lauderdale, Loudoun, and Lanark did, in fact, 
arrive at Carisbrooke Castle almost at the same time 
with Lord Denbigh and his five colleagues, the Com- 
missioners from Westminster.^ The negociations 
already entered upon at Hampton Court were accord- 
ingly renewed between them and the King, with great 
mystery, for they had only come, they said, in order 
to enter their protest in his presence against the pro- 
positions of the Parliament. In two days, the treaty 
was concluded, drawn up, signed,^ and concealed in a 
garden in the island, until they could convey it away 
without danger. It promised the King the assist- 
ance of a Scottish army to reinstate him in his just 
rights, on condition that he should confirm the Pres- 
byterian system in England for three years, although 
conformity to it would not be required of himself 
and his friends ; and that, at the expiration of 

' Berkley's Memoirs, p. 79, 80. 

^ December 23, 1647. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 824, 827 ; 
Bowring, p. 87. 

» December 26, 1647. 


that term, having consulted with the Assembly of 
Divines, he should finally settle, in concert with the 
two Houses of Parliament, the constitution of the 
Church. Several stipulations to the advantage of 
Scotland, wliich would have been very offensive to 
English honour, accompanied this general concession. 
It was fui-ther agreed that the Cavaliers in all parts of 
the kingdom should take up arms in conjunction with 
the Scottish army; that Ormonde should at once 
resume the command of the Eoyalist party in Ireland ; 
and, lastly, that the King, as soon as he had rejected 
the four propositions, should escape from the island, 
and proceed to Berwick or some other place on the 
borders of Scotland, and wait in liberty till the moment 
of action arrived.^ 

AU being thus arranged, Charles sent word to the 
Parliamentary Commissioners that his reply was ready 
for them.^ He had resolved to give it to them in a 
sealed paper, as he had done thi-ee years previously, after 
the negociations at Oxford, fearing that, if they were 
aware of his refusal, and perhaps even of his projects, 
they might take measures against liim that would 
entirely defeat his plans. But Lord Denbigh obsti- 
nately refused to receive the Kiag's message in tliis 
form, saying, " that though they had no authority to 
treat with him, or to do anything but to receive his 
answer, yet they were not to be looked upon as 
common messengers, and to carry back an answer 
that they had not seen ; and that they would return 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 529 ; Burnet's 
Memoirs of the Hamiltons, p. 325, 
« On the 27th of December, 


without any, except they might see what they carried." 
The King was obhged to yield, and to read his mes- 
sage aloud. Charles rejected absolutely the four pro- 
positions, and demanded permission to treat in person 
without being pledged to accept any preliminary con- 
ditions. The Commissioners retired, held a short 
conference with Hammond, and returned to West- 
minster. A few hours after their departure, while 
the King was conversing with Berkley and Ashburn- 
ham about the means of escape which had been pre- 
pared for the following night, the gates of the castle 
were closed, all strangers were forbidden to enter, 
guards were everywhere doubled, and almost all the 
King's servants, Ashburnham and Berkley among the 
first, were ordered to quit the island immediately.' 

Charles was filled with anger and grief. He sent for 
Hammond. "Why do yon use me thus?" said the 
King. " Where are your orders for it ? Was it the 
Spirit that moved you to it ? " Hammond, who had re- 
ceived no orders from the Parhament, but probably some 
advice from the Commissioners, said nothing at first, 
but afterwards referred to his Majesty's answer. King : 
" Did you not engage your honour you would take no 
advantage from thence against me ? " Hammond : " I 
said nothing." Kmg : " You are an equivocating gen- 
tleman. Will you allow me my chaplain? You 
pretend for liberty of conscience ; shall I have none ?" 
Hammond : " I cannot allow you any chaplain." King : 
" You use me neither like a gentleman nor a Christian." 

> Berkley's Memoirs, pp. 89, 90. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 828 — 830 ; Bowring, p. 92 ; Clarendon's History of the Eebelliou, 
vol. V. p. 509. 


Hammond : " I'll speak with you when you are in better 
temper." King : " I have slept well to-night." Ham- 
mond ; " I have used jo\i very civilly." King : " Why 
do you not so now then ?" Hammond : " Sir, you are 
too high." King : " My shoemaker's fault then ; my 
shoes are of the same last as before." Twice or thrice 
he repeated this, adding, " Shall I have liberty to go 
about to take the air?" Hammond : "No, I cannot 
grant it." His Majesty then charged liim with his 
allegiance, and told him he must answer this. Ham- 
mond burst into tears, but made no change in his 

Meantime the Parliamentary Commissioners arrived 
at Westminster. Hardly had they given their report 
of their journey and its results, when a member, 
previously unknown, Sir Thomas Wroth, rose in the 
House of Commons,' and said : " Bedlam was appointed 

for madmen and Tophet for kings ;' our kings of late 


> Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. Appendix, p. xliv. ; Eushworth, 
part iv. vol. ii. p. 959, 960 ; Whitelocke, p. 287. 

2 January 3, 1648. 

3 That is to say, " Hell." Topliet is a Hebrew word which signifies, 
generally, an abominable thing, worthy of execration (from a root signi- 
fying " to spit out with disgust "). As a proper name, it designates a 
place in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, the Valley of the Sons of Lamenta- 
tion, where sacrifices had for a long time been ofifered to Moloch, where 
the statues of the false gods were cast when their altars were destroyed 
on the heights of Jerusalem, which was in after-time a kind of sewer to 
receive the filth of the city, and where the bodies of executed criminals 
were burnt. Thus the prophet Isaiah, threatening entire ruin to Sen- 
nacherib and his army, says (chap. xxx. verse 33), " Tophet is ordained 
of old ; yea it is prepared for the king." Some ancient divines, how- 
ever, among others Saint Jerome and the Chaldaean paraphrast, under- 
stood by Tophet simply " Hell," " Gehenna ;" and, following them, 
Calvin and the reformed theologians of his school have not assigned to 
the word any other meaning. This sense is assumed in the English 
version of the Bible, and by Milton, in his " Paradise Lost " (book i. 


have carried themselves as if they were fit for no place 
but Bedlam ; and my humble motion shall consist of 
three parts : 1 . To secure the King, and keep him close 
in some inland castle with sure guards. 2. To draw 
up articles of impeachment against him. 3. To lay 
him by, and settle the kingdom without him. I care 
not what form of government you set up, so it be 
not by kings and devils." Then Commissary Ireton 
rose and said : " The King had denied safety and 
protection to his people by denying the four bills ; 
that subjection to him was but in lieu of his protec- 
tion of his people : this being denied, they might well 
deny any more subjection to him, and settle the king- 
dom without liim." Astonished at such a fierce attack, 
and themselves irritated at the refusal of the King, 
the Presbyterians appeared to be for an instant embar- 
rassed and intimidated. Many voices, however, were 
raised against the measure. John Maynard told the 
Parliariient, " that by this resolution of making no 
more addi-esses to the King, they did, as far as in 
them lay, dissolve the Parliament . . . that his Majesty's 
refasal at any time to receive their petitions, or to 
admit their addresses, had always been held the highest 
breach of their privilege, because it tended to their 
dissolution without dissolving them ; and, therefore, if 
they should now, on their parts, determine that they 

lines 392, 493 — 495), and the writers of his time. Sir Thomas "Wroth, too, 
thus understood the word, quoting the passage from Isaiah, which at 
the time, as indeed every text in the sacred volume, was present to the 
memory of his hearers. I owe this criticism to the erudition and 
friendUness of one of the most enhghtened Protestant theologians of 
the day, M. Stapfer. 


would receive no more messages from him (wliich was 
likewise a part of their declaration), nor make any 
more address to Mm, they did, upon the matter, 
declare that they were no longer a Parhament ; and 
then how could the people look upon them as such ?" 
The debate became warm and protracted ; the Presby- 
terians regained confidence; the House, which had 
been at first little enough disposed to favour them, 
seemed wavering. Then Cromwell rose. He said 
" that the King was a man of great parts and great 
understandmg ; but that he was so great a dissembler, 
and so false a man, that he was not to be trusted. 
That while he professed, with all solemnity, that he 
referred himself wholly to the Parliament, and depended 
only upon their wisdom and counsel for the settlement 
and composing the distractions of the kingdom, he 
had, at the same time, secret treaties with the Scottish 
Commissioners how he might embroil the nation in a 
new war, and destroy the Parliament. That it was 
now expected the Parliament should govern and defend 
the kingdom by their own power and resolution, and 
not teach the people any longer to expect safety and 
government from an obstinate man, whose heart God 
had hardened ; that those men, who had defended the 
Parliament from so many dangers with the expense of 
their blood, would defend them herein with fidehty 
and courage against all opposition. Teach them not," 
he added, " by neglecting your own and the kingdom's 
safety, in which their own is involved, to think them- 
selves betrayed, and left hereafter to the rage and malice 
of an irreconcilable enemy whom they have subdued for 


your sake, and, tlierefore, are likely to find liis future 
government of tliem insupportable, and fuller of re- 
venge than justice ; lest despair teach them to seek 
their own safety by some other means than adhering 
to you, who will not stick to yourselves. And how 
destructive such a resolution in them will be to you 
all, I tremble to think, and leave you to judge." And 
he laid his hand on his sword as he resumed his seat. 
No one ventured upon a reply ; the motion was imme- 
diately passed,' and transmitted the next day to the 
Upper House. ^ For a moment the Lords appeared to 
hesitate; the debate lingered on;^ two declarations 
came from the army,* one addressed to the Commons, 
full of congratulations and of threats against their ene- 
mies ; the other to the Lords, in mild and concihatory 
terms, contradicting the reports that were circulating 
with respect to the dangers of the peerage, and promis- 
ing to support it in all its rights. Those who were 
timid might, as they pleased, feel reassured or still 
further alarmed; the discussion ceased to drag on 
heavily, and when the vote was given,^ only Lords War- 
wick and Manchester protested against its adoption." 

On the other hand, a vigorous and formidable protest 
was raised throughout the kingdom. " Here then is 
the justification of our accusations and predictions," 

' By a majority of 141 against 92, ^ January 4, 1648. 

3 It was adjourned first from the 4th to the 8th of Januaiy, then 
from the 8th to the 13th. 

* January 11. They are dated on the 9th. 

5 January 15th, 1648. 

® Parhamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 830 — 837 ; Clement Walker's 
History of Independency, pp. 69 — 71 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. v. pj-). 514-518. 


exclaimed the Cavaliers, " which have been so often 
treated as chimerical or calumnious." And every- 
where, numerous voices, but lately wavering, joined 
with them in cursing this detestable act of treason. 
Before the King had been able to give any reply to 
the declaration of the Houses, several answers appeared, 
which had emanated from the spontaneous zeal of pri- 
vate citizens.^ Never had so many rumours of Eoyalist 
plots, never had so many violent pamphlets, besieged 
Westminster.^ In the Isle of Wight even, one Cap- 
tain Burly, a retired naval officer, had a drum beaten 
suddenly in the streets of Newport, and collecting 
a band of workpeople, children and women, marched 
at their head in order to release the King from prison. 
The attempt was instantly crushed, and Burly was 
hanged for the crime of having intended to make war 
on the King as represented by his Parliament.^ But the 
same feelings and desires disturbed the counties which 
had hitherto been most adverse to the royal cause. 
Some disbanded soldiers from Essex's army proceeded 
tumultuously to the very doors of the House of Com- 
mons, shouting " God save the King!" and stopping the 
coaches in order to compel all who passed to join with 
them in drinking his health.* The Eepublicans were 
mortified at finding themselves thus disturbed in their 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 518. 

* Rushworth, i)art iv. pp. 929, 974, 1002. Esj)ecially two pamphlets, 
entitled " The ParUament's Ten Commandments," and " The New 
Testament of our Lords and Saviours the House of Commons, sitting 
at Westminster," excited great agitation. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 510 ; Berkley's 
Memoirs, pp. 91, 92. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 804. 



moment of triumph. In Vcain did tliey obtain from 
some counties addresses of congratulation;^ in vain 
Hid the Commons proclaim their intention to reform 
the civil laws, and to render the administration of 
justice less costly ; in vain even did they suspend their 
own privileges in the matter of prosecutions and of 
debts." These important improvements were eagerly 
desired and appreciated only by their own party, or by 
some few men of superior mind : many of them shocked 
the prejudices of the people, others escaped notice on 
account of the popular ignorance : the interested 
intention which seemed to pervade all these measures, 
entirely destroyed their effect. Tyranny had, there- 
fore, to be substituted for popularity. The prosecutions 
which had been already commenced against those 
members of the two Houses, and those Cit}^ magis- 
trates who were presumed to be the originators or 
abettors of recent Presbyterian or Eoyalist outbreaks, 
were actively continued.^ All who had borne arms 
against the Parliament received orders to quit London, 
-and were forbidden to reside within twenty miles of its 
walls ;* a general revision of the hst of justices of the 
peace throughout the kingdom was ordered, in order 
to remove those whose sentiments were suspected ■,^ 
it was enacted that no delinquent — no man who had 
been accused or convicted of having taken part in any 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. iii. p. 973. 

2 January 4, 1648. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 830. Rush- 
wortli, part iv. vol. ii. p. 985. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 922. Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 838—842. 

■• December 17, 1647. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 933. 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 933. 


plot against the Parliament — should be eligible to the 
office of Lord Ma3^or, or Alderman, or member of 
the Common Council of the City of London, and 
even that such persons should be incapacitated from 
taking any part in the election of those officers ;^ 
and the same disqualification was soon extended to 
the functions of jurymen, and to the election of 
members of Parliament.^ The committee appointed 
to restrain the license of the press had orders to 
hold its sittings every day, and a sum of money was 
placed at its disposal to reward any person who should 
give such information as should lead to the seizure 
of the presses of malignants.^ Finally, the army once 
more marched through London, in a grand military 
procession, and three thousand men were detached 
from it, and quartered in the metropolis, at Wliite- 
hall, and at the Tower.* 

The fanatics, the men of narrow minds and stern 
tempers, the populace of the party, spoke vauntingly 
of these measures, as a striking proof of their strength ; 
and they accordingly redoubled their ardour. Cromwell 
alone, although he concurred in what had been done, 
was uneasy, not from any scruple, or because he hesi- 
tated to take any measm-es that promised success, but, 
in spite of his resolution to crush the King, the hopes 
and pretensions of the republicans and enthusiasts 
appeared to him to be insane. He saw that throughout 

' December 17. — Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 934. 

* Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1252. 

^ January 6, 1648. — Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 957. 

* Journals of the House of Commons, January 27, 1648. Clement 
Walker's History of Independency, p. 79. 

z 2 



the counties the principal freeholders, the wealthy 
citizens, and almost all persons of note were retiring 
from public affairs, abandoning committees of manage- 
ment and local magistracies : and that the chief power 
was passing into the hands of men of an inferior order, 
who were ready enough to seize it, and able to use it 
vigorously, but quite unqualified to retain it.^ He 
could not believe that England would long consent 
to be so governed, or that anything lasting could be 
founded on the legal oppression of so many influential 
citizens, or that the discord and anarchy, which were 
constantly increasing both in the Parhament and 
throughout the empire, could fail to have a fatal issue, 
even to the conquerors. His unwearied imagination 
busied itself in the search for some means of putting 
an end to this dim and uncertain chaos, or at least 
of discovering the speediest and safest road which it 
afforded to greatness. One day he invited the prin- 
cipal Independents and Presbyterians, both laymen 
and ecclesiastics, to dine at his house, and passionately 
urged upon them the necessity of reconciliation among 
themselves, or at least of post23oning their quarrels, 
in order to combine in fronting the new dangers 
which it was easy to foresee were coming upon them. 
But the Presbyterians were too unyielding in their 
dispositions, and too exclusive in their theological 
pretensions, to lend themselves to any such combina- 
tions. The conference produced no result. Cromwell 
arranged another conference among certain political 

' Clarendon's History of the Eehellion, vol. v. pp. 544-549 ; Hollis's 
Memoirs, p. 4 ; Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, passim. 


leaders, most of them General officers like himself, 
and the Republicans. It was absolutely necessary, 
he said, that they should unite in seeking what kind 
of government was most suited for England, since 
it had now fallen to them to determine it; but his 
real and dominant wish was to learn who among 
them were intractable, and what he had to expect or 
fear from them. Ludlow, Hutchinson, Sidney, and 
Haslerig, declared themselves openly, rejecting all 
idea of a monarchy as condemned by the Bible, by 
reason, and by experience. The Generals were more 
reserved: in their view, a republic was a desirable 
tiling, but the success of it was doubtful ; it would be 
better for them not to commit themselves, but to 
consult the state of affairs and the necessities of the 
times, and to follow the leadings of Providence from 
day to day. The Republicans insisted on an unre- 
served declaration of their policy. The discussion 
grew warm : Ludlow, among others, earnestly pressed 
Cromwell to avow his intentions, for they wished, he 
said, to know who were their friends. Cromwell 
attempted by banter and evasion to dispose of their 
questions ; but at last, finding himself hard pressed, he 
relieved himself from his embarrassment by a jest, — 
he went to the door, and as he left the room abruptly, 
tln'ew a cushion at Ludlow's head, who immediately 
returned the compliment.' 

But danger was advancing ; the number and bold- 
ness of the malcontents increased every day ; not only 
in the west and north, but in the neighbourhood of 

' Ludlow's Memoiit?, p. 103. 


London, in the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, 
and Kent, sometimes at the table of some rich 
gentleman, at other times at the assizes or in market- 
places, wherever the Cavaliers could act in concert or 
mix with the people, royalist petitions, plots, and 
insurrections were concocted and openly displayed. 
At Canterbury, on Cliristmas-day, as the Mayor was 
endeavouring to enforce the decree suppressing that 
festival, a violent tumult arose, amid shouts of " God ! 
King Charles! and the County of Kent!" The 
arsenal of the city was broken into, the houses of 
several Parliamentarians were attacked, the municipal 
officers were roughly handled, and had it not been 
for the prompt arrival of some troops, the peasants 
of the neighbourhood, who were beginning to take 
part in the outbreak, would have rendered the 
disturbance even more serious and protracted/ At 
London, on Sunday the 9th of April, 1648, during 
the hour of divine service, some apprentices were 
playing at bowls in Moorfields ; a body of mihtia 
ordered them to disperse ; they resisted and repulsed 
the mihtia ; and when overmastered in their turn by 
a detachment of cavalry, they spread through the 
City, calling to their aid their comrades and the 
Thames watermen. Numerous bands were formed 
in all quarters ; they met during the night, surprised 
and took two of the City gates, threw chains across 
the streets, and with beating of drums and cries 
of " Grod and King Charles !" they attacked the 

" Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. i?. 948 ; Whitelocke, p. 285 ; Clareudoa's 
History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 25. 


Mansion-house, took possession of a piece of 
cannon, and by claj^break seemed masters of the 
City. A council of war had sat all night : they 
hesitated about attacking the insurgents, doubting 
whether the two regiments then quartered in London 
would be sufficient, and whether it would not be 
necessary to send for reinforcements. Fairfax and 
Cromwell decided upon an immediate attack, and 
their success was unequivocal — at the end of two 
hours nothing was to be heard in the streets but the 
regular step of the troops as they returned to their 
quarters.^ But the people, though they had fled, 
were not vanquished ; every day some unexpected 
occurrence served to intensify their anger or revive 
their courage ; the Presbyterian members and the 
aldermen of the City, when brought by the Commons 
before the Upper House, obstinately refused to recog- 
nize its jurisdiction, to kneel at its bar, or even to take 
off their hats and listen to the reading of the charges 
brought against them ; and whenever they appeared 
at Westminster, the crowd, as they left the House, 
cheered them enthusiastically.^ Public meetings were 
forbidden; the Committees of Management in each 
county were empowered to arrest and imprison every 
malcontent, every man even on whom suspicion 
rested.^ But the agitation grew even more vigorously 
than the tyranny : at Norwich, at Bury St. Edmunds, 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1051 ; Whitelocke, p. 299 ; Paiiia- 
meutary History, vol. iii. col. 875. 

2 Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 844, 874, 877, 880, 881. 

' April 18, 1(J48. — liushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1062 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 301. 


at Tlietford, at Stowmarket, and at a multitude of 
other places, the drums were beaten on the smallest 
pretext, the inhabitants armed themselves, and the 
troops did not always find that a threatening attitude 
alone was sufficient to quell the disturbance.^ Soon, 
also, they had something more to fear than mere 
riots of citizens. In Pembrokeshire, South Wales, 
towards the end of February, 1648, Colonels Poyer 
and PoweU, and Major-Greneral Langhorn, officers of 
distinction, who had earned renown in the Parlia- 
mentarian army, withdrew from it,^ hoisted the royal 
standard, and, sustained by a rising of the Cavaliers 
in the neighbourhood, reduced the whole country 
beneath their power in a few days. Almost at the 
same moment, the Scottish Parliament assembled.^ 
Hamilton and the Eoyalists, under cover of an alliance 
with the moderate Presbyterians, had prevailed in the 
elections. In vain did Argyle and the most active 
among the clergy attempt to hamper their proceed- 
ings ; in vain did the Commissioners who had been 
sent from London circulate both money and threats 
throughout Edinburgh ; the Parliament, though cau- 
tious and even humble in its language to the fanatics, 
was at heart attached to the cause of the King, 
and immediately voted the formation of a Committee 
of Danger,^ invested with the executive power, and 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1071, 1119; Whitelocke, p. 302 ; 
Journals of the House of Lords, May 19tli ; Journals of the House of 
Commons, June 12th. 

•^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1016, 1017, 1033, 1034, 103f3 ; White- 
locke, p. 294 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. pp. 41, 42 ; 
Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 106. 

^ March 2, 1648. ' May 3, 1648. 


the raising of an army of forty thousand men for 
the defence of the Covenant and Royalty against 
the Repubhcans and Sectaries.^ The Cavaliers of the 
north of England were waiting only for this signal to 
rise. For more than a month their principal chiefs, 
Ijangdale, Glenham, and Musgrave, had been hving 
at Edinburgh, sometimes openly, sometimes in con- 
cealment, concerting with Hamilton their plan of 
insurrection.^ In Ireland also, Lord Inchiquin, the 
Lord-Lieutenant of the province of Munster, and 
hitherto the most trusted supporter of the Parliament 
against the insurgents, enrolled himself under the 
King's banners.^ Finally, when all these reports 
reached London, the Presbyterian party, both in 
Parliament and in the City, once more raised their 
heads. A man named John Everard came to the 
Common Council on the 23rd of April, 1648, and 
declared to them, upon his oath, that two nights 
before, when he was in bed at the Garter inn, at 
Windsor, he had overheard in the adjoining room 
several officers, among others, Quarter-Master-General 
Grosvenor and Colonel Ewers, mutually pledge one 
another that, as soon as the Scots set foot in the 
kingdom, the army should enter the City, disarm all 
the citizens, exact from them a million sterling on 
pain of pillage, and moreover send, at the expense of 
the City, all well-disposed persons to take their places 

> Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. pp. 8 — 12 ; BaiUie's 
Letters, vol. ii. p. 281 ; IJushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1040, 1047 ; 
Malcolm Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii. pp. 394 — 400. 

* Clarendon's History of the EebeUion, vol. vi. pp. 12 — 14. 

^ Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1060, 1063 ; Lndlow's Memoirs, p. 
108 ; Carte's Life of Ormond, vol. ii. p. 23 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Eebellion, vol. v. ji. ■'rZ^). 


in the regiments. According to Everard, Ireton 
was aware of this design/ A petition was imme- 
diately drawn up, and transmitted to both Houses of 
Parliament, on the 27th of April. In it the Common 
Council demanded that the City should again be put 
in possession of its chains, of which they had been 
deprived after the suppression of the last riot, that 
the army should remove its head-quarters to a greater 
distance, and that all the forces in London and its 
suburbs should be placed under the command of Skip- 
pon. These demands were instantly complied with, 
and on the next day, the 28tli of April, after a debate of 
which no record remains, the Commons voted: — 1. That 
they would make no essential alteration in the govern- 
ment of the kingdom by King, Lords, and Commons : 
2. That the proposals made to the King at Hampton 
Court should form the basis of the measures which 
it was indispensable to adopt in order to re-establish 
public tranquillity : 3. That, notwithstanding the vote 
of the 3rd of January, which forbade all addresses 
to the King, every member should be at liberty to 
propose whatever might seem to him to be required by 
the true interests of the country.^ 

For three weeks Cromwell had foreseen, and at- 
tempted to prevent, this reverse ; in the name of the 
leaders of the army and of the Independent party, he 
had made an offer to the Common Council, on the 8tli 
of April, 1648, to restore to the City the command of 
its militia and of the Tower, and to set at liberty the 
accused aldermen, provided it would engage to do 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 881. 
^ Ibid. cols. 882, 883. 


nothing to assist the Scots in their approaching inva- 
sion ; but his offers had been rejected.' Thus con- 
strained to renounce all hope of reconcihation, when 
he saw the Presbyterians regain their courage in the 
City and then- influence in the ParHament, he was 
seized with a passionate desu-e to risk a decisive blow. 
He repaired to head-quarters, called together the 
council of officers, and proposed that the army should 
march on London, expel all its adversaries from the 
Parliament, and take fuU possession of the goverment, 
in the name of honest men and the public welfare. 
For a time the proposal was adopted ; but so uncere- 
monious an attack upon the rights of a Parliament 
that had been so long the idol and ruler of the country, 
presently startled even the most audacious. They 
hesitated. Fairfax, who was beginning to feel uneasy 
at what he had been doing, took advantage of this 
hesitation, and opposed the wishes of the Lieutenant- 
general, who was for giving orders immediately ; and 
the project was accordingly abandoned.^ Annoyed at 
this double disappointment, suspected by one class on 
account of his attempts at accommodation, and by 
another because of the rashness of his designs, unable 
longer to endure this state of inactivity and perplexity, 
Cromwell suddenly resolved to leave London, to go 
and fight the insurgents in the west, and to regain by 
war the ascendancy that seemed now to be on the 
wane. He had httle difficulty in obtaining this com- 
mission from the Parliament. Wliile the troops that 

> Clement Walker's History of ludepeudeucy, pp. 82, 83. 
* Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 110. 


he was to lead were making preparations for their 
departure, he one day complained to Ludlow of his 
position, reviewed all he had done for the common 
cause, enumerated the dangers and odium he had 
braved, and exclaimed bitterly against the ingratitude 
of his party. Ludlow listened to his complaints, re- 
minded him in reply of the inducements and occasions 
which he had given for mistrust, urged him to abandon 
all further intrigues and ambitious designs, promised 
him, on this condition, the sincere support of the 
EepubUcans, and left him, delighted with the patient 
attention with which his admonitions had been re- 
ceived.^ A few days after, Cromwell, at the head of 
five regiments, set out for Wales, and almost at the 
gates of the City, according to previous arrangement, 
some Presbyterian ministers had an interview with 
him, from which they retired not less satisfied.^ 

He had no sooner gone, than the war which he went 
to quell, broke out on all sides around the Parhament. 
The Cavaliers had, indeed, promised to make no 
attempt until the Scots entered the kingdom, but every 
day, in some place, either the popular impulse, or a 
favourable opportunity, or an unexpected and appa- 
rently imperative occurrence, helped to precipitate their 
insurrection. On the 4th of May, some inhabitants of 
the county of Essex petitioned that negociations should 
be reopened with the King, and the arm}^ be disbanded 
after the payment of its arrears.^ Following their 
example, seven or eight hundred gentlemen, free- 

' Ludlow's Memoir.s, p. 105. 

* Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 317. 

■' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1101. 


holders, and farmers from Surrey, went to London on 
the IGth of May, with a similar petition, couched in 
still more haughty terms. They demanded that the 
King should he recalled to Whitehall, and replaced on 
his throne with the splendour of his ancestors. AVhen 
they arrived at the House, as they were passing 
through the various courts and rooms, some of them 
began to quarrel with the guards, and asked them, 
" Why they stood there to guard a company of rogues ?" 
The soldiers warmly resented tliis insult, a riot began, 
the soldiers on guard were disarmed, and one of them 
was killed. A reinforcement of troops arrived, and 
the petitioners were charged in their tm-n, and pursued 
from one corridor to another, from room to room, from 
street to street : they did not, however, fly till they 
had made a vigorous resistance, leaving five or six of 
their number dead at the door of the House. ^ On 
hearing of this, the EoyaHsts in Kent, who were also 
preparing a petition, organized themselves into different 
bodies of infantry and cavalry, selected officers from 
among their number, appointed places of rendezvous, 
chose Lord Groring, Earl of Norwich, for their general, 
took possession of Sandwich, Dover, and several other 
forts, and on the 29th of May assembled at Rochester, 
to the number of seven thousand, and agreed that they 
would all go together, in arms, to present their petition 
to the Parliament.^ As soon as the standard of revolt 
was raised under this pretext, others hoisted it, without 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1110 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 886 ; Whitelocke, p. 306 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 106. 

2 Journals of the House of Lords ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1130 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 306 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 56. 


troubling themselves to express in the form of petition 
their griefs and their wishes. Sir Charles Lucas in 
Essex, Lord Capel in Hertfordshire, and Sir Gilbert 
Biron in the neighbourhood of Nottingham, openly 
raised troops for the King's service. Kews arrived 
on the 2nd and 8th of May, that Langdale and 
Musgrave in the north, in order to open an entrance 
for the Scots into the kingdom, had surprised and 
occupied, the one Berwick, and .the other Carlisle.^ 
Some symptoms of disturbance appeared in the fleet 
which lay in the Downs ; Vice-admiral Eainsborough 
immediately set out to repress it, but the sailors re- 
fused to receive him,^ put all their officers into a boat, 
sent them on shore, declared themselves for the King, 
and, without any leader above the rank of boatswain, 
set sail towards Holland, where the Duke of York, 
who had lately succeeded in escaping from St. James's, 
and soon after the Prince of Wales himself, took the 
command.^ Even in London, secret enlistments were 
carried forward, Eoyalist oaths were circulated, and 
armed bands traversed the City on their way to join 
other bodies of insurgents.'' The houses of the Earl 
of Holland and of the young Duke of Buckingham 
were constantly filled with malcontents, who came to 
inquire on what day and at what place hostilities were 

1 Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1099, 1105 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. vi. pp. 51, 52. 

^ May 27th, 1648. 

3 Clarendon's History of the EebeUion, vol, vi. p. 18 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. cols. 896, 899, 906 ; Journals of the House of Lords ; 
Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 102 ; Godwin's History of the Commonwealth, 
vol. ii. p. 531—6.35, 551—556. 

* Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1117, 1174 ; Parliamentary History, 
vol. iii. cols. 892, 893. 


to be commenced/ In fine, the insuiTection, like 
an unquencliable conflagration, burst forth, extended, 
and constantly drew nearer and nearer to Westminster; 
and all the efforts of the committee at Derby House, in 
which the Independents held sway, all the tactics of 
Vane and St. John in bribing informers and unravel- 
ling plots,^ could not prevent the cry of " God and 
IGng Charles!" from resounding incessantly in the 
ears of the Parliament. 

Even the Presbyterians took the alarm : the Scots, 
their main supporters, did not arrive; they found 
themselves in danger of falling under the rule of the 
Cavaliers, the sole leaders of the movement, who, 
entertaining no greater regard for Presbyterian doc- 
trines or intentions than for any other creed, instinc- 
tively cursed the Houses of Parhament, demanded 
that the laws and the king of old England should be 
restored, insultingly defied the austere severities of the 
new system of worship, engaged in forbidden pastimes, 
celebrated suppressed festivals, and raised once more 
the Maypoles wliicli had been thrown down.^ News 
was received from Hammond that the King had nearly 
succeeded in effecting his escape,* and the most mo- 
derate shuddered with fear at the thought that he 
might have appeared suddenly at the gates of London, 
at the head of a host of insm-gents : party hatreds, 
desires for peace, alarms respecting the futm-e, aU dis- 

* Whitelocke, p. 317 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. 
p. 40. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 887, 892. 
^ Whitelocke, p. 305, 

* May 31.— Parliamentary History, vol. iii, cols. 899, 909—921, 928 ; 
Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 192. 


appeared before such an immediate danger. In order 
to remove the most plausible pretexts for rebellion, it 
was resolved to renew negociations with the King;^ the 
City obtained the complete acquittal of its aldermen \ 
Skippon took the command of its militia, and Colonel 
West that of the Tower, from which he had been dis- 
missed by Fairfax \ while a decree against heresy and 
blasphemy, which enjoined the infliction of death in 
certain cases, attested the return of Presbyterian ascen- 
dancy/ At the same time, every idea of concession or 
forbearance towards the Cavahers was haughtily re- 
jected. Papists and malignants were again banished 
from London, under the severest penalties f the goods 
of delinquents were seized for the payment of debts they 
had contracted with friends of the good cause -^ the sale 
of Church lands was hastened;^ reinforcements were sent 
to the garrison of Carisbrooke ;^ the Common Council, 
after having received communications which were, as 
they declared, " like hght breaking through the clouds," 
solemnly protested that they were resolved to hve and 

' May 6 and 24. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 885, 892. 
« May 23. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 891. 
^ May 18. — Uushwortli, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1118. 
*■ May 2. — Journals of the House of Lords. 
* May 23. — Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1124. 
«May 11.— Ibid. p. 1110. 

7 In the course of the years 1647, 1648, 1649, 1650, and 1651, pro- 
perty was sold belonging to- 

£. s. 


The see of York, to the amount of 

- 65,786 7 


The see of Durham, „ 


- 68,121 15 


The see of Carlisle, „ 


6,449 11 


The see of Chester, „ 

1,129 18 



£141,487 12 


(Harris's Life of Cromwell' p. 306.) 

» About the end of May. — Paishworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1130. 


die with the Parliament.^ Fairfax received orders 
to take up arms immediately against the bands that 
infested the neighbourhood of London ; Lambert was 
directed to go to the northern counties, in order at 
least to repress the insurrection that had been excited 
by Langdale and Musgrave, while waiting for the 
Scots ; and, with a severity previously unprecedented, 
doubtless to prove the sincerity of their stern measures, 
the Commons voted, on the 11th of May, that, since 
the presence of the King no longer served as an excuse 
to the rebels, no quarter should be granted tliem,^ 

Fairfax left Windsor on the 1st of June, and three 
days afterwards, he reached Maidstone and defeated 
the main body of the Kentish insurgents. In vain did 
they attempt to evade such an unexpected encounter ; 
in vain, when they found themselves obliged to fight, 
did they maintain a long and sanguinary contest in the 
streets of the town.^ The soldiers of Fairfax, who were 
ever filled with the most ardent fanaticism, and had 
been long accustomed to military service, hating the 
Cavaliers and despising the new recruits, impatiently 
hastened to have done with a war, the dangers of which 
seemed almost beneath their contempt. They traversed 
the county of Kent by forced marches, every day dis- 
persing some assembly or recovering some town, using 
the country roughly, but maintaining strict discipline, 
and leaving to the Royalists neither refuge nor repose. 
Goring, however, managed to collect three or four 

' May 20. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 890. 
■^ Journals of the House of Commons. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1137 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
col. 902 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 107. 

VOL. II. 2 A 


thousand men, who, on the 3rd of June, assembled at 
Blackheath under his command. He was now almost 
at the gates of London, and he flattered himself with 
the expectation that an insurrection would break out at 
his approach, or that he would at least receive some 
secret aid. He even wrote to the Common Council, 
requesting permission to pass through the City, in order 
that he might, with his adherents, proceed into Essex 
without difficulty. But the Common Council, instead 
of answering him, sent his letter unopened to the Par- 
liament, and professed themselves ready to act according 
to its wishes in all things.' On learning this, disorder 
and discouragement pervaded the ranks of the Cava- 
liers ; they deserted in troops, and Goring had great 
difficulty in collecting a sufficient number of boats to 
enable him to cross the Thames at Greenwich with 
seven or eight hundred men who followed him into 
Essex. There he found the insurrection still vigorous 
and flourishing under the direction of Sir Charles Lucas. 
Lord Capel had joined them with a troop of Cavaliers 
from Hertfordshire ; and they proceeded together to 
Colchester on the 12th of June, with somewhat brighter 
hopes, intending to repose there for two or three days, 
and then to go through the counties of Suffolk and 
Norfolk, raising the Eoyalists as they went, and return- 
ing to London through Cambridgeshire, at the head of 
a numerous army. But they had no sooner entered 
the town, than Fairfax appeared beneath its walls, and 
closely invested it.^ A fortnight's campaign had thus 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1130; Whitelocke, p. 309 ; Ludlow's 
Memoirs,' p. 107. * June 13. 


sufficed to sliut up in one feebly- defended town, the 
shattered remains of an insurrection, which had recently 
surrounded London on all sides. In some places, as 
in E-utlandshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire and 
Sussex, attempts were made to revive it.^ Even in 
the heart of the City, under the very eyes of the Parlia- 
ment, Lords Holland, Peterborough and Buckingham 
took up arms, and on the 5tli of July, followed by about 
a thousand Cavaliers, marched out of the City, proclaim- 
ing- that they had no intention of sacrificing public 
liberties for the sake of the King, but wished only to 
restore him to his legal rights. But while they were 
still hovering about London, Sir Michael Livesey, 
who had been sent against them from head-quarters, 
suddenly attacked them,^ killed several of their officers, 
among others young Sir Francis Villiers, brother of the 
Duke of Buckingham ; and, on being reinforced the 
next day by Colonel Scroop's regiment, pursued them 
closely into Huntingdonshire, where, tired even of 
flight, they dispersed in all directions, leaving Lord 
Holland wounded in the hands of the enemy. ^ In 
the east and south, other attempts had no better issue. 
Letters were received from Cromwell, on the 16th of 
June, promising that in a fortnight he would be master 
of Pembroke Castle, the stronghold of the western 
insurgents.* In the north, Lambert, although with 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1135, 1145, 1149, 1150, 1169.— 
Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 112. * July 7. 

3 July 10.— Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1178, 1180, 1182, 1187 ; 
Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 925, 927. 

•* Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1159; Commons' Journals, vol. v. 
p. 608 ; Carlyle's Letters and Speeches of Cromwell, vol. i. p. 347. 

2 A 2 


inferior forces, valiantly sustained the honour and au- 
thority of the Parliament against the Cavaliers under 
Langdale.^ Colchester, lastly, notwithstanding the 
indomitable resistance of the besieged, who were un- 
moved either by invitations or attacks, was so reduced 
by famine, that it could no longer hold out against 
Fairfax, who was able to devote his whole energies to 
the siege. ^ 

Relieved from their first anxieties, and certain of 
not falhng into the hands of the Cavaliers, the Pres- 
byterians now began once more to feel uneasy about 
the Republicans and the army, and to meditate peace. 
Petitions soliciting it,which were still numerous, though 
less dictatorial in their tone, were better received.^ The 
expulsion of the eleven members was revoked, and 
they were invited to resume their seats/ It was sug- 
gested that new proposals should be presented to the 
King, of a less obnoxious character than the former ; 
and there seemed to be a disposition to resume nego- 
ciations with him, if he would previously consent to 
three things : 1 . To recall all his proclamations against 
the Parliament. 2. To give up to them for ten years, 
the disposal of the sea and land forces. 3. To esta- 
blish Presbyterianism for three years in England.^ A 
special committee was appointed, on the 26th of June, 
to investigate the best means of attaining this result ; 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1157 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. vi. pp. 55, 75. 

** Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1204 ; Whitelocke, p. .316. 

•' Parliamentary History, "Vol. iii. col. 921. 

■• June 8. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 907. 

* June 6.— Ibid., col. 904. 


and to decide at what time, in what place, and in what 
form it would be proper to treat with the King. One 
member even inquired whether it would not be ad- 
visable that the King should immediately return to 
Windsor ;^ and, upon a petition from the City, dated on 
the 27th of June, the Lords voted that any conference 
that might be opened, should take place in London.^ 
Lastly, on the 80th of June, the resolution, forbidding 
all addresses to the King, was formally repealed f and 
three days aiter, a motion was made in the House of 
Commons, that a new treaty should be offered to his 
Majesty without delay. 

But the Independents had, at the same time, 
regained confidence : proud of the success of their 
soldiers, they violently rejected the idea of renewing 
negociations with the King. Thomas Scott said, 
" He was of opinion that there could be no time 
seasonable for such a treaty, or for a peace, with so 
perfidious and implacable a prince *, it will always be 
too soon or too late. He that draws his sword upon 
the King, must throw his scabbard into the fire ; 
and all peace with him will prove the spoil of the 
godly " The Presbyterians did not undertake to 
defend the King, but they opposed those self-styled 
godly persons, who would, in reality, be ruined by 
peace, because their fortune had been made by war. 
" The people," said they, " who have been ruined by 
this war, do not want to be fuel to a fire, in which 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1164. 

* Journals of the House of Lords, 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 921. 


only these salamanders can live; they do not wish 
those vampires, called the army, to be fattened any 
longer on their hlood and substance ; the army was 
engaged to serve, not to devour them." In what place, 
it was asked, should negociations be recommenced ? 
The Presbyterians wished it to be in London, or some 
neighbouring place ; the Independents preferred the 
Isle of Wight, where Charles was in their power. 
Scott afiirmed " that the City was as obnoxious to the 
King's anger as any part of the kingdom ; and if the 
treaty should be in London, who could secure the 
Parhament that the City would not make their peace 
with the enraged King, by dehvering up their heads 
to him for a sacrifice, as the men of Samaria did the 
heads of the seventy sons of Ahab ?" It was further 
proposed, that " if the King came not to London, but 
to one of his houses about ten miles from thence, he 
might be desired to give his royal word to reside 
there till the conclusion of the treaty," a suggestion 
which was slighted by Colonel Harvey, Sir Harry 
Vane, and Su- Henry Mildmay, on the ground that the 
King had so repeatedly perjured himself, that he 
could no longer be trusted. Sir Symonds D'Ewes 
then rose, " and declared himself to be of a contrary 
opinion; for that the House not only ought, but 
must trust his Majesty, and that they were not in a 
condition to stand upon such high terms ; for," said 
he, " Mr. Speaker, if you know not in what condition 
you are, give me leave, in a word, to tell you. Your 
silver is clipped, your gold shipped, your ships are 
revolted, 3'ourselve8 contemned, your Scotch friends 


enraged against you, and the affections of the City and 
kingdom quite alienated from you. Judge, then 
whetlier you are not in a low condition, and, also, if it 
be not high time to endeavour a speedy settlement 
and reconcilement with his Majesty."^ The Inde- 
pendents protested ; but many members, unattached to 
to any faction, and accustomed to take either side, as 
the times seemed to indicate, silently approved of Sir 
Symonds' words. The House voted that negociations 
should be opened, but persisted, by eighty-six votes 
against seventy-two, contrary to the wish of the Upper 
House, in demanding of the King the adoption of the 
three bills as a preliminary condition ; and no decision 
was arrived at as to the place where the negociations 
should be commenced.^ 

The Parliament were discussing with the Common 
Council, what measures would need to be taken, in 
order to conduct the negociations in London, without 
danger to either the King or the Parliament,^ when 
news arrived that the Scots had entered the kingdom 
on the 8th of July,* and that Lambert was retreating 
before them. Notwithstanding the intrigues of 
Argyle, and the furious discourses of a large section 
of the clergy, Hamilton had, at length, succeeded in 
raising an army, and had begun his march. It did 
not, certainly, carry out the original intentions of 

' Clement Walker's History of Independency, pp. 108 — 112 ; Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. iii. cols. 922—924. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 924. 

^ Piushworth, part iv. vol. ii pp. 1185, 1187. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 931 ; liushworth, part iv. vol. ii. 
p. 1188. 


the Parliament ; instead of forty thousand, it scarcely 
numbered fourteen thousand men ; the Court of France 
had promised arms and ammunition, but none had 
arrived ; the Prince of Wales was to have come over 
to Scotland in order to take the command, but he still 
remained in Holland ; even the Cavahers of Langdale 
and Musgrave had not joined their new allies, for they 
had refused to take the Covenant, and Hamilton could 
not incorporate such unbelievers with his own soldiers, 
without losing the confidence of his party ; they there- 
fore formed a separate body, which seemed to act only 
on its own account, and always kept at a distance from 
the Scots. In fine, Hamilton's preparations, crossed 
by so many obstacles, were exceedingly incomplete ; 
his regiments had not their full complement of men ; 
his artillery was not in proper order ; but the pre- 
mature outbreak of royalist insurrections in England 
had constrained him to hasten his departure, and he 
left Scotland ill-provided and anxious, followed by the 
invectives of a host of fanatics, who prophesied the 
destruction of an army which was employed, they said, 
to restore the King to his throne before Christ had 
been put in possession of his rights.^ 

The news of the invasion caused great agitation 
through all England. No one seemed strong enough 
to oppose it : Fairfax was still busy at Colchester, 
Cromwell was at Pembroke ; the insurrection, which 
was hardly yet suppressed, might break out again in 

' Rushwoi-th, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1196 — 1198 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Kebellion, vol. vi. p. 71 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. Ill ; Bowring, p. 98 ; 
Herbert's Memoirs, p. 57 ; Malcolm Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii. 
pp. 394-402. 


any place, at any time. The embarrassment of the 
Presbyterians was extreme : even the people, who were 
well disposed towards them, had resumed their ancient 
aversion against the Scots, could not speak of them 
without insult, called to mind how they had but re- 
cently betrayed the King whom they now assembled to 
deliver, and, indeed, made it their first wish that these 
greedy and treacherous foreigners should be driven 
out of the kingdom. A motion was made in the 
House of Commons, on the 14th of July, declaring 
them pubHc enemies, and denouncing as traitors all who 
had had any share in inviting them :^ ninety members 
protested against the motion, but feebly, and without 
success ; but it was thrown out by the Upper House.'^ 
Moreover, the Lords voted that it was desirable to 
hasten negociations with the King ;^ and this time, the 
Presbyterians induced the Commons, on the 28th of 
July, by a majority of seventy-one against sixty-four, 
to cease to insist on the tlu-ee bills, which they had pre- 
viously resolved to make the preliminary condition of 
any treaty.* But without troubling themselves with 
these vicissitudes in the daily fortune of parties, the 
Derby House Committee, which was still in the power 
of the Independents, sent money and reinforcements 
to Lambert ; commanded Cromwell to despatch to the 
North all the troops he could dispense with, and to 
proceed thither, in person, as soon as he possibly could ; 
and the Eepublican leaders themselves, humbling their 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 934. 
"^ Ibid. vol. iii. col. 936. 
^ Kushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1183. 
* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 956. 


distrust before liis genius, wrote secretly to him 
urging liim to fear nothing, to act with vigour, and 
to rely upon them, notwithstanding the opposition he 
had hitherto experienced from them/ 

Cromwell had acted already without waiting for 
either orders or promises. A month before, having 
received information, possibly from Argyle, of the state 
and movements of the Scottish army, he had sent word 
to Lambert to retreat as soon as they should appear, 
and to avoid an engagement, as he would soon be in a 
condition to assist him : and, in fact, Pembroke Castle 
capitulated on the 1 1th of July, 1648, three days after 
the invasion commenced -^ and two days after, Crom- 
well set out at the head of five or six thousand men, 
ill-shod, ill-clothed, but proud of their glory, irritated 
by their perils, full of trust in their leader, and of 
disdain for their enemies, eager for an encounter, and 
sure of victory. Cromwell wrote to the Derby House 
Committee, "desiring that his poor wearied soldiers 
may have shoes provided for them, the better to 
enable them to take their long march to the north. "^ 
He passed first from east to west, then from south to 
north, and so through nearly the whole of England, 
with a rapidity previously unequalled, marking his way 
with protestations and impulsive acts of piety, solely 
bent on disarming suspicion, on gaining the hearts of 
the bhndest fanatics, and on living in sympathy with 

' Ludlow's Memoirs, p. Ill ; Godwin's History of the Common- 
wealth, vol. ii. p. 591. 

* Iiushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1190; Carlyle's Letters and Speeches 
of Oliver Cromwell, vol. i. p. 357. 

^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1200. 


his soldiers/ On the 27th of July, just thirteen days 
after his departure, liis cavalry, which had been sent 
on in advance of him, joined Lambert's army •, and he 
himself arrived on the 7th of August at Knaresborough 
in Yorksliire, where the combined forces amounted to 
nine or ten thousand men. Meantime the Scots had 
advanced by a western route across the counties of 
Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire, but their 
march had been uncertain, they had made long halts, 
and were dispersed over an area of twenty or five-and- 
twenty miles, busying themselves in religious, pohtical, 
and mihtary discussions, and completely ignorant of the 
enemy's designs and movements. All at once Lang- 
dale, who, with the English insurgents, was marching 
somewhat to the left, and in advance of the rest of 
the army, sent word to Hamilton that Cromwell was 
approaching ; that he had certain information of it ; 
and that everything indicated on his part an intention 
of giving battle. The duke replied that it was impos- 
sible — they had not had time to reach them ; and that 
if Cromwell was so near, he certainly could have only 
a small body of men with him, and would take good 
care not to attack them : accordingly, on the 1 7 th of 
August, he removed his head-quarters to Preston. 
Soon another message reached him, that Langdale's 
cavalry were abeady engaged with Cromwell's. Lang- 
dale seemed likely to hold his ground; his position 
was favourable, and his men in good spirits : he only 
wanted some reinforcements, a thousand men at least, 
and he would give the whole army time to rally so as to 

" Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 320. 


thoroughly demoHsh the enemy. Hamilton promised 
reinforcements. Langdale continued the contest for 
four hours : according to his own confession, Cromwell 
had never met with such a desperate resistance. But 
no assistance came, and Langdale was obliged to yield. 
Leaving the vanquished Enghsh to fly whither they 
would, CromweU marched straight against the Scots, 
who were crossing the river Ribble with all haste, in 
order to interpose a barrier to his pursuit ; most of 
the regiments had already reached the left bank of the 
river, and only two brigades of infantry, with Hamilton 
himseh' and some squadrons of horse, remained on the 
right bank to cover their retreat. Cromwell imme- 
diately charged them, crossed the river with them, and, 
scarcely giving his troops a few moments for repose, 
continued the pursuit by daybreak the next day, the 
1 8th of August. The course of their flight was towards 
the south ; and even whilst in retreat, they continued 
their invasion. He overtook them the same day at 
Wigan, fifteen miles from Preston, and cut their rear- 
guard to pieces. Their pride at thus gaining two 
victories, the hope of a decisive triumph, and the very 
impatience produced by fatigue, hourly augmented the 
enthusiasm of his soldiers. The pursuit was renewed 
the next day, August the 1 9th, with even more energy 
and rapidity. The Scots, irritated in their turn at 
being so hard pressed on by an enemy inferior to them- 
selves, and meeting with an advantageous defile near 
Warrington, at length turned and faced their pursuers, 
and engaged them in a third battle, more protracted 
and bloody than either of the two preceding, but ending 


in the same result. The English carried the defile, 
and afterwards a bridge at Warrington, wliich the 
►Scots attempted to break down in order to give them- 
selves breathing-time. Confusion and dismay now 
took possession of the Scottish army ; a council of war 
determined that infantry without ammunition could 
resist no longer, and they surrendered in a body. 
Hamilton, at the head of his cavalry, attempted to 
reach Wales in order to revive the royalist insurrection 
in that country ; then, suddenly changing his purpose, 
he turned towards the north-east, in the hope of re- 
gaining Scotland : but everywhere on his passage the 
peasantry rose in arms, and the magistrates summoned 
him to capitulate. At Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire, 
on account of a rumour that arose that he meditated 
escaping with some officers, his own cavalry mutinied. 
Lambert and Lord Grey of Grroby, who had been de- 
spatched in pursuit of him, had now almost overtaken 
him. Too fainthearted to struggle against such an 
adverse fate, he allowed his followers to disband, and 
betake themselves whithersoever they pleased. On 
the 25th of August, he himself accepted the conditions 
proposed by Lambert, and was carried prisoner to 
Nottingham Castle. After a fortnight's campaign, 
having removed all traces of the Scottish army from 
the English soil, Cromwell marched towards Scotland 
to invade it in its turn, and so to deprive the Presby- 
terian Eoyalists of all means of action and safety.^ 

' lUishworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1237, 1239, 1241 ; Clarendon's His- 
tory of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 75 ; Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, 
p. 320 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. Ill ; Parhamentary History, vol. iii. col. 
997 — 1000 ; IMalcohn Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii. pp. 400 — 403 ; 


But, in moments of extreme danger, parties, instead 
of succumbing, often assume their loftiest bearing, and 
deal their roughest blows. Even before this important 
news reached Westminster, as soon as they found that 
Cromwell had advanced against the Scots, the Presby- 
terians had discerned that his triumjDh would be their 
ruin, and that they could only be saved, either by 
his destruction, or by the speedy restoration of peace. 
Accordingly they used their most energetic efforts for 
the attainment of these ends. HoUis, who, notwith- 
standing the recall of the eleven members, had hitherto 
continued to live in France, on the coast of Normandy, 
now resumed his seat in the Commons.' Huntington, 
who had formerly been major in Cromwell's own regi- 
ment, in an address to the Upper House, dated on the 
3rd of August, publicly denounced the intrigues of 
the Lieutenant-general, his promises to the King, his 
treacherous conduct, the boldness of his ambition, his 
contempt of the Parhament, of the common laws, duties, 
and rights of men, and the pernicious principles and 
menacing designs which were sometimes visible in spite 
of his hypocrisy, and sometimes openly expressed by 
him in the freedom of conversation. The Lords ordered 
the memorial to be read, and Huntington ajQfirmed its 
truth on his oath, on the 8th of August. He intended 
to present it also to the House of Commons ; but so 
formidable had Cromwell's name now become, that no 

Godwin's History of the Commonwealth, vol. ii. pp. 563-572 ; Baker's 
Chronicle of the Kings of England, p. 606 ; Carlyle's Letters and 
Speeches of Cromwell, vol. i. pp. 359 — 383. 

' August 14. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1226. 


member would risk the peril of introducing it. He sent 
it under cover to the Speaker. Lenthall said nothing 
about it to the House ; but he attempted to give it to 
the serjeant-at-arms, who refused to receive it. The 
Lords sent it officially to the Commons. Lord Wharton, 
one of Cromwell's most intimate confidants, followed 
the messengers, forewarned the Speaker of the object 
of their message, and they were not introduced.^ The 
Independents protested indignantly against such mea- 
sures ; it was, they said, a criminal act of cowardice 
thus to attack a man in his absence, when he was, 
perhaps, at that very moment, deHvering his country 
from foreign invasion ; and many of the Presb3rterians 
themselves were intimidated by this argument. All 
hopes of thus directly overthrowing the Lieutenant- 
general had to be abandoned, and Huntington con- 
tented himself with having his declaration printed. 
Measures which aimed at the restoration of peace had 
greater success. In vain did the leaders of the Inde- 
pendents, especially Vane and St. John, exhaust all 
their stratagems to protract the debates ; in vain did 
others, who were more unscrupulous, such as Scott, 
Venn, Harvey, and Weaver, denounce the Presby- 
terians who were obnoxious to them in the wildest and 
most outrageous terms : these violent demonstrations, 
this continually augmenting disorder, the arrogance of 
the soldiers, the imperious tone adopted in pamphlets 
and petitions, even in those professing a pacific policy, 
— all told the House that its own power was on the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 965 ; Whitolocke, p. 327. 


decline, and led all who were not inextricably involved 
in party intrigues to wisli earnestly for peace. " Mr. 
Speaker," said Rudyard, one day, "we have sat thus 
long, and are come to a fine pass, for the whole kingdom 
is now become Parliament all over ; the army hath 
taught us a good while what to do, and would still teach 
us what we shall do; the city, country, and Eeformadoes 
teach us what we should do ; and all is because we our- 
selves know not what to do."^ And the majority agreed 
with him in thinking that peace alone could release 
them from tliis dishonourable state of embarrassment. 
At last the resolution was taken, and a vote passed that 
new negociations should be immediately commenced 
with the King. It was agreed, in order to quiet the 
Independents, that they should take place in the Isle 
of Wight ;~ and three Commissioners were appointed* 
to convey the proposal to the King, and ask him in 
what part of the island he would wish to reside during 
the treaty, and which of his advisers he would desire 
to have with him. 

The Independent leaders were not deceived : tliis 
was an irrevocable reverse. Feeling that a crisis was at 
hand, and more intimidated by their triumph than by 
their threats, the majority were evidently passing over 
to their enemies. Ludlow proceeded at once to head- 
quarters, which were still at Colchester. He thus 
relates his interview with Fairfax : — "I told him that 
a design was driving on to betray the cause in wliich 

' August 8. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 984 — 986. 

^ July 29.— Ibid. vol. iii. col. 959. 

^ August 2.— Ibid. vol. iii. cols. 964, 965. 


SO much of the people's blood had been shed ; that the 
King, being under a restraint, would not account him- 
self obliged by anything he should promise under 
such circumstances; and I assured him that most of 
those who pushed on the treaty with the greatest 
vehemency, intended not that he should be bound 
by the performance of it, but designed principally to 
use his authority and favour in order to destroy 
the army, — who, as they had assumed the power, 
ought to make the best use of it, and to prevent 
the ruin of themselves and the nation. He acknow- 
ledged what I said to be true, and declared himself 
resolved to use the power he had to maintain the 
cause of the public, upon a clear and evident call, 
looking upon himself to be obliged to pursue the work 
which he was about." Ludlow then went to Ireton, 
whom Cromwell, on his departure, had taken care to 
leave with the General, and who, he expected, would 
receive him more heartily. " We both agreed," writes 
Ludlow, " that it was necessary for the army to interfere 
in this matter, but differed about the time, he being of 
opinion that it was best to permit the King and Par- 
liament to make an agreement, and to wait till they 
had made a full discovery of their intentions, whereby 
the people, becoming sensible of their own danger, 
would willingly join to oppose them."^ The Eepubli- 
cans, in default of the army, sent threatening petitions 
to Westminster, among others, one drawn up by 
Henry Martyn, which set forth all the principles 
of the party, and required the Commons to declare 

' Ludlow's Memoirs, pp. 112, 113. 
VOL. II. 2 B 


themselves the sovereign power, and to respond at 
length to the expectations of the people, by giving 
them all the reforms which they had expected to 
obtain when they took up arms on behalf of the Par- 
liament. The House made no reply : two days after, 
a second petition arrived, complaining bitterly of this 
contemptuous neglect, and this time the petitioners 
thronged to the doors in troops, exclaiming angrily, 
" that they knew no use of a King or Lords any longer, 
and that such distinctions were the devices of men ; 
Grod made all alike; and there are many thousands 
who would spend their blood in the maintenance of 
these principles. Forty thousand had subscribed 
this petition, but they conceived five thousand horse 
would do more good in it."^ Some even of the mem- 
bers, Scott, Blackiston and Weaver, went out of the 
House, mixed familiarly with the crowd, and en- 
com'aged these cries. The House persisted in its 
silence ; but the greater firmness it displayed, the 
more passionately did tlie Independent party hasten 
towards its ultimate designs, and on the ISth of 
September, five days after this scene, Henry Martyn 
suddenly set out for Scotland, where Cromwell had 
just arrived.^ 

About the same time, on the 13th of September, 
fifteen Commissioners set out for the Isle of Wight. 
The Commission was composed of five Lords and ten 

' September 11. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii, cols. 1005 — 1013; 
Whitelocke, p. 335 ; Kushwortli, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1257 ; Ludlow's 
Memoirs, p. 114. 

* Whitelocke, p. 337. 


members of the House of Commons,' all of whom, 
except Vane, and perhaps Lord Say, were favourable to 
peace. Never before had any negociation excited such 
Uvely interest ; it was to last forty days. The King 
had eagerly accepted the proposal, giving his word 
that, during that period, and for twenty days after- 
wards, he would make no attempt to escape. Twenty 
of his oldest servants, noblemen, divines, and lawyers, 
had been admitted to aid liim by their counsels ; he 
had even demanded and obtained permission that part 
of his household and domestic retinue, pages, secre- 
taries, chamberlains, grooms, equerries, and valets, 
should be restored to him on tliis occasion.^ Ac- 
cordingly on the arrival of the Commissioners, on the 
1 5th of September, at the small town of Newport, the 
crowd was so great, that three days elapsed before the 
new comers could succeed in obtaining a lodging. 
Meantime, the Commissioners presented themselves 
every morning before the King, treating him with 
profound respect, but great reserve, and not one of 
them venturing upon a private interview. Most of 
them, however, communicated freely with his counsel- 
lors, and in this way conveyed their advice to him, 
exhorting him above all things to accept the pro- 
posals of Parliament promptly and almost without 
questioning; for, said they, all is lost if the negocia- 
tion is not concluded, and the King once more in 

^ Lords Northumberland, Pembroke, Salisbury, Middlesex, and Say ; 
Lord Wenman, HoUis, Pierrepoint, Vane, Grimstone, Sir John Potts, 
John Carew, Samuel Brown, John Glynn, and John Bulkley. 

'^ Parliamentary Histoiy, vol. iii. col. 1001 ; Journals of the House of 
Lords, August 24. 

t^ O tJ 


London, before Cromwell and his troops have time 
to return.^ Charles seemed to believe in the sincerity 
of their advice, and disposed to comply with it, but 
he secretly entertained far different hopes : Ormonde, 
who for the last six months had been a refugee in 
Paris, whither he had gone in March, 1648, was 
now about to reappear in Ireland, with the supplies 
of money and ammunition that had been promised 
him by the court of France. On his arrival, and in 
concert with Lord Inchiquin, he was to conclude a 
peace with the Catholics, and commence a vigorous 
war against the Parliament ; so that the King, on 
effecting his escape, would once more have a kingdom 
and an army at his command.^ In a letter to Sir 
William Hopkins, Charles stated these plans, and 
made arrangements for his flight.^ 

The conference opened on the 1 8th of September ; 
the King was seated under a canopy at the end of the 
room ; before him, at a Httle distance, were the West- 
minster Commissioners, seated round a table ; behind 
his chair liis counsellors stood in silence, for it was 
with the King personally that the Parliament wished 
to treat, and any mediator would have seemed to com- 
promise its dignity ; and, notwithstanding all their 
punctilious submission, the Commissioners could hardly 
be prevailed upon to allow the presence of any wit- 
nesses. Charles therefore maintained the discussion 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 154 ; Herbert's 
Memoirs, p. 72. 

"'' Carte's Life of Ormond, vol. ii. pp. 20 — 38. 

^ August 1648. — The king's letters to Sir Wilham Hopkins were 
published in the third edition of WagstaflTs " Vindication of the Royal 


alone ; but whenever he wished, he might retire into 
an adjoining room to receive the suggestions of his 
counsellors/ At the sight of their King, thus single- 
handed, and cast upon his own resources, silent 
emotion stirred the hearts of all present. Charles's 
hair had turned white ; an expression of habitual 
sadness had tempered the haughtiness of his glance ; 
his deportment, his voice, all his features bespoke a 
mind still lofty, though vanquished, equally incapable 
of struggling against his destiny, and of yielding to it ; 
a singular and touching mixture of greatness without 
strength, and of presumption without hope.^ The pro- 
posals of the Parliament, which were unchanged, except 
in a few unessential particulars, were successively read 
and examined. Charles appHed himself with dignified 
calmness to the discussion, answering every objection, 
irritated by no resistance, able to make the best of all 
the points of his case, indeed astonishing his most 
prejudiced adversaries by the firmness of his mind, his 
gentleness of demeanour, and his intimate acquaintance 
with the affairs and laws of the kingdom. " The 
King," said the Earl of Salisbury one day to Sir Philip 
Warwick, " is wonderfully improved." " No, my 
Lord," replied Warwick, " he was always so, but your 
Lordship too late discerned it." Bulkley, one of the 
Commons' Commissioners, urged him to accept all, 
assuring him that, " the treaty once ended, the devil 
himself could not be able to break it." " If you 

' Herbert's Memoira, p. 72 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 324 ; Clarendon's 
History of the Kebellion, vol. vi. p. 156. 

'^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 157. 


call this a treaty," replied Charles, " consider whether 
it be not like the fray in the comedy, where the 
man comes out and says, ' There has been a fray 
and no fray,' and being asked how that could be, 
' why,' says he, ' there hath been three blows given, 
and I had them all.' Look, therefore, whether this 
be not a parallel case; observe whether I have not 
gra-nted absolutely most of your propositions, and with 
great moderation limited only some few of them ; nay, 
consider whether you have made me any concessions."^ 
He had, in fact, consented to comply with the demands 
of the Parliament respecting the command of the sea 
and land forces, the right of nomination to offices of 
importance, the government of Ireland, and even the 
legitimacy of the resistance which had led to the civil 
war ; but, instead of yielding at once and without 
hesitation, he had disputed foot by foot the ground 
he could no longer maintain, now sending proposi- 
tions of his own to the Parliament, now endeavouring 
to evade his own concessions, obstinately determined 
to maintain his rights even when he was surrendering 
them, inexhaustible in subtleties and dissimulation, 
and daily giving his adversaries some new reason to 
think that the severest necessity was their only 
security against him. Moreover, he jDcrsisted, as 
much from the requirements of his conscience as 
from the interests of his power, in rejecting the 
abolition of episcopacy, and the severities which it was 
proposed to inflict on his principal partisans. Finally, 
after having solemnly promised that all hostilities in 

' Wai'wicks Memoirs, p. 'S-2'i. 


[reland should cease/ he thus secretly wrote to Or- 
monde r — " T must command you two things : first, 
to obey all my wife's commands ; tlien not to obey 
any pubHc command of mine, until I send you word 
that I am free from restraint. Lastly, be not startled 
at my great concessions concerning Ireland, for they 
will come to nothing."^ 

The Parhament, though they had no certain infor- 
mation, nevertheless suspected this treachery, and even 
those most desirous of peace, those who felt most 
deeply for the King and most earnestly longed to save 
him, could not meet this accusation of the Inde- 
pendents with a positive and unembarrassed denial. 
The Presbyterian devotees, at the same time, however 
moderate they might be in their political intentions, 
were inflexible in their hatred to episcopacy, and were 
determined to accept no compromise or delay which 
did not involve the triumph of the Covenant. More- 
over, this idea was firmly fixed in their minds, that 
after so many evils had been brought upon the country 
by the war, the conquered party must necessarily take 
the responsibility, and that, in order to satisfy the 
Divine justice which was manifested in the Holy Scrip- 
tures by so many striking examples, the crime of those 
who were actually guilty must be expiated by their 
punishment. The number to be punished was dis- 
puted : the popular enthusiasts wished that a multitude 
of exceptions should be made in the amnesty that was 

' Journals of the House of Lords. December 1. 
- October lU. — Carte's Life of Ormond, vol. ii. Appendix, No. xxxi, 
xxxii. p. 17. " October 9. — Parliamentary Historj^, vol. iii. col. 1048. 


to be proclaimed on the restoration of peace ; the 
Presbyterians only asked for seven/ but these they 
demanded with implacable determination, for they 
believed, that by sparing them, they would condemn 
themselves. Thns did narrow prejudices and paltry 
enmities, even in those most pacifically inclined, ob- 
struct the successful prosecution of the negociations. 
Five times during their course,^ it was voted that the 
offers and concessions of the King were insufficient. 
In this state of uncertainty, the period assigned for the 
duration of the conference elapsed ; the term was three 
times prorogued,^ and it was decided that Sundays 
and hoHdays should not be counted,* but no further 
concession was made, no new instructions, even involv- 
ing the smallest extension of their power of free dis- 
cussion, were sent to the agents in the negociation. 
The King, on his part, declared that, for the sake of his 
honour and his faith, he could not go further, " that 
he should be like that captain that had defended a 
place well, and his superiors not being able to relieve 
liim, he had leave to smTender it ; but," he continued, 
" though they cannot reHeve me in the time I demand 
it, let them relieve me when they can ; else I will 
hold out till I make some stone in this building my 
tombstone. And so will I do by the Church of 
England."^ Thus the negociation remained stationary, 

' Lords Newcastle and Digby, Sir Marmaduke Langdale, Sir Richard 
Greuville, David Jenkins, Sir Francis Doddington, and Sir John Byron. 

* October 2, 11, and 27, and November 2 and 24. 
3 November 2, 18, and 24. 

* October, 20. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1058. 
•• Warwick's Memoirs, p. 327. 


serving only to give a striking exhibition of the 
impotent anxiety of the two parties, both of whom 
obstinately misunderstood and rejected that which was 
demanded by necessity.^ 

Nevertheless, all things around them were hastening 
to a crisis, and hourly assuming a more threatening 
attitude. After two months of the most determined 
resistance, Colchester at length surrendered,^ and the 
next day a court-martial condemned to death three 
of its bravest defenders, Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George 
Lisle, and Sir Bernard Grascoigne, as an example, 
they said, to rebels who might afterwards be tempted 
to follow their example. In vain did the other 
prisoners, with Lord Capel at their head, entreat Fairfax 
to delay the execution of this sentence, or to decree 
that they should all suffer the same fate, as they were 
all equally guilty with their companions. Fairfax, 
excited by the contest, or more probably intimidated 
by Ireton, did not reply ; and orders were given that 
the tliree officers should be shot immediately. Sir 
Charles Lucas suffered first ; as he fell. Lisle ran up to 
him and kissed him, and immediately standnig up, 
called to the soldiers to come nearer, as they were too 
far off. " Fear not, sir," one replied, " we shall hit 
you." " My friends," answered Lisle, smiling, " I 
have been nearer when you have missed me," and he 
fell by the side of his friend. Gascoigne was taking 

' Clarendon's State Papers, vol. ii. p. 425 — 454 ; History of the 
Rebellion, vol. vi. pj). 152 — 182 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 
1002 — 1129, jHtssiiu; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 327, et seq.; Herbert's 
Memoirs, p. 70 ; Bowring, p. 92. 

'■" August 27, 1648.— liushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1241—1249. 


off his coat, when a reprieve from the general arrived.' 
Colchester having surrendered, no rallying place re- 
mained for the Eoyalist party in the east. In the 
north, Cromwell, who had conquered Hamilton, entered 
Scotland without opposition on the 20th of September ; 
the peasantry of the western counties rose in a body 
at the first report of his victory ; and, each parish 
under the conduct of its minister, marched towards 
Edinburgh in order to expel the loyalists. ^ Six miles 
from Berwick, at Lord Mordington's castle, Argyle, 
who had come to meet him, had a long conference 
with him ;^ both were far-sighted men, and their 
success had not made them blind to their perils. The 
Scottish Eoyahsts, powerful in spite of their defeat, 
and still in arms in many places, apjDcared determined 
not to succumb unresistingly to a sanguinary reaction, 
and a treaty was speedily concluded with them,* 
securing to them the undisturbed enjoyment of their 
possessions on condition that they should disband 
"^heir troops, abjure all their engagements in favour 
of the King, and again swear fidelity to that holy 
league which ought never to have ceased to be a 
bond of union between the two kingdoms. Thus 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 101. 

'^ This expedition was called in Scotland the insurrection of the 
" Whigamores," from the word " whigam," used by the peasants to 
urge on their horses while driving them. Thence the name of " Whigs " 
came afterwards to be given to the party in opposition, as represent- 
atives and heirs of the most zealous Scottish Covenanters. — Burnet's 
History of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 78. 

•' September 22. — Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1282. 

* September 26. — Burnet's Memoirs of the Hamiltons, p. 367 ; His- 
tory of his Own Times, vol. i. p. 64 ; Malcolm Laing's History of Scot- 
land, vol. iii. p. 405. 


reinstated in the possession of the government, Argyle 
and his party received Cromwell at Edinburgh with 
great pomp; the Committee of Estates, the mmii- 
cipal corporation, which had been either purged or 
re-elected, the fanatical clergy and populace over- 
whelmed liim every day with visits, harangues, 
sermons, and banquets ; but, urged by the reports of 
Henry Martyn, he retraced his steps towards England 
as speedily as possible/ leaving Lambert with two 
regiments to protect the newly-estabhshed govern- 
ment. He had hardly reached Yorkshire, where 
he appeared to be solely occupied in dispersing the 
remains of the insurrection, before numerous petitions 
were sent from that county, all addressed to the 
Commons only, demanding prompt justice on the 
delinquents, whatever might be their rank or name. 
At the same time, similar petitions arrived from other 
counties, and were always presented or supported by 
Cromwell's friends.^ The Presbyterians opposed tliis 
movement in the name of the Great Charter and the 
laws of the kingdom. "Mr. Speaker," said Dennis 
Bond, an obscure Republican, "we have had many 
doctrines preached here by several gentlemen against 
the power of this House ; such as that we cannot try 
my Lord of Norwich but by his peers, because it is 
against Magna Charta; but I trust ere long to see 
the day when we may have power to hang the 
greatest lord of them all, if he deserves it, without 
trial by his peers ; and I doubt not but we shall have 

' October 11.— raishworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 121)5, 12L>6. 
'^ October 10 and November 6. 


honest, resolute judges to do it, notwithstanding 
Magna Charta."^ The House rejected the petitions ; 
but others immediately followed, of a still more ex- 
plicit and formidable character, for they came from the 
regiments of Treton, Ingoldsby, Fleetwood, Wlialley, 
and Overton, and formally demanded of the Commons 
that justice should be done on the King ; at the same 
time requiring of Fairfax the re-establishment of the 
general council of the army " to consider of some effec- 
tual remedies to existing evils, either by representing 
the same to the House of Commons, or in such way 
as your Excellency with your council shall think fit."^ 
Accordingly the council resumed its sittings, and on 
the 20th of November, the Speaker informed the 
House that officers were at the door, with Colonel 
Ewers at their head, who had come in the name of 
the General and the army to present a memorial. It 
was a long Remonstrance, similar to that which the 
Commons themselves had sent to the King on that very 
day seven years before,^ in order to break effectually 
with him. Following their example, the army in tliis 
paper enumerated all the grievances and all the fears 
of England, imputed them to the irresoluteness of the 
Parliament, to their forgetfulness of public interests, 
and their negociations with the King; and it called 
upon them formally to deliver him over to justice, to 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1040 — 1042 ; Rushworth, 
part iv. vol. ii. p. 1318 ; Whitelocke, p. 346. 

^ October 18 and 30. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1056, 
1077 : Piushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1297, 1311 ; Whitelocke, p. 343 5 
Journals of the House of Commons. 

3 November 21, 1641. 


proclaim the sovereignty of the people, to decree that 
the King should, for the future, be elected by its repre- 
sentatives, to bring their own session to a close, to 
provide before they separated for the equal distribu- 
tion of tlie right of suffrage, for the regular holding 
of future parliaments, and for all reforms desired by 
godly men ; and it finally threatened, though in dis- 
guised language, that it would itself save the country, 
if it continued any longer to be compromised by the 
neglect or feebleness of men who were after all, like 
the soldiers, the mere delegates and servants of their 

As soon as this was read, a violent tumult arose in 
all parts of the House ; Scott, Holland, Wentworth, 
and the Independents loudly demanded that the army 
should be instantly thanked for its frank and cou- 
rageous counsels. The Presbyterians, some indig- 
nantly, others in terms complimentary to the ofiicers, 
urged the House to reject the Remonstrance, and, as a 
mark of its displeasure, to abstain from replying to it.^ 
This expedient suited the timid as well as the brave ; 
it was carried by a great majority — one hundred and 
twenty-five votes against fifty-three —after two debates, 
held on the 20th and 29th of November. But the 
day was come when victories seemed only to precipitate 
an ultimate defeat : excitement and confusion were at 
their height at Westminster, both within doors and 
without ; the approaching return of Cromwell was 

' Pai'liameutary History, vol. iii. cols. 1077 — 1128 ; Whitelocke 
p. 365. 

* Mercurius Pragmaticus, No. 3o. 


now spoken of;^ already had the army declared its 
intention to march on London.^ The Royalists, 
losing all hope, now thought only of avenging them- 
themselves upon their enemies by any means they 
could command. Several Republican members were 
insulted and attacked in the streets.^ Warnings were 
sent to Pairfax, even from France, that the Cavaliers 
had resolved to assassinate him at St. Albans :^ at 
Doncaster, a band of twenty men carried off Rains- 
borough, the governor of the town, and three of 
them stabbed him at the moment when he was 
attempting to escape -^ report even stated that a 
plot was on foot for massacring eighty of the most 
influential members, as they left the House ;* and, 
lastly, in the midst of this general anarchy, tidings 
successively arrived, first, that in two days, that 
is, on the 2nd of December, Cromwell would be at 
head-quarters; then, that in the Isle of Wight, the 
governor, Hammond, having been suspected of too 
great leanings towards the King and the Parliament, 
had,. on the 25th of November, received orders from 
Fairfax to quit his post, to return to the army, and to 
surrender to Colonel Ewers the charge of the King \^ 
that Charles, on learning this, had been seized with fear, 
extended his concessions, and closed the conferences at 

' Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1320. 

* Whitelocke, p. 358 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1137 — 1141. 
^ Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1279 ; Whitelocke, p. 339. 

* Ibid, part iv. vol, ii. p. 1280. 

'"* October 29. — Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. vi. p. 122 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 346 ; Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1315. 

* Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1279 ; Whitelocke, p. 33.). 
^ Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1133 — 1137. 


Newport ; and that, on the same day, the 28th of 
November, the Commissioners had set out on their 
return to the Parliament, bearing with them his 
definite offers. 

In fact, they arrived on the next day, almost all of 
them dee]Dly affected by the peril in which they had 
left the King, and by his last farewell. " My lords," 
he said, " I believe we shall scarce ever see each other 
again ; but God's will be done. I have made my 
peace with Him, and shall undergo without fear, 
whatever He may suffer them to do with me. My 
lords, you cannot but know, that in my fall and ruin, 
you see your own, and that, also, near you. I pray God 
send you better friends than I have found. I am fully 
informed of the carriage of those who plot against me 
and mine ; but nothing affects me so much as the feeling 
I have of the sufferings of my subjects, and the mis- 
chief that hangs over my three kingdoms, drawn upon 
them by those who, upon pretences of good, violently 
pm*sue theii' own interests and ends,"' The report of 
the Commissioners was received on the 1st of Decem- 
ber, and although the new concessions of the King 
differed little from those which they had so often 
rejected, yet the Presbyterians immediately proposed 
to the House that they should be declared satisfactory, 
and sufficient to serve as a basis for peace. The motion 
was even supported by Nathaniel Piennes, son of Lord 
Say, and formerly one of the most impetuous of the 
leaders of the Independent party. The debate had 
lasted for several hours, when information reached the 

' Works of King Charles the Martyr, p. 424. Loudon, IG62. 


House, of a letter which had been sent by Fairfax to 
the Common Council, to announce that the army was 
on its march towards London. " Question ! question !" 
immediately shouted the Independents, eager to profit 
by the alarm excited by this intelligence ; but, contrary 
to their expectations, and spite of all their efforts, the 
debate was adjourned to the next day/ It was resumed 
with greater vehemence than ever, amidst the move- 
ments of the troops, which were pouring in on all sides, 
and taking up their quarters at St. James's Palace, at 
York House, and all around the Parliament and the 
City. The Independents still expected that they 
would succeed in consequence of the terror of their 
opponents. " By this debate," said Vane, " we shall 
soon guess who are our friends and who our enemies ; 
or, to speak more plainly, we shall understand, by the 
carriage of this business, who are the King's party in 
the House, and who are for the people." " Mr. Speaker," 
was the spirited reply of a member, whose name is not 
known, " since this gentleman has had the presump- 
tion to divide the House into two parts, I hope it 
is as lawful for me to take the same liberty in dividing 
the House likewise into two parts upon this debate. 
Mr. Speaker, you will find some that are desirous of 
peace and a settlement, and those are such as have lost 
by the war ; others you will find that are against 
peace, and those are such as have gained by the war. 
My humble motion, therefore, is this, that the gainers 
may contribute to the losers, that we may all be 
brought to an equal degree, for, till then, the balance 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. coLs. 1143 — 1145. 


of the Commonwealth will never stand right toward a 
settlement." The Independents protested, but with 
great embarrassment; for, on both sides, personal 
interests exerted an influence which they themselves 
could hardly venture to deny. Rudyard, Stephens, 
Grimstone, Walker, Prideaux, Wroth, Scott, Corbet, 
and many others, alternately supported and opposed 
the motion, and still the debate did not appear likely 
to terminate. Day declined; several members had 
already retired ; an Independent proposed that candles 
should be lighted, and the sitting be continued. 
" Mr. Speaker," said a Presbyterian, " I perceive very 
well that the drift of some gentlemen is to take 
advantage not only of the terror now brought on us 
by the present approach of the army, but also to spin 
out the debate of this business to an unseasonable 
time of night, by which means the more ancient 
members of the House (whom they look upon as most 
inclined to peace) will be tired out and forced to 
depart before we can come to a resolution, and there- 
fore, I hope the House will not agree to this last 
proposal ;" and notwithstanding the clamours of the 
Independents, the debate was again adjourned.* 

The next day but one,^ when the sitting began, an 
untoward rumour agitated the House. The King, it 
was said on all sides, had been removed from the Isle 
of Wight during the night, in spite of his resistance, 
and conveyed to Hurst Castle, a sort of prison, situated 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1145 — 1147 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, 
p. 115. 

* December 4. —The debate was not continued on the 3rd, because 
it was Sunday. 

VOL. II. 2 c " 


on the coast opposite the island, at the extremity of a 
barren, deserted, and unhealthy promontory. The 
Independent leaders, though vehemently urged to 
explain, remained silent. The sitting commenced ; the 
Speaker read letters from Major Rolph, addressed to 
the House, from Newport, where Rolph had taken the 
command in the absence of Hammond. The rumour 
was confirmed, and, contrary to the inclination of the 
Parliament, all relations between the King and the 
Parliament were henceforth rendered impossible.^ 

On the 29th of November, towards evening, some 
hours after the conferences at Newport had closed, 
and the Commissioners had left, a man in disguise told 
one of the King's servants, "that the army would that 
night seize upon the King's person." Charles imme- 
diately sent for the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of 
Lindsey, and Colonel Edward Cook, an officer in his 
confidence, and entreated them to take means to verify 
the report. In vain did they attempt to obtain 
information from Major Eolph; he gave only short 
and obscure repHes : " You may assure the King from 
me, that he may rest quietly for this night, for on my 
life, he shall have no disturbance this night." Cook 
offered to mount his horse, to ride along the coast, 
and to go to Carisbrooke, where the troops, it was 
said, had arrived, m order that he might himself 
see what had happened. The night was dark, the 
rain violent, the enterprise dangerous ; the King 
hesitated to accept such a service ; Cook insisted, and 
went. He found that the garrison at Carisbrooke had 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1147, 1148. 


been reinforced ; ten or twelve officers had lately ar- 
rived ; Captain Bowerman, who was in command, was 
almost openly guarded ; everywhere an air of mystery 
and agitation prevailed. He returned as quickly as 
possible, to convey this information to the King, and 
arrived at Newport about midnight. On his return, 
he found the house occupied by the King surrounded 
by guards ; there were soldiers under every window, 
and even inside the house up to the very door of the 
room in which the King slept, into which the smoke 
from their pipes penetrated through every crevice. 
Doubt was no longer possible ; the two lords conjured 
the King to attempt an escape that very hour, at all 
hazards. This advice was displeasing to the timid gra- 
vity of Charles ; he alleged the difficulty of the attempt, 
and the irritation which it would produce in the army. 
"Nay," he added, "what if the army should seize me, 
they must preserve me for their own sakes, for no party 
could secure their own interest without joining mine 
with it." The Earl of Lindsey replied, " Take heed, 
sir, lest you fall into such hands as will not steer by 
such rules of policy. Remember Hampton Court, 
where your escape was your best security." Rich- 
mond asked Cook how he passed to and fro ; Cook 
answered, he had the word. The duke asked whether 
he could pass him too ; he answered, he made no 
question but he could. Richmond put on a trooper's 
cloak ; they went out, passed through all the posts, 
and returned without hindrance. The two lords., who 
were standing before a window with the Kmg, 
passionately renewed their entreaties ; the colonel, 


drenched with rain, stood alone before the fire. " Ned 
Cook," said the King", suddenly turning towards him, 
*' what do you advise in this case ?" Cook hesitated, 
but answered, that his Majesty had his privy coun- 
cillors with him. " Ned, I command you to give me 
your advice," said the King. Cook begged leave that, 
after he had premised some particulars, he might ask 
his Majesty a question. The King told him to speak. 
" Suppose," said he, " I should not only tell your Ma- 
jesty that the army would very suddenly seize you, 
but, by concurring circumstances, fully convince your 
Majesty it would be so ; that I have the word, horses 
ready at hand, a vessel attending me, and hourly expect- 
ing me ; I am ready and desirous to attend you, and 
this dismal dark night seems as if it were suited for 
the purpose ; I can foresee no difficulty in the thing, 
which I suppose to be the true state of this case ; the 
only question now is, what will your Majesty do?" 
After a small pause, Charles pronounced this positive 
answer : " They have promised me, and I have pro- 
mised them, and I will not break first." . ..." I 
presume," said the colonel, "your Majesty intends, 
by those words they and them, the Parliament ; if so, 
the scene is now changed, your present apprehensions 
arising from the army." .... The King replied, 
however, he would not break his word, and bade 
him and the Earl of Lindsey good night ; and said 
he would go and take his rest as long as he could ; — 
" That, sir," replied Colonel Cook, " I fear me, will 
not be long." The King answered, " As God please." 
It was now almost one o'clock ; thev withdrew, and 


Charles went to bed. Eichmond alone remained with 

In the morning, just at break of day, the King, 
hearing a great knocking at his dressing-room door, 
sent the Duke of Eichmond to ask what it meant ; 
" who, inquiring who was there, was answered .... 
that there were some gentlemen from the army, very 
desirous to speak with the King ; which account the 
duke gave to the King. But the knocking increasing, 
the Kins commanded the duke to let them into the 
dressing-room ; but before the King could get out 
of his bed, the officers rushed into his chamber, 
with Lieutenant-Colonel Cobbett at their head, and 
abruptly told the King they had orders to remove 
him. * From whom ? ' said the King. They 
replied, * From the army.' The King asked whither 
he was to be removed ? They answered, ' To the 
castle.' The King asked, 'What castle?' again they 
answered, 'The castle.' 'The castle,' said the King, 
' is no castle ; I am well enough prepared for any 
castle, and requu'e them to name it.' After a short 
whisper together, they said, ' Hurst Castle.' The 
King replied that they could not name a worse, and 
then, turning to Cobbett, asked whether he was to 
have any servants with him. Cobbett replied, ' Only 
such as are most useful.' Charles named his two 
valets-de-chambre Harrington and Herbert, and Mild- 
may his esquire-carver. Eichmond went out to make 
preparations for breakfast, but before it was ready the 
horses had arrived. Cobbett told him they must go. 
The King entered the carriage without saying a word, 


taking Harrington, Herbert, and Mildmay with liim. 
Cobbett came to the door to get in, but Charles barred 
the way against him with his foot, and the door was 
immediately closed. They drove off, escorted by a de- 
tachment of cavalry ; a small vessel was awaiting them 
at Yarmouth ; the King embarked, and three hours 
after was shut up in Hurst Castle, denied all com- 
munication with any one outside the castle, confined 
in a room so gloomy, that lights were necessary at 
midday, and placed under the guard of Colonel Ewers, 
a far rougher and more exacting jailer than even 
Cobbett had been.' 

On hearing this news the Presbyterians gave ftdl 
vent to their indignation. " The House," they ex- 
claimed, " guaranteed to the King, during his sojourn 
at Newport, respect, security, and hberty ; it is dis- 
honoured and ruined if this insolent act of insubordi- 
nation be not decisively rebuked." They voted, 
therefore, that the King's imprisonment had taken 
place without the cognizance or consent of the House ; 
and the debate relative to peace was renewed with 
redoubled earnestness. It had already lasted more 
than twelve hours ; the night was far advanced ; 
although the assembly was still numerous, fatigue had 
begun to overmaster the zeal of the old and feeble, 
when a member rose, who was illustrious among the 
martyrs in the cause of public hberty, but who had not 
sat in the House for more than three weeks, — the same 

' Colonel Cook's Narrative iu Ilushworth, part iv. vol. ii. pp. 1344 — 
1348 : Herbert's Memoirs, pp. 79 — 91 ; Parliamentary History, vol. iii. 
cols. 1149 — 11.51 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol, vi. p. 202. 


Prynne who twelve years before had sustained a rough 
contest against the tyranny of Laud and the Court. 
He began his speech by denying the charge that he 
was a royal favourite. " To that charge," said he, " I 
return this short answer, — that all the royal favour I 
ever yet received from his Majesty or liis party was 
the cutting off my ears two several times, one after 
another, in a most barbarous manner ; the setting me 
upon three several pillories at Westminster and in 
Cheapside in a disgraceful manner, each time for two 
hours' space together; the burning of my licensed 
books before my face by the hand of the hangman ; 
the imposing of two fines of five thousand pounds 
apiece ; expulsion out of the Inns of Court and Uni- 
versit}^ of Oxford, and degradation in both ; the loss 
of ni}^ calling almost nine years' space ; the seizing of 
my books and estate ; above eight years' imprison- 
ment in several prisons — at least four of these years 
spent in close imprisonment at Caernarvon, in North 
Wales, and in the Isle of Jersey, where I was debarred 
the use of pen, ink, and paper, and all books almost 
but the Bible, without the least access of any friend, 

or any allowance of diet for my support Now if 

any member or old courtier whatever shall envy my 
happiness for being only such a royal or State favourite 
as this, I wish he may receive no other badges of 
royal favour from his Majesty, nor greater reward or 
honour from the Houses than I have done, and then 
I believe he will no more causelessly asperse or suspect 
me for being now a royal favourite, or apostate from 
the public cause." He continued speaking for several 


hours, minutely discussing all the propositions of the 
King, and all the pretensions of the army ; passing suc- 
cessively under review the different aspects presented 
by the condition of the Parliament and of the country ; 
grave without pedantry, pathetic yet self-possessed, 
evidently raised by the strength and disinterestedness 
of his conscience above the passions of his sect, the 
defects peculiar to his own character, and the ordinary 
intellectual level of his mind. Alluding in the course 
of his speech to the arguments of the Eepublicans, he 
said, "They further object that, if we discontent the 
army by voting the King's answer satisfactory, we 
are undone ; they will all lay down their arms, as one 
commander of eminency hath here openly told you he 
must do, and serve us no longer ; and then what will 
become of us and all our faithful friends ? I answer, 
that I hope the army will not be so sullen as to desert 
or turn against us for voting what our consciences and 
judgments prompt us is most for theirs, ours, and the 
kingdom's safety, and that without hearing or scan- 
ning our debates : if they be, I shall not much value 
the protection of such inconstant, mutinous, and un- 
reasonable servants ; and I doubt not, if they desert 
us on so shght a ground, God himself and the whole 
kingdom will stand by us, who else, I fear, wiU both 
unanimously rise up against us, to oiu's and the army's 
destruction ; and if the King and we shall happily 
close upon this treaty, I hope we shall have no great 
need of their future services. However, Jiat justitia, 
mat caelum ; let us do our duty, and leave the issue to 
God." The House listened to this speech with the 


most earnest attention and the deepest emotion. It 
was now nine o'clock in the morning ; the sitting had 
lasted twenty-four hours ; two hundred and forty -four 
members were still present. At length the votes were 
taken, and it was decided by one hundred and forty 
voices against one hundred and four that the King's 
concessions were sufficient grounds for settling the 
peace of the kingdom.' 

The Independents were rapidly losing their sway ; 
even the resources supphed by fear were exhausted ; all 
the members who could be reached by any such impres- 
sion had either yielded or departed to a distance. In 
vain did Ludlow, Hutchinson, and some others, in 
order to embarrass the House, demand permission to 
enter a protest against their decision. Their wishes 
were repulsed as contrary to the usages of the House, 
which scorned the obnoxious notoriety which these 
members hoped would prove so formidable to its popu- 
larity.^ After the rising of the House, the leaders 
of the party held a meeting together ; a great number 
of officers, who had that morning arrived from head- 
quarters, joined them. Their cause was in imminent 
danger ; but so long as they were masters of the army, 
they had a power in their hands which could defy all 
perils ; strong in their sincere fanaticism or ambitious 
aims, neither institutions, customs, nor laws, awed them 
any longer; anxiety to rescue their righteous cause 
rendered them regardless of men — necessity suspended 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1151 — 1240; Cleraent Walker's 
History of Independency, part. ii. p. 15. 

* Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 116 ; Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 


their reverence for institutions. They agreed that the 
day was come ; and six of their number, tliree mem- 
bers of the House and three officers, were charged to 
take measures accordingly. They passed several hours 
together, with the list of members of Parliament on 
the table before them, discussing the sentiments and 
conduct of each member, comparing notes, and sending 
commands to their confidants. The next day, December 
6th, at seven o'clock in the morning, a body of troops 
was in motion, by order of Ireton, and before Fairfax 
was informed of their purpose. With Skippon's con- 
sent, the City train-bands, appointed for the guard 
of the Houses, had been withdrawn ; two regiments, 
one of infantry, under Colonel Pride, and one of 
cavalry, under Colonel liich, occupied Palace-yard, 
Westminster Hall, the staircase, the lobby, and all 
the approaches to the House. Pride had stationed 
himself at the very door of the House/holding in his 
hand the list of proscribed members, and by his side 
were Lord Grey of Groby and an usher, who were 
occupied in pointing out those members as they arrived. 
" You must not go in," said Pride to each of them ; and 
at the same time, he arrested and sent aw^ay in custody 
those who were most suspected. A violent tumult 
soon broke out all round the House ; the excluded 
members attempted to enter at other doors, asserted 
their rights, and claimed assistance from the soldiers, 
who only laughed and ridiculed. Some members, 
Prynne among the rest, obstinately resisted. " 1 will 
not stir," he said, " of my own accord :" and some 
officers pushed him insultingly down the stairs, de- 


lighted to enhance the triumph of power by the 
luxury of licensed brutaHty. Forty-one members were 
thus arrested and conveyed temporarily to two neigh- 
bouring courts ; many others were excluded, but not 
ajrested. Only two of those included in Pride's list, 
Stephens and Colonel Birch, succeeded in making 
their way into the House ; they were drawn to the 
door under false pretexts, and immediately seized by 
the soldiers. " Mr. Speaker," cried Birch, endeavour- 
ing to force his way back into the room, "will the 
House suffer their members to be pulled out thus 
violently before their faces, and yet sit still?" The 
House sent its sergeant-at-arms to the members out- 
side, to require them to come in and take their places. 
Pride would not suffer them to do so. The serjeant- 
at-arms was sent again ; but was not allowed to pro- 
ceed to them. The House determined that it would 
transact no business so long as those members were 
not restored to theii- seats, and appointed a committee 
to go immediately to the General, and demand their 
release. The committee had no sooner left than a 
message came from the army, presented by Lieut. - 
colonel Axtell and some officers ; they demanded the 
official exclusion of the arrested members, and of all 
those who had lately voted in favour of peace. The 
House did not reply, but awaited the result of the 
proceedings of their committee. The committee, on 
their part, brought back word that the General also 
refused to reply, till the House had adopted some 
resolution upon the message of the army. Meantime 
the excluded members had been taken from West- 


minster, and led from one quarter of London to 
another, from tavern to tavern, sometimes crowded 
into a few coaches, sometimes driven on foot through 
the m\id, surrounded by soldiers demanding payment 
of their arrears. Hugh Peters, the preacher, one of 
Fairfax's chaplains, came solemnly, sword by side, to 
take down their names, by order of the Greneral. When 
called upon by several of them to say by what right 
they were arrested, " By the power of the sword," he 
replied. They supplicated Colonel Pride to hear them, 
but he sent word " that he had other employment for 
the present, and could not wait upon them." At 
length Pau'fax and his council, who were sitting at 
Whitehall, promised them an audience; but after 
waiting several hours, three officers came to tell them 
that the General was too busy, and could not receive 
them. Some embarrassment seemed to be disguised 
under all this contempt; a meeting was evidently 
shunned ; it was feared that their indomitable stub- 
bornness might provoke the army to too great severi- 
ties. Notwithstanding the audacity of their acts and 
intentions, the dominant party themselves cherished 
in their inmost hearts a secret respect for ancient 
and legal order, though they were themselves hardly 
conscious of it. In drawing up their proscription 
list they had rigorously kept themselves within 
the limits of strict necessity, hoping that a single 
purge would suffice to establish their triumph. It 
was with uneasiness that they found the House ob- 
stinately resolved upon the restoration of its members, 
and their adversaries in possession of a powerful party, 


perhaps the majority. Hesitation, however, was im- 
possible ; they resolved to repeat the experiment. The 
next day, the 7th of December, troops a second time 
occupied all the avenues to the House; the same 
scene was repeated; forty more members were ex- 
cluded ; and some others were arrested in their own 
houses. They wrote to the House, indignantly 
demanding to be set at liberty : but this 'time the 
defeat of the Presbyterians was complete ; instead of 
replying to them, the House carried, by fifty votes 
against twenty-eight, a motion to take into considera- 
tion the proposals of the army. This minority retired 
of its own accord, protesting that they would not 
enter the House again until justice had been done to 
their colleagues. Thus, after the expulsion of a 
hundred and forty- three members, most of whom were 
either not arrested, or were released from their con- 
finement one by one without any stir, the Eepubli- 
cans and the army at length saw themselves in full 
possession of power, both in Parliament and out of it.' 
From this day they met with no opposition ; no re- 
sistance ; not a single voice now remained to disturb 
the party in the intoxication of its victory ; its voice 
alone was heard, its acts alone were felt in the kingdom ; 
it might easil}' persuade itself that the whole nation 
either submitted to it, or approved of it. Accordingly, 
the enthusiasm of the fanatics was at its height. " On 
the 22nd of December," says Walker, " both juntoes of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1240 — 1249 ; Rushwortli, part iv. 
voLii. pp. 1.353—1356 ; Whitelocke, p. 360 ; Ludlow's ]\Iemoirs, p. 117 ; 
Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 331 ; Fairfax's Memoirs, p. 254 ; 
Clement Walker's History of Independency, part iv. p. 29, ot fe<i. 


four Lords and twenty Commons kept a mock fast at 
St. Margaret, Westminster, where Hugh Peters, the 
pulpit bufibon, acted a sermon before them. The sub- 
ject of his sermon was ' Moses leading the IsraeUtes 
out of Egypt,' which he applied to the leaders of this 
army, whose design is, ' to lead the people out of 
Egyptian bondage. But how must this be done ? that 
is not yet revealed unto me,' quoth Hugh ; and then, 
covering his eyes with his hands, and laying down his 
head on the cushion, until the people faUing into a 
laughter awakened him, he started up and cried out, 
' Now I have it by revelation, now I shall tell you. 
This army must root up monarchy, not only here, but 
in France and other kingdoms round about ; this is to 
bring you out of Egypt ; this army is that corner-stone 
cut out of the mountain, which must dash the powers 
of the earth to pieces. But it is objected, the way we 
walk in is without precedent. What think you of the 
Virgin Mary? was there ever any precedent before 
that a woman should conceive a child without the 
company of a man ? This is an age to make examples 
and precedents in :' "^ and the people yielded themselves 
with transport to this mystical flattery. On the 7th of 
December, in the midst of this exultation, on the very 
day when the last remnants of the Presbyterian party 
were leaving the Commons, Cromwell returned to his 
place in the House. He repeatedly " declared that he 
had not been acquainted with this design ; yet, since it 
was done, he was glad of it, and would endeavour to 

' Walker's History of Independency, part ii. pp.49, 50; Parliamentary 
History, vol. iii. col. 1252. 


maintain it."' The House received him with the most 
flattering' expressions of gratitude. Official thanks 
were addressed to him, through the Speaker, for his 
Scottish campaign ; and on leaving the House, he took 
up his abode in Whitehall, in the same apartments 
that the King had formerly occupied.^ The next day, 
the army took possession of the money-chests of the 
different committees, being compelled, as they said, to 
provide for their own necessities, in order that they 
might no longer be a burden to the country.^ Three 
days after, on the 11th of December, they sent to 
Fairfax a plan of republican government, drawn up, 
it is said, by Ireton, under the title of " A new Agree- 
ment of the People," and invited him to bring it 
under discussion in the general council of officers, who 
would afterwards present it to the Parliament.* Mean- 
while, without troubhng themselves to ask for the con- 
sent of the Lords, the Commons repealed all the acts 
and votes that had recently been passed in favour of 
peace, and which would have obstructed the revolu- 
tion.^ Finally, petitions were again sent in, demand- 
ing that justice should be done on the King, who alone 
was guilty of so much bloodshed,^ and a detachment 
of soldiers was sent from head-quarters with orders to 
bring him from Hurst Castle to Windsor. 

' Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 117. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1246 ; Clement Walker's His- 
tory of Independency, part ii. p. 34 ; Whitelocke, p. 360. 

* Eushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1356. 

* Ibid., pp. 1358, 1365. 

^ December 12 and 13. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. cols. 1247 — 
' liiishworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1372. 


At midnight, on the 1 7th of December, Charles was 
awakened by the noise of the lowering of the draw- 
bridge, and by the entrance of a troop of soldiers into 
the castle-yard. Silence was speedily restored, but 
Charles was uneasy; before day -break he rang for 
Herbert, who was sleeping in an adjoining room. 
Charles asked if he heard the noise about midnight ? 
Herbert said that he had, also the falling of the draw- 
bridge, but that he would not venture out at such a 
time of night without his Majesty's order. The King 
bade him go and learn what the matter was. "Mr. 
Herbert speedily returning to his Majesty, told him it 
was Major Harrison that came so late into the castle." 
" Are you sure it was Major Harrison ?" said the King. 
" May it please your Majesty," said Mr. Herbert, 
" Captain Reynolds told me so." " Then I beheve it," 
said the King; "but did you see Major Harrison?" 
" No, sir," said Mr. Herbert. " Would not Captain 
Reynolds," said the King, " tell you what the major's 
business is?" Mr. Herbert replied, he did what he 
could to be informed, but all he could then learn from 
the captain was, that the occasion of Harrison's coming 
would be known speedily. The King said no more, 
but bade him attend in the next room, and went to 
prayer. In less than an hour, the King opened the 
bedchamber door, and beckoned to Mr. Herbert to 
come in, and make him ready. Mr. Herbert was in 
some consternation to see his Majesty so much discom- 
posed, and wept, which the King observing, asked him 
the meaning of it. Mr. Herbert replied, " Because I 
perceive your Majesty so much troubled and concerned 


at the news I brought." " I am not afraid," said the 
King ; " but do not you know that this is the man who 
intended to assassinate me, as by letter I was informed 
during the last treaty ? To my knowledge I never saw 
the Major, though I have oft heard of him, nor ever 
did him injury. ... I wonld not be surprised, this is 
a place fit for such a purpose. Herbert ! I trust to 
your care ; go again and make further inquiry into 
the business." Herbert returned more cheerful tliis 
time, having learnt that the Colonel intended to con- 
duct the King to Windsor, in three days at latest, 
of which he hastened to inform Charles ; and Charles 
himself was pleased with the intelligence, inferring 
from it that the army were becoming more tractable. 
'' Windsor," he said, '* was a place he ever dehghtecl in, 
and would make amends for what he had suffered at 

Two days after this, Lieutenant-Colonel Cobbett 
came and told his Majesty that he had received orders 
for his immediate removal to Windsor Castle, and that 
Harrison had already returned thither. Charles, so 
far from complaining, wished to hasten his departure. 
Three miles from Hurst, he was met by a body of 
cavalry, with orders to convey him to Winchester. 
On his arrival at every station in his journey, he was 
surrounded by a numerous crowd of gentlemen, citizens, 
and peasants ; some had come merely from curiosity, 
and left as soon as they had seen him, others were 
deeply afiected, and followed him with prayers for his 
preservation and Hberty. Wlien he arrived at Win- 
chester, the mayor and aldermen met him, and, observ- 

voL. II. :2 D 


ing the usual custom, delivered to him the mace and 
the keys of the city, and presented him with an address 
full of affection. But Cobbett abruptly appearing while 
this was going on, told them " That the Parliament had 
voted no more addresses to the King on pain of high 
treason ; and that by this address they made to him, 
they were within the danger of being traitors." The 
mayor and his colleagues, alarmed by tliis threat, humbly 
asked pardon, protested that they were not aware of 
the vote of the Parliament, and begged Cobbett to 
excuse them to the House. On the next day, the King- 
resumed his journey. Between Alresford and Farnham, 
they found another body of cavalry drawn up in order, 
appointed to relieve the detachment that had hitherto 
escorted the King. It was commanded by an officer 
of prepossessing appearance, gallantly mounted and 
armed ; a velvet cap was on his head, a new buff- 
coat upon his back, and a crimson silk scarf about his 
waist, richly fringed. Charles was struck by his ap- 
pearance, as he passed by him at a leisurely pace, and 
gave him a respectful salute, which he returned. On 
rejoining Herbert, he asked the name of the officer, 
and being told it was Major Harrison, the King viewed 
him more narrowly, and fixed his eyes so steadily upon 
him, that the Major was abashed, and fell back to his 
troop sooner than probably he intended. The King 
said, " He looked like a soldier, and that his aspect was 
good, and not such a one as was represented; and 
that, ha\'ing some judgment in faces, if he had observed 
him so well before, he should not have harbom'ed 
that ill opinion of him." That evening, when the 


cavalcade stopped for the night at Farnham, the King 
perceived the Colonel in a corner of the room, and 
beckoned to him to approach. Harrison obeyed 
deferentially and modestly, with an air at once rough 
and retiring. "The King then taking him by the 
arm, drew him aside towards the window, where for 
half an hour or more they discoursed together; and, 
amongst other things, the King reminded him of the 
information concerning him, which, if true, rendered 
him an enemy in the worst sense to his person. To 
which the Major in his vindication assured his Majesty 
that what was so reported of him was not true ; what 
he had said he might repeat, ' that the law was equally 
obliging to great and small, and that justice had no 
respect to persons,' or words to that purpose, which his 
Majesty finding affectedly spoken, and to no good end, 
he left off further communication with him, and went 
to supper," without, however, appearing to attach to 
his words any unpleasant meaning. 

He was to reach Windsor the next day. On leavuig 
Farnham, he declared that he would stop at Bagshot, 
and dine in the forest at the house of Lord Newburgh, 
one of his most faithful Cavaliers. Harrison dared not 
refase, though so much eagerness inspired him with 
suspicion. His fears were well founded. Lord New- 
bm-gh, who was a great breeder of horses, had one 
which had the reputation of being the swiftest in all 
England. A long time before, when secretly corre- 
sponding with the King, he had entreated him, on his 
journey, "to disable the horse which he was riding, 
and had promised to give him one with which it 

2 D 2 


would be easy to escape suddenly from his escort, and 
to baffle the most active pursuit in the byroads of 
the forest, with which the King was well acquainted. 
Charles, in fact, on the road from Farnham to Bagshot, 
repeatedly complained of his horse, and said that he 
would change it. But no sooner had he arrived than 
he learned that the horse on which he counted had, 
on the previous day, received so severe a kick in the 
stable that it was unfit for use. Lord Newburgh was 
greatly distressed at the circumstance, and offered 
others to the King, which, he said, were excellent, 
and would fuUy answer his purpose. But, even with 
the fleetest horse, the attempt would have been 
perilous, for the cavalry escorting him constantly kept 
very near the King, and aU of them had loaded pistols 
in their hands. Charles at once gave up the idea 
of running such a risk; and, when he reached 
Windsor that evening, he was so delighted to return 
to one of his own palaces, to occupy his accustomed 
room in it, and to find all things prepared to receive 
him almost in the same manner as in the times when 
he was wont to come, with his Court, to visit that 
beautiful retreat, that, far from experiencing any 
melancholy forebodings, he almost forgot that he was 
a prisoner.^ 

On the same day, the 23rd of December, almost at 
the same hour, the House of Commons voted that he 
should be brought to trial, and appointed a committee 
to draw up the impeachment. Notwithstanding the 

' Herbert's Memoirs, pp. 93 — 104 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebel- 
lion, vol. vi. p. 223 ; Rnsbworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1375 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 3G5. 


small number of members present, several voices were 
raised against the measure : some demanded that they 
should limit themselves to deposing the King, as had 
been formerly done in the case of some of his prede- 
cessors ; others, though they did not openly express 
their wish, would have liked to dispose of him secretly, 
so as to gain the advantage of his death without 
incurring its responsibility. But the daring free- 
thinkers, the sincere enthusiasts, and the rigid Eepub- 
licans, wished for a solemn, public trial, which should 
at once prove their strength and proclaim their 
authority.^ Cromwell alone, who was more bent 
upon hastening the trial than any one else, yet 
disguised his wishes by hypocritical expressions. " If 
any one," he said, "had moved this upon design, 
I should think him the greatest traitor in the world ; 
but since Providence and necessity have cast it upon 
us, I pray God to bless our counsels, though I am 
not prepared on the sudden to give my advice."^ By 
one of those strange but invincible scruples by which 
iniquity is unmasked at the very time when it is 
most anxious to disguise itself, the Commons, in order 
that they might not bring the King to trial without the 
existence of some law on the authority of which they 
might condemn him, voted the principle that it was 
treason on his part to make war against the Par- 
liament ;■'' and, on the motion of Scott,* an ordinance 

' Whitelocke, j). 364 ; Clareudou'hi History of the Rebelliou, vol. vi. 
p. 225. 

^ Walker's History of ludependency, part ii. p. 54. 

•' January 2. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1263. 

■* Walker's History of Independency, part ii. p. 55, 


was immediately adopted, by which a High Court was 
constituted and appointed to try him.^ One hundred 
and fifty commissioners were to compose it, namely, 
six peers, three chief justices, eleven baronets, ten 
knights, six aldermen of London, and all the influential 
men belonging to the Independent party, in the array, 
the House of Commons, and the City, except St. John 
and Vane, who formally declared that they disapproved 
of the measure, and would not have any share in it. 
When, on the 2nd of January, the ordinance was pre- 
sented to the Upper House for sanction, some inde- 
pendence once more appeared in that assembly, though 
it had been hitherto so servile, that it seemed to have 
consented to be treated as a nonentity. " There is no 
Parliament without the King," declared Lord Man- 
chester, "therefore the King cannot commit treason 
against Parliament." " It has pleased the Commons," 
said Lord Denbigh, "to put my name to their ordi- 
nance, but I would be torn to pieces rather than take 
part in so infamous a business." " I do not like," said 
the aged Earl of Pembroke, "to meddle with aflairs 
of life and death; and for my part I shall neither 
speak against the ordinance, nor consent to it ;" 
and the twelve Lords who were present rejected it 
unanimously.^ The Commons, receiving no message 
from the Lords on the following day, despatched two 
of their members to the Upper House to fetch its 
journals,^ and to learn how then- ordinance had been 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. i2ii4. 
^ Ibid. col. 126«. 
^ Ibid. 


received. On learning their decision/ they immedi- 
ately voted that the opposition of the Lords should not 
check their proceedings ; that the people were, under 
Grod, the origin of all just power ; that the Commons 
of England, in Parliament assembled, being chosen by 
and representing the people, had the supreme power 
in the nation ; and by another ordinance,^ the High 
Court of Justice was instituted in the name of the 
Commons alone, reduced to one hundred and tliirty- 
hve members,^ and ordered to assemble without 
delay in order to make the necessary arrangements 
preliminary to the trial. Accordingly they met 
secretly for this purpose on the 8th, 10th, 12th, 
13th, 15th, 17th, 18th, and 19th of January, under the 
presidency of John Bradshaw, a cousin of Milton, and an 
eminent barrister ; a man of grave and gentle manners, 
but of narrow and bigoted mind; a sincere though 
ambitious fanatic, incHned in some degree to avarice, 
but ready to give his life in defence of his opinions. 
Such was the public agitation that uncontrollable dis- 
sensions broke out even in the midst of the Court ; 
no summons, no effort could succeed in bringing to- 
gether more than fifty-eight members at the pre- 
paratory meetings. Fairfax came to the first meeting, 

' January 4. 

* January 6. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1257. 

^ The refusal of the six peers and three chief justices had z-educed 
the original number of commissioners to 141. To these were added 
two lawyers, Bradshaw and Nicholas, which made it 143. But yet 
the second ordinance contained only 135 names ; there were doubtless 
withdrawals or omissions of which no explanation was given. Alder- 
man Rowland Wilson, for example, refused to take part in the trial, and 
his name is not found in the second hst.— Whitelocke, p. 30(3. 


and did not again make his appearance. And even 
among those who were present, some only came in 
or 'er to testify then- disapproval ; this was the coui'se 
taken by Algernon Sidney, among others, who, though 
then young, nevertheless had great influence in the 
republican party. He had for some time lived in 
retirement at Penshurst Castle, the seat of his father, 
the Earl of Leicester ; but when he heard that his 
name had been included in the list of commissioners 
constituting the High Court, he immediately set out 
for London ; and at the sittings of the 1 3th, 1 5th, 
and 19th of January, although the question seemed 
settled, he opposed the trial with all the energy he 
could command. He especially dreaded that the 
people might conceive an aversion for the Kepublic^ 
and might perhaps even, by a sudden insurrection, 
rescue the King and destroy all chance of its establish- 
ment. When this was represented to Cromwell, he 
replied, " I tell you we will cut off" his head with the 
crown upon it." " You may take your own course," 
replied Sidne}^, " I cannot stop you, but I will keep 
myself clean from having any hand in this business ;" 
and he immediately left the room, and did not again 
return.^ The Court now consisted of only those mem- 
bers who acquiesced in their mission, and merely busied 
itself in arranging the form of the trial. John Coke, 
a barrister of some repute and an intimate friend of 
Milton, was appointed SoHcitor - General, and, as 
such, was to act as spokesman to the Court both in 

' Sidney Papers, edited by Bleacowe, p. 237 ; Godwin's History of 
the Commonwealth, voL ii. p. GfiO. 


drawing up the iDclictment and in the course of the 
proceedings. Elsynge, who had, up to this time, been 
Clerk of the House of Commons, retired from his 
office under the plea of illness, and Henry Scohell was 
appointed to succeed him. It was carefully decided 
how many and what regiments should be on service 
during the course of the trial ; where sentinels should 
be posted, and some were even to be placed oil the 
leads, wherever there was any window to admit light 
into the room ; what barriers should be erected to keep 
the people at a distance not only from the tribunal 
but also from the soldiers. It was at length appointed 
that the King should appear before the Court on the 
20th of January, at Westminster Hah ; and as early 
as the 17th, as if his condemnation had been already 
pronounced, the Commons appointed a committee 
to go through all the palaces, castles, and residences 
of the King, to draw up an exact inventory of his 
furniture, which was henceforth to be the property of 
the Parliament.^ 

When Colonel Whichcott, the governor of Windsor, 
informed the King that, in a few days, he would be 
removed to London, — " God is everywhere," answered 
Charles, "alike in wisdom, power, and goodness."^ 
The news, however, struck him Avith sudden and 
marked uneasiness. For three weeks, he had been 
living in the strongest sense of security, rarely and 
imperfectly aware of the resolutions of Parliament^ 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 12.')9 ; State Trials, vol. iv. 
col. 1045—1067. 

^ Herbert's Memoirs, p. 108. 


rejoicing- himself Avith certain rumours that had 
reached him from Ireland, and which seemed to 
promise him speedy assistance, and displaying more 
confidence and light-heartedness than his servants had 
known him to exhibit for a long time. " I doubt 
not," he said, "but within six months, to see peace in 
England ; and, in case of their not restoring me, to be 
righted from Ireland, Denmark, and other places."^ He 
treated his proposed trial as a jest, saying tliat " he 
had yet three games to play, the least of which gave 
him hopes of regaining all."^ Lately, however, one 
circumstance had annoyed him. Until just before the 
close of his residence at Windsor, he had been treated 
and waited upon with all the etiquette proper to a 
Court ; he had dined, in public, in a chair of state, 
under a canopy ; the chamberlain, the esquire-carver, 
and the steward, had all performed their duty, accord- 
ing to the wonted forms ; the cup had been presented 
by the attendant on his knees ; the dishes were brought 
in covered ; the servants tasted them before presenting 
them ; and he had enjoyed, with dignified satisfaction, 
these respectful formalities. AU at once, on the recep- 
tion of a letter from head-quarters, a change had taken 
place : soldiers brought him his dishes uncovered ; 
they were not tasted; no one any longer presented 
him anything kneeling ; the customary compliment of 
a canopy was abolished. Charles felt the bitterest 
mortification at this, saying, " that the respect and 

' Whitelockc, p. 366. 

^ Godwin's History of the Commouwcultli, vol. ii. p. 661) ; Sidney 
Papers, edited by Bleucowe, p. 237. 


honour denied him, no sovereign prince had ever 
wanted, nor yet subjects of high degree, according to 
ancient practice Is there anything more con- 
temptible than a despised prince?" he asked ; and in 
order to avoid this insult, he determined to take liis 
meals in his own room, almost alone, liimself selecting 
two or three dishes out of the list presented to him.^ 

On Friday, the 19th of January, a body of cavahy 
appeared at Windsor, with Harrison at their head, 
with orders to remove the King. A carriage with six 
horses, was waiting in the castle-yard. Charles en- 
tered it, and, in a few hours, was again in London, at 
St. James's Pidace, everywhere surrounded by guards, 
with two sentinels at the very door of his bed-room ; 
Herbert was liis only attendant, and he slept by his 

On the next day, the 20th of January, when it was 
nearly noon, the High Court met first, privately, in the 
Painted Chamber, and settled the final details of 
their proceedings. The customary prayer had scarcely 
finished, when it was announced that the King had 
nearly arrived, carried in a sedan chair, and between 
two files of soldiers. Cromwell ran to the window, 
and soon returned, pale, but excited. " My masters," 
he said, " he is come ! he is come !....! desire 
you to let us resolve here what answer we shall give 
the King when he comes before us; for the first 
question that he will ask us will be, by what authority 

' Herbert's Memoirs, pp. 109 — 113. 

* Ibid. p. 109 ; Kusliworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1395 ; State Trials^ 
vol. V. col. lOlO ; Nutley's evitleuce oii Hamsnu's trial. 


and commission we do try him." To this, none 
answered immediately. Then, after a little space, 
Henry Martyn rose up, and said, " In the name of th^ 
Commons and Parliament assembled, and all the good 
people of England."^ No objection was raised; the 
Court proceeded in solemn procession to Westminster 
Hall ; Lord-President Bradshaw walked at their head ; 
the sword and mace were carried before him ; sixteen 
officers, armed with halberds, preceded the Court. 
The president took his place on a chair covered with 
crimson velvet ; at his feet, the clerk was seated at a 
table, with a rich Turkey cover, on which were placed 
the mace and the sword ; on his right and left were the 
members of the Court on seats of scarlet cloth ; at the 
two extremities were men-at-arms, a little in advance 
of the tribunal. As soon as the Court was duly seated, 
all the doors were opened, and a crowd of people 
rushed into the room : when silence was restored, the 
Act of the House of Commons, instituting the Court, 
was read, and the names were then called over ; sixty- 
nine members were present. " Mr. Sergeant," said 
Bradshaw, " bring in your prisoner."^ 

The King appeared under the guard of Colonel 
Hacker and thirty -two officers : an arm-chair, covered 

' State Trials, vol. v. col. 1201 ; Sir Purbeck Temple's evidence in 
Henry Martyn's trial. 

^ Most of the facts relating to this trial are taken from the two con- 
temporary accounts in the State Trials, vol. iii. cols. 989 — 1154. I here 
therefore refer to them once for all, and shall only give special re- 
ferences when the incidents mentioned in the text are derived from 
other sources. I have taken a great many facts, and those not the 
least characteristic, from the report of the trials of the regicides after 
the Restoration in 16<i(>. — State Trials, vol. v. cols. 947 — 1363. 


with crimson velvet, had been plax^ed for him at the 
bar; he advanced, gazed on the tribunal mth a ong 
and stern look, seated himself in the chan- without 
taking off his hat, suddenly rose again, looked behind 
Mm at the guard who stood on the left aiul a he 
crowd of spectators on the right of the hall, fixed his 
eyes once again on his judges, and then sat down, 
amidst universal silence. 

Bradshaw rose instantly, and said, " Charles Suart, 
Kin., of England : The Commons of England being 
deeply sensible of the calamities that have been brought 
upon this nation, which are fixed upon you as the 
piincipal author of them, have resolved to make 
inquisition for blood ; and, aoeording to that debt and 
duty they owe to justice, to God, the kingdom, and 
themselves, they have resolved to bring you to trial 
and judgment, and for that purpose, have consti- 
tuted this High Coui-t of Justice, before which you 
are brought." He then ordered the charges to be 

Coke, the Solicitor-aeneral. then rose up to speak. 
"Hold I hold!" said the King, touching him with 
his cane on the shoulder ; in doing so, the gold hesid 
dropped from the King's cane; a brief but most 
significant change passed over his features ; no one of 
hit servants was at hand to pick up the head for him ; 
he therefore stooped, took it up liimseH, and sat down. 
Coke read the bill of indictment which, after imputing 
to the King all the evils that had sprung from Ins 
tyranny, as well as those that had been caused by the 
war, demanded that he should be bound to answer to 


the charges, and that justice should be executed on 
liim as a tyrant, traitor, and murderer. 

While this was being read, the King still remained 
seated, and looked quietly about, sometimes at the 
judges, sometimes at the peoj)le ; once, for a moment, 
he rose, turned his back to the tribunal, and looked 
behind him, and then resumed his seat with an air 
of unconcerned cui'iosity. Only at the words which 
declared him to be '' a tyrant, traitor, and murderer," 
he smiled faintly, but said nothing. 

The charge having been read, Bradshaw addressed 
the King : *' Sir," he said, " you have now heard your 
charge. The Court expects your answer." 

The King. — "I would know by what power I am 
called hither; I was, not long ago, in the Isle of 
Wight, and there I entered into a treaty with both 
Houses of Parliament, with as much public faith as it 
is possible to be had of any people in the world ; and 
we were upon the conclusion of the treaty. Now I 
would know by what authority, I mean lawful — there 
are many unlawful authorities in the world, thieves 
and robbers by the highway — but I would know b}^ 
what authority I was brought from thence, and carried 
from place to place, and I know not what ; and when 
I know what lawful authority, I shall answer." 

Bradshaw. — "If you had been pleased to observe 
what was hinted to you by the Court at your first 
coming hither, you would have known by what 
authority ; which authority requires you, in the name 
of the people of England, of which you are elected 
king, to answer." 


The King. — " No, sir, I deny that." 

Bradsiiaw. — " If you acknowledge not the autho- 
rity of the Court, they must proceed." 

The King. — " I do tell them so ; England was never 
an elective kingdom, but an hereditary kingdom, for 
near these thousand years : therefore let me know by 
what authority I am called hither. Here is a gentle- 
man, Lieutenant-Colonel Cobbett, ask liim if he did not 
bring me from the Isle of Wight by force. I will 
stand as much for the privilege of the House of Com- 
mons, rightly understood, as any man whatsoever. I 
see no House of Lords here, that may constitute a 
Parliament,^ and the King, too, should have been in it. 
Is this the bringing of a King to his Parliament ?" 

Bradshaw. — " The Court expects you should give 
them a final answer. If you do not satisfy yourself, 
though we tell you our authority, we are satisfied with 
our authority, and it is upon God's authority and the 

The King. — " It is not my apprehension, nor your's 
either, that ought to decide it." 

Bradshaw. — " The Court hath heard you, and you 
are to be disposed of as they have commanded." 

The Court then adjourned till Monday, and the 
King was removed, attended by the same escort as 
he had when he entered. As he rose, he looked at the 
sword which was placed on the table. " I do not fear 
that," he said, pointing to it with his cane. As he 
descended the staircase, some voices were heard crying 
out " Justice ! Justice !" But most of the people 

' state Trials, vol. v. col. 1081 ; Nvitley's evidence against TJook. 


sliouted, " God save the King ! Grod save your Ma- 

When the Court resumed its sittings, on the follow- 
ing day, sixty-two members were present, and it was 
ordered that strict silence should be observed, under 
pain of imprisonment. The King, however, on his 
arrival, was received with loud acclamations. The 
same dispute was resumed with equal obstinacy on both 
sides. " Sir," said Bradshaw at last, " neither you nor 
any man are permitted to dispute that point ; you are 
concluded [overruled] ; j^ou may not demur to the juris- 
diction of the Court. The}'' sit here by the authority 
of the Commons of England, and all your predecessors 
and you are responsible to them." 

The King. — " I deny that, show me one prece- 

Bradshaw sate down in an angry manner : " Sir," 
said he, " we sit not here to answer your questions. 
Plead to your charge — guilty, or not guilty?"' 

The King. — " You never heard my reasons yet." 

Bradshaw. — " Sir, your reasons are not to be heard 
against the highest jurisdiction." 

The King. — " Show me that jurisdiction where 
reason is not to be heard." 

Bradshaw. — " Sir, we show it you here — the Com- 
mons of England. Sergeant, take away the prisoner." 

The King then tm-ned round to the people and said, 
" Remember that the King of England suffers, being 
not permitted to give his reasons, for the liberty of the 

■ State Trials, vol. v. col. 1086 ; in the trials of the regicides : espe- 
cially John Home's evidence against Cook. 


people." With that a great shout came from the 
people — " Grod save the King ! "^ 

On the next day, the 23rd of January, the same 
scenes were repeated : the sympathy of the people for 
the King became stronger every day ; in vain did the 
irritated officers and soldiers attempt to get up a 
counter cry of " Justice ! Execution !" The intimidated 
crowd were silent for a moment; but soon, on the 
occurrence of any new incident, they forgot their terror, 
and cries of " Grod save the King !" resounded from all 
sides. They were even heard in the ranks of the army. 
On the 23rd, as the King passed out on the rising of the 
Court, a soldier of the guard cried loudly, " Grod bless 
you, sir !" An officer struck him with his cane, on which 
the King remarked, that " the punishment exceeded the 
offence."^ At the same time representations came from 
abroad, not very formidable in their character, it is true, 
and often indeed not very urgent, but still sufficient to 
sustain the popular indignation. On the 3rd of 
January, the French minister forwarded to the Com- 
mons a letter from the Queen, Henrietta Maria, who en- 
treated permission to rejoin her husband, that she mio-ht 
endeavour to induce him to yield to their wishes, or 
minister consolation to him by her tenderness.^ The 
Prince of Wales wrote to Fairfax and the coimcil of 
officers, in the hope of awakening in their minds some 
sentiment of loyalty." The Scottish Commissioners 

' state Trials, vol. v. col. 1086 ; in the trials of the regicides ; espe- 
cially John Home's evidence against Cook. 
« Herbert's Memoirs, p. 118. 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebelhon, vol. vi. pp. 213, 214 
* Ibid. 

VOL. II. 2 E 


protested officially, in the name of that kingdom, 
against the whole proceedings.^ The announcement 
was received that an ambassador extraordinary from 
the States-General of Holland would speedily arrive, 
to interfere on behalf of the King. John Cromwell, 
an officer in the service of Holland, and cousin to 
Oliver, was already in London, overwhelming the Lieu- 
tenant-General with reproaches which almost amounted 
to threats.^ Proof impressions of a manuscript, en- 
titled " Royal Sighs," said to be the work of the King 
himself, and calculated to excite an insurrection in his 
favour were discovered and seized.^ On all sides, great 
obstacles, or new causes of excitement arose ; but 
these would certainly disappear, so the Republicans 
flattered themselves, as soon as the grand question 
was settled, although so long as it remained unde- 
cided, they daily increased the perils and embarrass- 
ments of their party. 

They accordingly resolved to release themselves at 
once from this position, to cut short all suspense, and 
not to allow the King to appear any more, except 
to receive his sentence. Whether from a lingering 
respect for legal forms, or that they might, if need 
were, produce new proofs of Charles's bad faith in his 
negociations, the Court employed the 24th and 25th 
of January in receiving the depositions of thirty-two 
witnesses. On the 25th, at the close of their sitting, 
almost without debate, they voted the condemnation 

' January 6 and 22. — Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1277 etseq. 
* Banks' Critical Review, p. 103 ; Mark Noble's Memoirs of the Pro- 
tectoral House, vol. i. p. CO et seg.; Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 119. 

•* The work known subsequently under the title of 'Elkw ^aa-iXiKrj. 


of the King as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and enemy 
to his country. Scott, Martyn, Harrison, Lisle, Say, 
Ireton, and Love, were appointed to draw up the 
sentence. Only forty-six members attended on that 
day. On the 26th, sixty-two members being present, 
the form of the sentence was debated and adopted, 
with closed doors. The Court adjourned till the next 
day before pronouncing judgment. 

At noon, on the 27th, after two hours' conference 
in the Painted Chamber, the sitting was opened, as 
usual, by calling over the names. At the name of 
Fairfax, a female voice in the gallery answered " that 
he had too much wit to be there." After a moment's 
surprise and hesitation,^ the reading of names was 
proceeded with: sixty-seven members were present. 
When the King entered the room, a \dolent cry of 
" Execution ! Justice ! Execution !" was raised. The 
soldiers were very energetic in their cries ; some of the 
officers who were in command, Axtell especially, en- 
couraged them to shout ; some scattered groups in 
different parts of the room joined in these clamours, 
but the crowd remained silent, terrified, and bewil- 

" Sir," said the King to Bradshaw, before sitting 
down, " I desire a word to be heard a httle, and I hope 
I shall give no occasion of interruption." 

Bradshaw. — " You may answer in your turn ; hear 
the Court first." 

The King. — "If it please you, sir, I desire to be 
heard. It is only in a word. A sudden judgment — " 

' state Trials, vol. v. cols. 114G— 1151 ; Axtell's trial. 

2 E 2 


Bradshaw. — " Sir, you shall be heard m due time ; 
but you are to hear the Court first/' 

The King. — "Sir, I desire — it will be in order to 
what I beHeve the Court will say. A hasty judgment 
is not so soon recalled." 

Bradshaw. — "Sir, you shall be heard before the 
judgment is passed. In the meantime you may for- 

On hearing this, an expression of serenity appeared 
once more on the King's countenance ; he sat down, 
and Bradshaw proceeded : — 

" Gentlemen," said he, " it is well known to you all 
that the prisoner at the bar hath been several times 
convened and brought before this Court to make 
answer to a charge of treason and other high crimes, 
exhibited against him, in the name of the people of 

"It's a lie ! not one -half of them !" exclaimed the 
same voice that had answered to the name of Fairfax. 
" Wliere are they or their consent ? Oliver Cromwell 
is a traitor !" 

The whole assembly was startled ; all eyes were 
tm*ned towards the gallery. "Down with the w — !" 
cried Axtell. " Shoot them." The speaker was found 
to be Lady Fairfax.^ 

General agitation now prevailed; the soldiers, 
though numerous and threatening, had great difficulty 
in suppressing it. At length order was somewhat 
re-estabhshed. Bradshaw then referred to the King's 

' State Trials, vol. v. col. 1150; Evidence of Sir Purbeck Temple; 
Whitelocke, p. 371, erroneously represents this to have taken place at 
the sitting of the 23rd of January. 


obstinate refusal to reply to the accusation, the noto- 
riety of the crimes imputed to him, and declared that 
the Court, although agreed as to the sentence, would 
yet consent to hear the prisoner's defence before they 
pronounced it, provided he would refrain from dis- 
puting its jurisdiction. 

" I desire," said the King, "that I may be heard 
by the Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber ; 
for it is not my person that I look on alone — it is the 
kingdom's welfare and the kingdom's peace." 

Intense agitation was caused in the Court and 
throughout the assembly by tliis speech. All, whether 
friends or enemies, were curious to learn what end the 
King could have in requesting this interview with the 
two Houses, and what he might have to propose to 
them. A thousand different reports were spread ; 
most persons seemed to think that he wished to abdi- 
cate the crown in favour of his son. But whatever it 
might be, the embarrassment of the Court was extreme. 
The Eepublican party, notwithstanding its triumph, 
did not feel itself in a position either to lose time or 
to run new risks ; even among the judges themselves, 
some hesitation was visible. In order to escape from 
the difficulty, Bradshaw maintained that the request 
of the King was only an artifice, to enable him to 
evade for a longer time the jurisdiction of the Coui't ; 
and a long and tedious debate arose on the subject. 
Charles continued with greater vehemence to insist on 
being heard ; but every time he did so, the soldiers 
around him became more tumultuous and abusive ; 
some lit their pipes and puffed the smoke in his face '> 


others complained in coarse terms of the length of 
the trial; Axtell laughed and joked aloud. In vain 
did the King turn round repeatedly towards them, 
and attempt by gesticulations or by speech to obtain 
a few moments of attention, or at least of silence ; 
they only answered him by cries of " Justice ! Exe- 
cution !" At length, almost beside himself with per- 
plexity, he exclaimed, in tones of passionate entreaty, 
" Hear me ! hear me !" The same cries were re- 
newed ;^ but an unexpected movement appeared among 
the ranks of the Court. Colonel Downs, one of the 
members, was struggHng to rise from his seat. Lawley 
and Colonel Wauton, who were sitting on each side of 
him, in vain attempted to restrain him. " Have we 
hearts of stone?" said he. "Are we men?" His 
friends remonstrated with him on the folly of his 
proceeding. " No matter, " replied Downs ; " if I die 
for it, I must do it." On hearing this, Cromwell, who 
was sitting beneath him, suddenly turned round, and 
vehemently asked, "Are you yourself? What do you 
mean that you cannot be quiet?" " Sir," rephed 
Downs, " I cannot be quiet ;" and he immediately 
rose and said to the President, " My lord, I am not 
satisfied to give my consent to this sentence, but have 
reasons to offer to you against it ; and I desire the 
Court may adjourn to hear me, and dehberate." " If 
any one of the Court," gravely answered Bradshaw, 
" be unsatisfied, the Court must adjourn;" and they 
all passed immediately into an adjoining room.^ 

' state Trials, vol. v. cols. 1150 — 1151. 
'' Ibid. col. 1213. 


They were no sooner there than Cromwell ronghl}'- 
addressed the Colonel, and charged him with the respon- 
sibility of the difficulty and embarrassment which he 
had brought upon the Court. Downs defended himself 
with agitation, urging that the proposals of the King 
might possibly prove satisfactory ; that, after all, what 
they had sought, and were still seeking, was good 
and solid guarantees ; that tliey ought not to refuse 
what the King wished to oiBTer without knowing what 
it was ; and that the least they owed him was to hear 
him, and to respect, in his person, the most ordinary 
rules of common justice. Cromwell listened to him 
with rude impatience, moving round him as he was 
speaking, and interrupting him whenever he could 
find an opportunity. When Downs had ended, 
he said " That now he saw what great reason the 
gentleman had to put such a trouble and disturb- 
ance upon them ; sure he doth not know that he hath 
to do with the hardest-hearted man that lives upon 
the earth. However, it is not fit that the Com't should 
be hindered from their duty by one peevish man. 
The bottom of all this is known — he would fain 
save his old master ;" and Cromwell desired the Court, 
without any more delay, to do their duty. In vain 
did Colonel Harvey and some others support Downs 
in his proposition ; the discussion was promptly stifled. 
At the end of half an hour, the Court resumed its 
sitting, and Bradshaw told the King that they had 
rejected his proposal.^ 

' State Trials, vol. v. cols. 1197, 1205, 1211, 1218; in the trials of 
Harvey, Robert Lilburne, Downs, and Wayte, and according to the 
account of the accused themselves. See also Whitelocke, p. 372. 


Charles seemed quite overcome, and could only 
feebly repeat his request. " If you have nothing 
more to say," said Bradshaw, " we shall proceed to 
sentence." " Sir, I have nothing more to say," replied 
the King ; " but I shall desire that what I have said 
may be registered." Bradshaw, without answering, 
told the King that he was now to hear his sentence. 
Before reading it, he addressed to the King a long 
discourse — a solemn apology for the Parliament's con- 
duct : he recounted all the faults of which the King 
had been guilty, and referred all the evils of the civil 
war to him alone, since his tyranny had rendered 
resistance a duty as well as a necessity. The language 
of the speaker was severe and bitter, but grave, pious, 
free from insult, and expressive of an evidently pro- 
found conviction, although mingled with something of 
a \'indictive character. The King listened to him 
without interruption, and with equal gravity. Still, as 
the discourse drew towards its close, visible agitation 
took possession of him ; and as soon as Bradshaw 
had finished speaking, he attempted himself to speak. 
Bradshaw w^ould not permit this, but ordered the clerk 
to read the sentence. Wlien it was finished, Brad- 
shaw said, " The sentence now read and published is 
the act, sentence, judgment, and resolution of the 
whole Court;" and the whole Court rose in token of 

" Sir," said the King, suddenly, " will you hear me 
a word?" 

Bradshaw. — " Sir, you are not to be heard after 


The King.— "No, sir?" 

Bradshaw. — " No, sir ; by your favour, sir. Guards, 
withdraw your prisoner !" 

The King. — " I may speak after sentence ; by your 
favour, sir, I may speak after my sentence, ever. By 
your favour — " 

" Hold !" said Bradshaw. 

" The sentence, sir — I say, sir, I do — I am not suffered 
to speak. Expect what justice other people will have !" 

At this moment, the soldiers surrounded him, re- 
moved him from the bar, and conveyed him with 
violence as far as the place where his sedan-chair was 
waiting for him. He had, while descending the stau'- 
case, to endure the grossest insults : some tlu-ew their 
lighted pipes before him as he passed ; others blew the 
smoke of their tobacco into his face; all shouted in 
his ears, "Justice! Execution!"^ Amid these cries, 
however, others were still to be heard occasionally 
from the people, " God save your Majesty ! God 
deliver your Majesty out of such enemies' hands!" 
And until he was seated in the chair, the bearers of it 
remained with their heads uncovered, notwithstanding 
the commands of Axtell, who even went so far as to 
strike them for their disobedience. They set out for 
Whitehall : on both sides, the way was hned with 

' State Trials, vol. v. col. 1151 ; Axtell's trial. In the trial of Augustus 
Garland, one of the judges, a witness stated that he had seen him spit 
in the face of the King at the foot of the staircase (ibid. col. 1215). 
Garland absolutely denied this, and the judges did not insist upon it. 
Neither does Herbert, who accompanied the king, refer to it. I do not 
therefore feel bound to regard it as authentic, although Warwick, who 
had from Bishop Juxon nearly all the details which he has inserted in 
his Memoirs, expressly affirmed it. — Memoirs, p. 291. 


troops ; before all the shops, doors, and windows, 
there were crowds of people, most of them silent, some 
weeping, some praying aloud for the King. The 
soldiers incessantly renewed their cries of " Justice ! 
justice ! Execution ! execution !" in order to celebrate 
their triumph. But Charles had recovered his wonted 
serenit}^ and, too haughty to believe in the sincerity of 
their hatred, he said as he came out of his chair, " Poor 
souls ! for a piece of money they would do so for their 

As soon as he reached Wliitehall, he said to Her- 
bert, " Hark ye ! my nephew the prince elector will 
endeavour to see me, and some other lords that love 
me : which I should take in good part ; but my time 
is short and precious, and I am desirous to improve 
it as best I may in preparation. I hope they will not 
take it ill that none have access now to me but my 
children. The best office they can do me is to pray 
for me." He then sent a request that his young 
children, the Princess Ehzabeth and the Duke of 
Gloucester, who remained under the care of the Par- 
hament, might come to him ; he also sent for Juxon, 
the bishop of London, whose assistance he had already 
obtained through the intervention of Hugh Peters. 
Both requests were granted. The next day, the 2Sth, 
the bishop came to St. James's, whither the King had 
just been transferred. When he first met the King 
again, he bm'st into uncontrollable lamentations. 
"Leave off tliis, my lord," said Charles, "we have 
not time for it ; let us think of our great work, and 

' State Trials, vol. iv. col. 1130.— Herbert's Memoirs, p. 118. 


prepare to meet that great God, to whom, ere long, I am 
to give an account of myself; and I hope I shall do it 
with peace, and that jou wiU assist me therein. We 
will not talk of these rogues, in whose hands I am ; 
they thirst after my blood, and they will have it ; and 
God's will be done ! I thank God I heartily forgive 
them, and I will talk of them no more." He passed 
the rest of the day in pious conference with the 
bishop : it was with great difficulty that he had 
obtained permission to be left alone in his room, 
in which Colonel Hacker had previously placed two 
soldiers; and, during Juxon's visit, the sentinel on 
guard before his door kept opening it every few 
minutes, in order to assure himself that the King was 
still there. As he had anticipated, his nephew the 
Prince Elector, the Duke of Eichmond, the Marquis 
of Hertford, the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, 
and some others of his oldest adherents, came with the 
hope of seeing him, but they were not admitted. 
Mr. Seymour, a gentleman in the service of the 
Prince of Wales, arrived the same day from the Hague,^ 
bringing a letter from the prince; the King gave 
orders that he should come in, read the letter, cast 
it into the fire, gave the messenger his reply, and 
dismissed him immediately. On the next day, the 
29th, almost at daybreak, the bishop retm-ned to 
St. James's. When morning prayers were over, the 
King brought out a box containing broken crosses 

• According to the deposition of Tomlinson (State Trials, vol. v. 
col. 1197) it was on the day of his death, and at Whitehall, that the 
King received Seymour, I have preferred to follow Herbert's account 
in his Memoirs, p. 126. 


of St. George and tlie order of the Garter : " You 
see," said he to Juxon and Herbert, " all the wealth 
now in my power to give to my two children." They 
were brought to him. The Princess Elizabeth, who 
was twelve years old, on seeing her father, burst into 
tears; the Duke of Gloucester, who was only eight, 
wept when he saw the tears of his sister. Charles 
took them on his knee, shared his jewels among them, 
comforted his daughter, gave her counsels as to the 
books she should read in order to fortify her mind 
against Popery, charged them to tell their brothers 
that he had forgiven his enemies, and their mother 
that his thoughts never wandered from her, and that 
he would love her up to the last moment as he had 
loved her on their marriage-day. Then turning to 
the little duke, " My dear heart," he said, " they will 
soon cut off thy father's head." The child looked 
stedfastly at him, with a very serious air. "Mark, 
child, what I say : they will cut off my head and 
perhaps make thee King ; but mark what I say, thou 
must not be king so long as thy brothers Charles 
and James live ; but they will cut off thy brothers' 
heads if they can catch them ; and thine, too, they 
will cut off at last ! Therefore, I charge thee, do not 
be made a king by them." " I will be torn in pieces 
first," replied the child, with great fervoui". Charles 
kissed him passionately; placed him on the ground, 
kissed his daughter, blessed them both, and prayed 
God to bless them ; then suddenly rising, " Have 
them taken away," he said to Juxon. The children 
sobbed. The King, standing upright, resting his 


head against the window, repressed his tears ; the 
door was opened, and the children were about to leave 
him. Charles hastily left the window, took them 
again in liis arms, blessed them once more, and, 
tearing himself at length from then- caresses, fell on 
his knees and prayed with the bishop and Herbert, 
the sole witnesses of this affecting farewell.' 

That same morning, the High Court had met again 
and fixed the next day, Tuesday, January 30th, 
between ten and five o'clock, as the time for the 
execution. When it was necessary to sign the fatal 
order there was great difiiculty in gathering the Com- 
missioners together; in vain did two or three of 
the most passionate station themselves at the door 
of the room, stopping those of their colleagues who 
were passing by on their way to the House of 
Commons, and summoning them to sign their names.^ 
Several even of those who had voted for the King's 
condemnation took care to keep out of the way or 
expressly refused to sign. CromweU, who alone was 
gay, noisy, and reckless, indulged in extraordinary out- 
bursts of his accustomed buftbonery. After having 
written his name third on the Hst, he smeared with ink 
the face of Henry Martyn, who was sitting near him : 
Martyn instantly returned the compliment. Colonel 
Ingoldsby, his cousin, whose name was included in the 
list of judges, but who had not attended the sittings of 
the Court, came by chance into the room. " As soon 

' Herbert's Memoirs, p. 123—130; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 292; 
Rushworth, part iv. vol. ii. p. 1398 ; Journals of the House of Com- 
mons, January 20. 

- State Trials, vol. iv. col. 1219 ; Thomas Wayte's trial. 


as Cromwell's eyes were upon liim, he ran to him, and 
taking him by the hand, drew him by force to the 
table, and said, though he had escaped him all the 
time before, he should now sign that paper as well 
as they ; which he, seeing what it was, refused with 
great passion, saying he knew nothing of the business, 
and offered to go away. But Cromwell and others 
held him by violence; and Cromwell, with loud 
laughter, taking his hand in his, and putting the pen 
between his fingers, with his own hand wrote ' Richard 
Ingoldsby,' he making all the resistance he could."' 
Fifty-nine names were at length collected ; many of 
the signatures were scrawled so obscurely, either 
through agitation or from design, that it was impos- 
sible to decipher them. The order was addressed to 
Colonel Hacker, Colonel Huncks, and Lieutenant - 
Colonel Phayre, who had been intrusted with the 
execution of the sentence. Hitherto, Albert Joachim 
and Adrian de Pauw, ambassadors extraordinary from 
the States-Greneral, who had arrived in London five 
days before, had in vain solicited an audience with the 
Parliament ; neither their ofiicial request, nor their 
visits to Fairfax, Cromwell, and other officers, had 
enabled them to obtain an interview. They were now, 
at one o'clock, suddenly informed that they would be 
received at two o'clock by the Lords, and at three 
by the Commons. They hastened to present them- 
selves, and duly delivered their message ; a reply was 
promised them, but on their way back to their 

' Harris's Life of Cromwell, p. 206 ; Mark Noble's Memoirs of the 
Protectoral House, vol. i. p. 118. 


lodgings they saw preparations for the execution 
beginning to be made opposite AVliitehall. They had 
received visits from the French and Spanish ministers, 
but neither would join in their ^proceedings ; the 
former contented himself with protesting that he 
had for a long time foreseen this deplorable issue, 
and had done all he could to avert it ; the second said 
that he had not yet received from his Cornet any 
directions to interfere, although he was every moment 
expecting them. Next day, the 30th, about midday, 
a second interview with Fairfax, at the house of his 
secretary, had given the two Dutch ambassadors 
some fresh gleams of hope ; he was moved by their 
representations, and appearing resolved at length to 
quit his neutral position of inactivity, had promised 
to go down to the Parliament immediately, and solicit 
at least a reprieve. But as they left him, in front of 
the house in which they had been conversing with 
him, the two ambassadors met a body of cavahy 
clearing the way. All the approaches to Whitehall, 
and all the adjoining streets were filled by soldiers ; 
on all sides they heard the people say that everything 
was ready, and that the King would not keep them 
waiting long.^ 

' These particulars are taken from the Correspondence of the Am- 
bassadors themselves with the States-General (in their despatches of 
the 9th and ISth of February, new style), of which his Majesty the King 
of the Netherlands has graciously permitted me to take a copj'. All 
the documents of this important correspondence, will be found literally 
translated, among the historical documents appended to this volume 
(Appendix IX.). These documents prove how erroneous, notwith- 
standing Herbert's testimony in his Memoirs (p. 143) — though Godwin 
is wrong in suspecting Herbert in other matters (see Godwin's History 
of the Commonwealth, vol. ii. p. 681) — is the narrative, which has 


Early in the morning, in a room at Whitehall, by 
the side of the bed in which Ireton and Harrison 
were still tying together, Cromwell, Hacker, Huncks, 
Axtell, and Phayre, had met to arrange and despatch 
the last act of this tragical proceeding, — the order, 
namely, which had to be given to the executioner, 
" Colonel," said Cromwell to Huncks, " it is you who 
must write and sign it." Huncks obstinately re- 
fused. " Thou art a peevish fellow !" said Cromwell. 
" Colonel Huncks," said Axtell, " I am ashamed of 
you ; the ship is now coming into the harbour, and 
will you strike sail before we come to anchor?" 
Huncks persisted in his refusal ; Cromwell sat doTVTi, 
grumbhng at his obstinacy, wrote the order himself, 
and presented it to Colonel Hacker, who signed it 
without objection.^ 

Almost at the same moment, after four hours' 
profound sleep, Charles rose from his bed. " I have a 
great work to do this day," said he to Herbert, " I 
must get up immediately ;" and he commenced his 
toilet. Herbert, in his agitation, combed liis hair 
with less care than usual. " I pray 3"ou," said the 
King, " though my head be not long to stand on my 
shoulders, take the same pains with it as you were 
wont to do. This is my second marriage-day. I 
would be as trim to-day as may be ; for before night I 
hope to be espoused to my blessed Jesus." As he was 

been followed by nearly all historians, representing that Ireton and 
Harrison passed this time in prayer with Fairfax, in order to conceal 
from him what was going on. 

' State Trials, vol. v. cols. 1148, 1180; trials of Axtell and Hacker. 


dressing, he asked to have an extra shirt : " The season 
is so sharp," he said, "as probably may make me 
shake, which some observers will imagine proceeds 
from fear. I would have no such imputation ; I fear 
not death ; death is not terrible to me. I bless my God 
that I am prepared." Shortly after daybreak Bishop 
Juxon arrived, and commenced the religious exercises 
of the day. As he was reading the narrative of Christ's 
passion, in the twenty-seventh chapter of the Gospel 
according to St. Matthew, the King asked him " if he 
had made choice of that chapter as being applicable to 
his present condition." " May it please your Majesty," 
replied the bishop, "it is the proper lesson for the day, 
as appears by the calendar." The King appeared 
deeply moved, and continued his devotions wdth 
renewed fervour. About ten o'clock, a gentle knock 
was heard at the door of his room. Herbert did not 
move ; the knock was repeated, and this time it was 
louder, though still gentle. The King directed him 
to go and see who was there. It was Colonel Hacker. 
" Let him come in," said the King. The Colonel told 
him, in a low faltering voice, " that it was time to go 
to Whitehall, but he would have some fm-ther time to 
rest there." Charles replied that he would go directly. 
Hacker went out ; the King remained in meditation a 
few minutes longer ; then, taking the bishop's hand, 
" Come," said he, " let us go ; Herbert, open the door. 
Hacker has given us a second warning ;" and he went 
into the park, which he had to cross before reaching 

Several companies of infantry were drawn up in the 

' Herbert's Memoirs, p. 133—140 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 293. 
VOL. IL 2 F 


park, and formed a double line on his passage ; a 
detachment of halberdiers marched in front, with 
flying banners ; drums were beating, — their noise 
drowned all other sounds. At the King's right hand 
was the bishop ; on his left was Colonel Tomlinson, 
the commander of the guard. His head was un- 
covered, and Charles was so moved with the marks 
of respect which he showed, that he requested him not 
to move from his side till the last moment. Charles 
conversed with him on the way, spoke of his funeral, 
and of the persons to whom he desired the care of it 
should be intrusted : his whole air was indicative of 
calmness and serenity ; his look was steady and pene- 
trating ; his step was firm, and he walked even more 
quickly than the soldiers, expressing surprise at their 
slow pace. One of the officers, doubtless expecting that 
what he said would annoy the King, asked him if he 
had not conspired with the late Duke of Buckingham 
to procure the death of the king, his father. " Friend," 
answered Charles, with scomfal mildness, " if I had 
no other sin, — I speak it with reverence to Grod's 
Majesty, — I assure thee I should never ask Him 
pardon." On arriving at Whitehall, he mounted the 
stairs with a light step, passed along the great gallery, 
and entered his bedroom, where he was left alone 
with the bishop, who had prepared to administer the 
Sacrament. Some Independent ministers, Nye and 
Goodwin, among others, knocked at his door, saying 
that they desired to offer their services to the King. 
The bishop replied by telHng them that the King was 
at his own private devotions. They still pressed their 
services. " Then thank them fi-om me," said Charles 


to the bishop, " for tlie tender of themselves ; but tell 
them pltiinly that they, that have so often and cause- 
lessly prayed against me, shall never pray with me in 
this agony. They may, if they please, pray for me, 
and I'll thank them for it." They retired. The 
King kneeled, received the holy communion from the 
bishop's hands, and rising from his knees, with a 
cheerful and steady countenance, " Now," said he, 
" let the rogues come ; I have heartily forgiven them, 
and am prepared for all I am to undergo." His 
dinner had been prepared, but he had resolved to 
touch nothing after the Sacrament ; the bishop 
expostulated with him, reminded him how long he 
had fasted, how severe the weather was, and how 
some fit of fainting might seize him upon the scaffold, 
which he knew he would regret, on account of 
the interpretation his murderers would put upon it. 
The King yielded to these representations, and took a 
piece of bread and a glass of claret. At one o'clock. 
Hacker knocked at the door. The bishop and Herbert 
fell upon their knees, weeping. The King gave them 
his hand to kiss, and helped the bishop to rise, for he 
was aged. Colonel Hacker still stood at the chamber 
door ; the King took notice of it, and said, " Open the 
door," and bade Hacker go forward, saying that he 
would follow. A guard was placed all along the 
galleries and in the banqueting-hall as he passed, but 
behind the soldiers many men and women had crowded 
in, though with some peril to their persons, and were 
praying for the King as he passed ; the soldiers not 
rebuking any of them, but, by their silence and 
dejected faces, seeming afflicted rather than insulting. 

2 F 2 


At the end of the hall, an opening had been made 
on the previous evening through the wall, which led 
directly to the scaffold, which was hung with black ; 
on it were standing, near the axe, two men in the 
costume of sailors, with masks on their faces. The 
King walked out of the hall to the scaffold, with his 
head erect, looking about him on all sides for the 
people, intending to speak to them ; but the space all 
round was filled with troops, so that no one could 
approach. He turned towards Juxon and Tomhnson, 
and said, '' I shall be very little heard of anybody else ; 
I shall, therefore, speak a word to you here," and 
accordingly he addressed to them a short speech that 
he had prepared ; it was grave and calm, even to 
frigidity, its sole object being to maintain that he was 
in the right, — that contempt for the rights of the 
sovereign had been the true cause of the miseries of 
the people, — that the people ought to have no share 
in the government, — and that on this condition only 
would the kingdom recover its liberties and tranquil- 
lity. While he was speaking, some one touched the 
axe. He tm-ned round hastily, saying, " Do not hurt 
the axe that may hurt me." And after his address 
was finished, some one again approached it. "Take 
heed of the axe ! pray, take heed of the axe !" he 
repeated in a tone of alarm. The profoundest silence 
prevailed ; he put a silk cap on his head, and, address- 
ing the executioner, said, " Does my hair trouble 
you ?" The man begged his Majesty to put it under 
his cap. The King so arranged it, with the help of 
the bishop. " I have a good cause and a gi-acious 
God on my side," said he, while doing this. 


" There is but one stage more," said Juxon ; "the 
stage is turbulent and troublesome ; it is a short one ; 
but you may consider it will soon carry you a very 
great way ; it will carry you from earth to heaven." 

" I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, 
where no disturbance can be," answered the King ; 
and, turning towards the executioner, he said, " Is my 
hair well?" He took ojff his cloak and Greorge, and 
gave them to the bishop, saying at the same time 
'' Remember !" It was never known to what this 
injunction referred. He then took off his coat, put on 
his cloak again, and looking at the block, said to the 
executioner, " You must set it fast." " It is fast, sir," 
was the reply. The King told him to wait while he 
offered up a short prayer ; " When I put out my hands 
this way," said he, stretching them out, " then — ■ — ." 
He passed a few minutes in meditation, uttering a few 
words in a low tone of voice, raised his eyes to heaven, 
kneeled, placed his head on the block : the executioner 
touched his hair in order to j^ut it more completely 
under his cap ; the King thought he intended to strike. 
" Stay for the sign," he said. " Yes, I will, an't please 
your Majesty," said the man. After an instant, the 
King stretched out his hands ; the axe fell, and his 
head was severed from his body at a single blow. 
" Behold the head of a traitor !" cried the executioner, 
holding it up to the view of the people ; a long, deep 
groan rose from the multitude ; many rushed to the 
foot of the scaffold in order to dip their handlterchiefs 
in the King's blood. Two bodies of cavalry, advancing 
in different directions, slowly dispersed the crowd. 
The scaffold was cleared, and the body was taken away. 
It was already enclosed in the coffin, when Cromwell 


desired to see it : he looked at it attentively, raised the 
head with his own hands as if to assure himself that it 
was really severed from the trunk, and remarked upon 
the sound and vigorous appearance of the body, which 
he said, promised a long life.^ 

The coffin remained at Wliitehall for seven days, 
exposed to public view : an immense concourse of people 
pressed to the door, but few obtained permission to 
enter. On the 6th of February, by the order of the 
Commons, it was dehvered to Herbert and Mildmay, 
who were authorised to bury it in St. Greorge's Chapel, 
in Windsor Castle, in a vault which also contains the 
remains of Henry VIII. The funeral procession was 
decent but not pompous. Six horses, covered with 
black cloth, drew the hearse ; four carriages followed, 
two of which, also covered with black cloth, carried 
those faithful servants who had attended upon the 
King in his last hours, and those who had accompanied 
him to the Isle of Wight. On the next day, the 8th 
of February, the Duke of Eichmond, the Marquis of 
Hertford, the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, and 
Bishop Juxon, arrived at Windsor, having come with 
the consent of the Commons to attend the funeral. 
These words only were engraved on the coffin : 


As they were removing the body from the interior 

' Warwick's Memoii's, p. 342, et seq. ; Herbert's Memoirs, p. 114, ct 
seq. ; State Trials, vol. iv. cols. 1135 — 1142; Mark Noble's Memoirs of 
the Protectoral House, vol. i. p. 118. 

2 Old Style. The year in England began at that time on the 24th of 
March, as it had not yet been arranged according to the Gregorian 
calendar. Therefore the 30th of Januarj', 1648, the day of Charles's 
death, corresponds to the 9th of February, 164f), in our year. 


of the castle to the chapel, the weather, which until 
then had been clear and serene, suddenly changed -, 
snow fell abundantly ; the black velvet pall was en- 
tirely covered with it, and the servants of the King 
were pleased to see, in the sudden whiteness that 
covered their unfortunate master's coffin, a symbol of 
his innocence. The procession arrived at the spot 
selected for sepulture, and Bishop Juxon was pre- 
paring to officiate according to the rites of the Anglican 
church, when Whichcott, the governor of the castle, 
objected " that it was improbable the Parliament would 
permit the use of what they had so totally abolished, 
and therein destroy their own act," and he would not 
permit the ser\dce to be so performed. They sub- 
mitted ; no religious ceremony took place, the coffin 
was lowered into the vault, all left the chapel, and the 
governor closed the doors. The House of Commons 
had an account of the expenses of the funeral laid 
before them, and allowed five hundred pounds to pay 
them.^ On the very day of the King's death, before 
any messenger had left London, they published an 
ordinance declaring any one to be a traitor who should 
proclaim in his place, and as his successor, " Charles 
Stuart, his son, commonly called Prince of Wales, or 
any other person whatever."^ On the 6th of February, 
after a long debate, and in spite of the opposition of 
twenty-nine voices against a majority consisting of 
forty- four members, the House of Lords was formally 
abolished.^ Finally, on the 7tli, a bill was adopted 

' Herbert's Memoirs, p. 144 ; State Trials, vol. iv. col. 1142. 
* Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1281. 
» Ibid. col. 1284. 


which ran in these terms : " Whereas it hath been 
found by experience, that the office of a king in this 
nation and Ireland, and to have the power thereof in 
any single person, is unnecessary, burthensome, and 
dangerous to the liberty, safety, and public interest of 
the people, and that, for the most part, use hath been 
made of the royal power and prerogative, to oppress, 
impoverish, and enslave the subject, and that, usually 
and naturally, any one person in such power, makes it 
his interest to encroach upon the just freedom and 
.liberty of the subject, and to set up his own will and 
power above the laws : Be it therefore enacted and 
ordained. That the office of a king in this nation shall 
not henceforth reside in, or be exercised by, any one 
single person, and that no one person whatsoever shall 
or may have or hold the office, style, title, dignity, 
power, or authority, of the said kingdoms and domi- 
nions, or any of them."' And a new Great Seal was 
engraved,^ bearing on one side the map of England 
and Ireland, with the arms of the two countries, and 
on the reverse a representation of the House of 
Commons in session, with this motto, suggested by 
Henry Martyn — " The first year of hberty restored by 
the blessing of Grod, 1 648," 

' Parliamentary History, vol. iii. col. 1285. 

* The order was given on the 9th of January. — Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. iii. col. 1258. 


( 443 ) 



(Page 25.) 


So early as the 23rd of September, 1642— that is to say 
at the very commencement of the civil war, and before the 
battle of Edgehill— the king wrote in the following terms to 
the Earl of Newcastle : — 

" Newcastle— This is to tell you that this rebellion has 
grown to that height, that I must not looke what opinion 
men ar who, at this tyme, ar willing to serve me. Therefore, 
I do not only permit, but command you, to make use of all 
my loving subjects, without examining their condenses, (more 
than their loyalty to me,) as you shall finde most to con- 
duce to the uphoulding of my just regal rights."— Brodies 
History of the British Empire, vol. iii. p. 489, note. 


(Page 55.) 



" Showeth that your petitioners, having heard that such 
propositions and offers have been lately sent from the House 
of Peers to this honourable House, which (as we greatly fear), 
if yielded unto, would be destructive to our religion, laws, 
and liberties; and finding already by experience, that the 
spirits of all the well-affected party in the city and counties 
adjacent, that are willing to assist the Parliament, both in 
person and purse, are much dejected thereat ; and the 


brotherly assistance from Scotland, as well as the raising and 
maintaining of forces ourselves, thereby likely to be retarded 
(all which the petitioners refer to your serious considera- 
tion) ; and considering our present sad condition lies upon 
us in a special manner, through the incensed patience of the 
Almighty, by delay and want of execution of justice upon 
traitors and delinquents, and having an opportunity yet to 
speak, our desires are : 

" That you would be pleased so to persist in your former 
resolutions, whereupon the people have so much depended, 
and wherein you have so deeply engaged yourselves (though 
you should perish in the work), that justice may be done 
upon offenders and delinquents. And that since we are as 
willing as ever to expose what' we are and have for the 
crowning of so good a cause, you will be pleased, by speedy 
passing the ordinance hereto annext, or one to this effect, to 
put us into a probable way for our and your defence, wherein 
your petitioners will, by the blessing of God, never be want- 


To this petition was annexed the draft of an ordinance 
for empowering a committee to enlist men and receive sub- 
scriptions from such as might offer them. — RushwortJt, part iii. 
vol. ii. p. 356. 


(Page 56.) 



" Showeth that your poor petitioners (though of the weaker 
sex) do too sensibly perceive the ensuing desolation of this 
kingdom, unless by some timely means your honours provide 
for the speedy recovery hereof Your honours are the 
physicians that can, by God's special and miraculous blessing 
(which we humbly implore), restore this languishing nation, 
and our bleeding sister, the kingdom of Ireland, which hath 
now almost breathed her last gasp. 

" We need not dictate to your eagle-eyed judgment the 
way ; our only desire is, that God's glory in the true reformed 


Protestant religion may be preserved, the just prerogatives 
and privileges of King and Parliament mamtamed, the true 
liberties and properties of the subjects, according to the known 
laws of the land, restored, and all honourable ways and means 
for a speedy peace endeavoured. 

" May it therefore please your honours, that some speedy 
course may be taken for the settlement of the true reformed 
Protestant religion, for the glory of God and the renovation 
of trade, for the benefit of the subjects, they bemg the soul 

and body of the kingdom. r m- i- a 

" And your petitioners, with many millions ot afflicted 
souls, groaning under the burden of these times of distress, 
shall ever ^YSiy:'—Rushivorth, part iii., vol. ii. p. 857. 


(Page 102.) 


" It is not unknown to all the world (especially to all the 
inhabitants in and about London) with what desperate and 
fame- wounding aspersions my reputation, and the integrity of 
my intentions to God, my King, and my country, hath been 
invaded by the malice and fury of malignants, and ill-affected 
persons to the good of the Commonwealth. Some charging 
me with being a promoter and patronizer of all the innovations 
which have been obtruded upon the ecclesiastical government 
of the Church of England. Others, of more spiteful and 
exorbitant spirits, alleging that I have been the man, who 
have begot and fostered all the so-lamented distractions, 
which are now rife in the kingdom; and though such 
calumnies are ever more harmful to the authors, than to 
those whom they strive to wound with them, when they 
arrive only to the censure of judicious persons, who can 
distinguish forms, and see the difference betwixt truth^ and 
falsehood : yet, because the scandals inflicted upon my inno- 
cence have been obvious to people of all conditions, many of 
which may entertain a belief of these reproachful reports, 
though, in my own soul, I am far above those ignominies, 
and so was once resolved to have waved them, as unworthy 


of my notice : yet, at last, for the assertion of my integrity, 
I concluded to declare myself in this matter, that all the 
world, but such as will not be convinced, either by reason or 
truth, may bear testimony of my innocency. To pass by* 
therefore, the Earl of Strafford's business, in which some 
have been so impudent as to charge me of too much partiality 
and malice, I shall declare myself fully concerning the rest of 
their aspersions ; namely, that I have promoted and fomented 
the differences now abounding in the English Church. 

" How unlikely this is and improbable, shall to every 
indifferent man ])e quickly rendered perspicuous : For that I 
am, and ever was, and so will die, a faithful son of the Pro- 
testant religion, without having the least relation in my belief 
to those great errors of Anabaptism, Brownism, and the like, 
every man that hath any acquaintance with my conversation, 
can bear me righteous witness. These being but aspersions 
cast upon me by some of the discontented clergy, and their 
factors and abettors, because they might, perhaps, conceive 
that I had been a main instrument in extenuating the 
haughty power and ambitious pride of the bishops and 
prelates. As I only delivered my opinions as a member of 
the House of Commons, that attempt or action of mine had 
been justifiable, both to God and a good conscience ; and 
had no way concluded me guilty of a revolt from the orthodox 
doctrine of the Church of England, because I sought a refor- 
mation of some gross abuses crept into the Government by 
the cunning and perverseness of the bishops and their sub- 
stitutes ; for was it not high time to seek to regulate their 
power, when, instead of looking to the cure of men's souls 
(which is their genuine ofiice), they inflicted punishment on 
men's bodies, banishing them to remote and desolate places ; 
after stigmatizing their faces, only for the testimony of a good 
conscience, when, not contented with those insufferable inso- 
lences, they sought to bring in unheard-of canons into the 
Church, Arminian or Papistical ceremonies (whether you 
please to term them, there is not much difference), imposing 
burdens upon men's consciences, which they were not able 
to bear, and introducing the old abolished superstition of 
bowing to the altar ; and if it savoured either of Brownism or 


Anabaptisra, to endeavour to suppress the growth of those 
Romish errors, I appeal to any equal-minded Protestant, 
either for my judge or witness ; nay, had the attempts of the 
bishops desisted here, tolerable they had been, and their 
power not so much questioned as since it hath ; for when 
they saw the honouaable the High Court of Parliament began 
to look into their enormities and abuses, beholding how they 
wrested religion like a waxen nose, to the furtherance of 
their ambitious purposes, then Troy was taken in, then they 
began to despair of holding any longer their usurped authority ; 
and, therefore, as much as in them lay, both by public declara- 
tions and private councils, they laboured to foment the civil 
differences between his Majesty and his Parliament, abetting 
the proceedings of the malignants with large supplies of men 
and money, and stirring up the people to tumults by their 
seditious sermons. Surely, then, no man can account me an 
ill son of the Commonwealth, if I delivered my opinion, and 
passed my vote freely for their abolishment ; which may by 
the same equity be put in practice by this Parliament, as 
the dissolution of monasteries and their lazy inhabitants, 
monks and friars, was in Henry the Eighth's time ; for 
without dispute, they carried as much reputation in the 
kingdom then, as bishops have done in it since ; and yet a 
Parliament then had power to put them down ; why, then, 
should not a Parliament have the power to do the like to 
these, every way guilty of as many offences against the state 
as the former ? For ray own part, I attest God Almighty, 
the knower of all hearts, that neither envy, or any private 
grudge to all or any of the bishops, hath made me averse to 
their function, but merely my zeal to religion and God's 
cause, which I perceived to be trampled under foot by the 
too extended authority of the prelates ; who, according to the 
purity of their institution, should have been men of upright 
hearts and humble minds, shearing their flocks, and not 
flaying them, when it is evident they were the quite contrary. 
" And whereas some will allege, it is no good argument to 
dissolve the function of bishops, because some bishops are 
vicious : to that answer, since the vice of these bishops was 
derivative from the authority of their function, it is very 


fitting the function, which is the cause thereof, be corrected, 
and its authority divested of its borrowed feathers; other- 
wise, it is impossible but the same power which made these 
present bishops (should the episcopal and prelatical dignity- 
continue in its ancient height and \dgour) so proud and 
arrogant, would infuse the same vices into their successors. 

" But this is but a molehill to that mountain of scandalous 
reports that have been inflicted on my integrity to his sacred 
Majesty ; some boldly averring me for the author of the 
present distraction between his Majesty and his Parliament, 
when I take God, and all that know my proceedings, to be 
my vouchers, that I neither directly nor indirectly ever had 
a thought tending to the least disobedience or disloyalty to 
his Majesty, whom I acknowledge as my lawful King and 
Sovereign, and would expend my blood as soon in his service 
as any subject he hath. 'Tis true, when I perceived my life 
aimed at, and heard myself proscribed a traitor, merely for 
my entireness of heart to the service of my country, was 
informed that I, with some other honourable and worthy 
members of Parliament, were against the privileges thereof 
demanded, even in the Parliament House, by his Majesty, 
attended by a multitude of men at arms and malignants, who, 
I verily believe, had for some ill ends of their own persuaded 
his Majesty to that excess of rigour against us ; when, for 
my own part (my conscience is to me a thousand witnesses 
in that behalf), I never harboured a thought which tended 
to any disservice to his Majesty, nor ever had an intention 
prejudicial to the State ; when, I say, notwithstanding my 
own innocence, I saw myself in such apparent danger, no 
man will think me blameworthy in that I took care of my 
own safety, and fled for refuge to the protection of the Parlia- 
ment, which, making my case their own, not only purged me 
and the rest of the guilt of high treason, but also secured our 
lives from the storm that was ready to burst out upon us. 

" And if this hath been the occasion that hath withdrawn 
his Majesty from the Parliament, surely the fault can in no 
way be imputed to me, or any proceeding of mine ; which 
never went further, either since his Majesty's departure nor 
before, than so far as they were warranted by the known laws 


of the laiid, and authorized by the indisi^utable and undeniable 
power of the ParUament ; and so long as I am secure in my 
own conscience that this is truth, I account myself above all 
their calumnies and falsehoods, which shall return upon them- 
selves, and not wound my reputation in good and impartial 
men's opinions. 

" But in that devilish conspiracy of Catiline, against the 
state and senate of Rome, none among the senators was so 
obnoxious to the envy of the conspirators, or liable to their 
traducements, as that orator and patriot of his country, 
Cicero, because by his council and zeal to the Common- 
wealth, their plot for the ruin thereof was discovered and 
prevented ; though I will not be so arrogant to parallel 
myself with that worthy, yet my case (if we may compare 
lesser things with great) has to his a very near resemblance : 
the cause that I am so much maligned and reproached by ill- 
affected persons, being because I have been forward in advanc- 
ing the affairs of the kingdom, and have been taken notice 
of for that forwardness, they, out of their malice, converting 
that to a vice which, without boast be it spoken, I esteem as 
my principal virtue, my care to the public utility. And since 
it is for that cause that I suffer these scandals, I shall endure 
them with patience, hoping that God in his great mercy will 
at last reconcile his Majesty to his High Court of Parliament ; 
and then I doubt not to give his royal self (though he be 
much incensed against me) a sufficient account of my integrity. 
In the interim, I hope the world will believe that I am not 
the first innocent man that hath been injured, and so will 
suspend their further censures of me." — RushAVorth, part iii., 
vol. ii. pp. 376-378. 

(Page 118.) 

" Nephew " Ticknell (Tickenhall), 14 June, 1644. 

" First I must congratulate with you for your good suc- 
cesses, assuring you that the things themselves are no more 
VOL. II. 2 G 


welcome to me than that you are the means. I know the 
importance of supplying you with powder, for which I have 
taken all possible ways, and have sent both to Ireland and 
Bristol. As from Oxford, this bearer is well satisfied that it 
is impossible to have at present, but if he tell you that I may 
spare them from hence, I leave you to judge, having but 
thirty-six left ; but what I can get from Bristol (of which 
there is not much certainty, it being threatened to be besieged) 
you shall have. 

" But now I must give you the true state of my affairs, 
which if their condition be such as enforces me to give you 
more peremptory commands than I would willingly do, you 
must not take it ill. If York be lost, I shall esteem my 
crown little less, unless supported by your sudden march 
to me, and a miraculous conquest in the South, before the 
effects of the northern power can be found here : but if York 
be relieved, and you beat the rebels' armies of both kingdoms 
which are before it, then, but otherwise not, I may possibly 
make a shift (upon the defensive) to spin out time, until you 
come to assist me. Wherefore, I command and conjure you, 
by the duty and affection which I know you bear me, that 
(all new enterprises laid aside) you immediately march (accord- 
ing to your first intention) with all your force to the relief 
of York ; but if that be either lost, or have freed themselves 
from the besiegers, or that for want of powder you cannot 
undertake that work, that you immediately march with your 
whole strength to Worcester, to assist me and my army, 
without which, or your having relieved York, by beating the 
Scots, all the successes you can afterwards have, most infallibly 
will be useless unto me ; you may believe that nothing but 
an extreme necessity could make me write thus unto you, 
wherefore, in this case, I can no ways doubt of your punctual 
compliance with 

" Your loving uncle and most faithful friend, 

" Charles K." 

" I commanded this bearer to speak to you concerning 
Vavasour." — Evelyns Diary and Correspondence, vol. iv., 
p. J 40. 



(Page 168.) 


" Be it ordained by the Lords and Commons assembled in 
Parliament, that all and every of the members of either House 
of Parliament shall be and by the authority of this ordinance 
are discharged at the end of forty days after the passing of 
this ordinance, of and from all and every office or command, 
military or civil, granted or conferred by both or either of the 
said Houses of this present Parliament, or by any authority 
derived from both or either of them, since the 20th Novem- 
ber, 1640. And be it further ordained, that all governors 
and commanders of any island, town, castle, or fort, and all 
other colonels and officers inferior to colonels in the several 
armies, not being members of either of the said Houses of 
Parliament, shall, according to their respective commissions, 
continue in their several places and command wherein they 
were employed and entrusted, the 20th March, 1644, as if 
this ordinance had not been made. And that the vice- 
admiral, rear-admiral, and all other captains and other in- 
ferior officers in the fleet, shall, according to their several and 
respective commissions, continue in their several places and 
commands, wherein they were employed and entrusted, the 
said 20th March, 1644, as if this ordinance had not been 
made. Provided always, and it is further ordained and 
declared, that during this war the benefit of all offices, being 
neither military nor judicial, hereafter to be granted, or any 
way to be appointed to any person or persons, by both or 
either House of Parliament, or by authority derived from 
thence, shall go and enure to such public uses as both Houses 
of Parliament shall appoint ; and the grantees and persons 
executing all such offices shall be accountable to the Parlia- 
ment for all the profits and perquisites thereof, and shall have 
no profit out of any such office, other than a competent salary 

2 G '2 


for the- execution of the same, in such manner as both Houses 
of Parhament shall order and ordain. Provided, that this 
ordinance shall not extend to take away the j)Ower and 
authority of any lieutenancy or deputy-lieutenancy in the 
several counties, cities, or places, or of any custos-rotulorum, 
or of any commissioner for justice of peace, or sewers, or any 
commission of oyer and terminer, or gaol delivery. Provided 
always, and it is hereby declared, that those members of either 
House who had offices by grant from his Majesty before this 
Parhament, and were by his Majesty displaced sitting this 
Parliament, and have since by authority of both Houses 
been restored, shall not by this ordinance be discharged from 
their said offices or profits thereof, but shall enjoy the same, 
anything in this ordinance to the contrary thereof notwith- 
standing." — Parliamentary History, vol. iii., col. 355. 

(Page 184.) 

DECEMBER 5, 1644. 


The King's Most Excellent Majesty, 
Prince Eupert, Earl of Berksldre, 

Prince Maurice, 

Lord Keeper, 

Lord Treasurer, 

Lord Duke of Richmond, 

Earl of Sussex, 
Earl of Chichester, 
Lord Digby, 
Lord Seymour, 

Lord Marquis of Hertford, Lord Colepepj^er, 

Lord Great Chamberlain, [ Mr. Secretary Nicholas, 

Earl of Southampton, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

Lord Chamberlain, j 

" A letter was read, written by the Earl of Essex to his 
highness Prince Pupert, general of his Majesty's armies, in 
these words : — 


'There being a message sent from his Majesty by the 
committees of both kingdoms that were lately at Oxford, con- 



cerning a safe conduct for the Duke of Richmond and Earl of 
Southampton, without any direction, 1 am commanded by 
both Houses of Parliament to give your highness notice, that 
if the King be pleased to desire a safe conduct for the Duke 
of Richmond and the Earl of Southampton, with their 
attendants, from the Lords and Commons assembled in the 
Parliament of England, at Westminster, to bring to the Lords 
and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England, and 
the Commissioners of the kingdom of Scotland, now at 
London, an answer to the propositions presented to his 
Majesty for a safe and well-grounded peace, it shall be 
granted. This is all I have at present to trouble your high- 
ness, being 

' Your highness's humble servant, 

' Essex.' 

' Dec. 3, 1644.' 

" This letter and the expressions therein being fully con- 
sidered and debated, it was by the whole council unanimously 
resolved, that his Majesty's desire of a safe conduct, in the 
terms expressed in that letter, would not be any acknowledg- 
ment or concession of the members of the two Houses sitting 
at Westminster to be a Parliament, nor any ways prejudice his 
Majesty's cause. 

"Whereupon his Majesty declaring openly at the Board 
that, since such was their lordships' opinion, that he did there- 
fore and eo animo consent thereto, and accordingly his 
Majesty desired his highness Prince Rupert, as his Majesty's 
general, to return this answer : — 

' My Lord, 

' I am commanded by his Majesty to desire of your lord- 
ship a safe conduct for the Duke of Richmond and the Earl 
of Southamption, with their attendants, coaches and horses, 
and other accommodations for their journey in their coming 
to London, during their stay, and in their return, when they 
shall think fit, from the Lords and Commons assembled in the 
Parliament of England, in Westminster, to bring to the Lords 
and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England, and 


the Commissioners of the Parliament of Scotland, now at 
London, an answer to the propositions presented to his 
Majesty for a safe and well-grounded peace. Resting 

' Your lordship's servant, 

' Rupert.' 

* 0x011, 5 Dec, 1644.' 

" Which answer was accordingly sent to London hy a trum- 

" Edw. Nicholas." 

{The following is in the handivriting of Sir Edivard 

" Memorandum : — That the king and myself, of all the 
council-board, were the only persons that concurred not in 
opinion that it Avas fit to call those sitting at Westminster a 
Parliament. Prince Rupert, though he was present, did not 
vote, because he was to execute what should be resolved on 
by this council ; but, by the order and practice of the council- 
board, if the major part agree to any act or order, all the 
councillors that are present at the debate, albeit they dissent, 
are involved, and are to be named as if they consented. — 
" E. N." Evelyns Diary and Correspondence, vol. iv., p. 143. 


(Page 208.) 



March, inarch, piuks of election ! 
Why the devil don't you march onward in order ? 

March, march, dogs of redemption : 
Ere the blue bonnets come over the border. 

You shall preach, you shall pray. 

You shall teach night and day ; 
You shall prevail o'er the kirk gone a whoring ; 

Dance in blood to the knees. 

Blood of God's enemies ! 
The daughters of Scotland shall sing you to snoring. 



March, march, dregs of all wickedness ! 
Glory that lower yoji can't be debased ; 

March, march, dunghills of blessedness ! 
March and rejoice for you shall be raised : 

Not to board, not to rope. 

But to faith and to hope ; 
Scotland's athirst for the truth to be taught her. 

Her chosen virgin race. 

How they will grow in grace, 
Round as a neep, like calves for the slaughter ! 


March, march, scourges of heresy ! 
Down with, the kirk and its whilieballeery ! 

March, march ! down with supi'emacy. 
And the kist fu' o' whistles, that maks sic a cleary ; 

Fife men and pipers braw. 

Merry deils, take them a', 
Gown, lace and livery, lickpot and ladle ; 

Jockey shall wear the hood, 

Jenny the sark of God, 
For codpiece and petticoat, dishclout and daidle. 


March, march, blest ragamuffins ! 
Sing, as ye go, the hymns of rejoicing ! 

March, march, justified ruffians ! 
Chosen of heaven ! to glory you're rising. 

Ragged and treacherous, 

Lousy and lecherous. 
Objects of misery, scorning and laughter ; 

Never, O happy race ! 

Magnified so was grace ; 
Host of the righteous ! rush to the slaughter ! 

Hogg, Jacobite liclics of i^cotlani/, vol. i. p. 5. 


(Page 431.) 

I GIVE here certain unpublished documents and despatches 
relative to the intervention of the States-General of the 
United Provinces in favour of Charles I. I have literally 


translated them from certified copies of the originals, made 
by order of M. de Jouge, keeper of the records of the Nether- 
lands, and sent to me from the Hague : — 

GREAT BRITAIN, ETC., JAN. 23, 1649. 

" His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has for a long 
time had the intention of requesting a personal audience, to 
acknowledge the honours and great courtesies he has received 
from their lordships since his arrival in this country ; and 
now he desires it with peculiar earnestness, on an occasion of 
the greatest importance in the world to his Royal Highness, 
and in which he presumes their lordships will fully sym- 
pathise. Their lordships cannot be ignorant of the great 
danger in which the life of the King, his father, now stands ; 
how, after a personal treaty with his two Houses of Parlia- 
ment, there was such progress made towards peace by the 
concessions of his Majesty that the said Houses declared 
themselves resolved to proceed on them to the establishment 
of the peace of the kingdom ; which would indubitably have 
taken place had not the army seized his Majesty's person, 
and committed to prison several members of Parliament who 
had shown themselves the most disposed for the said treaty 
of peace. 

" Such is, then, the state of that truly miserable kingdom ; 
the King is so closely confined, that a gentleman, sent ex- 
pressly by his Royal Highness only to see his Majesty, was 
not admitted to his presence. The Parliament is so broken 
up and dispersed, that there only remains about fifty out of 
more than five hundred members in the House of Commons ; 
and the House of Lords, who have unanimously refused their 
concurrence in these violent proceedings, is practically anni- 
hilated by a declaration of these few Commons that all 
sovereign power in that kingdom belongs to them without 
King or Lords. So that the members of Parliament do not 


meet, except those who agree and submit to the orders of a 
council of war, which has been constituted to govern the 
kingdom ; having to this end published a remonstrance con- 
taining the plan of a new government, which they desire to 
establish on the ruin of the Parliament as well as of the King, 
subverting the fabric and constitution of the kingdom, and of 
all its laws, and exposing the Protestant religion to the inva- 
sion of more heresies and schisms than ever in any century 
infested the Christian Church. 

" Not content with this confusion, they have passed a reso- 
lution and appointed commissioners for a trial of the person 
of his Majesty, apparently to depose him and take away his 
life ; which his Royal Highness cannot mention without 
horror, and which he is certain their lordships cannot hear 
without equal detestation. 

" What influence these unprecedented proceedings may 
have on the interest and security of all kings, princes, and 
states, and how much the extriivagant power which these 
people have usurped may affect the tranquillity of neigh- 
bouring countries, and how far the reformed religion may 
suffer by these scandalous acts of those who profess it, it is 
needless for his Roj^al Highness to urge their lordships to 
consider ; but he contents himself with having given this sad 
recital of the condition and misery in which the King and 
Crown of England are at present placed ; convinced that 
their lordships will act thereupon according to the esteem and 
respect they have ever shown towards so good a friend and 
ally. His Royal Highness therefore promises himself, from 
the friendship and wisdom of their lordships, as soon as 
possible, such assistance from their councils and otherwise, as 
the present extreme necessity of the King, his father, and of 
his Royal Highness, require, who by this will ever be really 
and for ever feel obliged to contribute all in their power to the 
support and advancement of the interest, grandeur, and hap- 
piness of their lordships." 

In consequence of these representations of the Prince of 
Wales, the States resolved to send to London, as extraordinary 
ambassadors, MM. Albert Joachim and Adrian de Pauw, with 
the following instructions : — 



" The ambassadors will I'epresent to the Parliament of 
England, that the consequence of the King's imprisonment 
will turn to the advantage or disadvantage of the kingdom of 
England, according to the moderation or severity that shall 
henceforth he shown towards his person ; for all neutrals are 
of opinion that the calamity in which he is at present, has 
come upon him because he was of a contrary opinion to that 
which has elsewhere prevailed, as to the means to be em- 
ployed to remedy the evils which exist in the kingdom of 
Great Britain, As there is yet time to find remedies for these 
evils, the Parliament is requested not to suffer all sorts of pre- 
texts to be seized upon to aggravate the grievances already 
charged upon the prisoner, and thus render him more un- 
happy than he is at present. Supposing that the party who 
has been defeated had gained the day, it is possible he might 
have judged with rigour the conduct of his adversaries, and 
refused them all means of defence ; but the States -General 
are persuaded that the good faith of all those who shall hear 
the propositions of the ambassadors will make them admit 
within themselves that this would not have been equitable, 
and that they will approve the axiom : Politicum in civil- 
ihus dissensionihus, quamvis scepe per eas status Icedatur, 
non tamen in exitiwtn status contenditur, proinde qui in 
alterutras "partes descendunt hostium vice non habendi. 

" The States-General know that your Excellencies have 
appointed commissioners-extraordinary to examine the King's 
position ; they rely as much on the choice of your Excellencies 
as on the sincerity and good faith with which the said com- 
missioners will give, on the case in question, a judgment 
which may be submitted to the examination of the whole 
world, and be one day approved by the Supreme Judge to 
whom they will be responsible. All Avell-disposed persons 
expect that, in an affair of such importance, a wise and 
Christian course will be pursued. 

" The experience of all times has shown that distrust easily 
introduces itself into governments ; that in those which are 


composed of several bodies it is usually a powerful incite- 
ment ; that, in short, there is neither shame nor dishonour to 
be feared when the safety of the State is concerned, which 
renders all fears legitimate and commendable. Yet nothing 
can. be more lamentable than to give way to extravagant sus- 
picions, which interpret everything in an evil sense. 

" If your Excellencies thought that some calamity threat- 
ened the kingdom of England, in preventing it, you have 
attained your object. Every one knows that it happens to the 
wisest of those who govern a commonwealth to mix up with 
public affairs somewhat of their private affections ; and that 
never to fail in the management of great concerns is a per- 
fection above human nature, and the failing in which may 
well be excused. 

" This is what the States-General beg your Excellencies to 
take into consideration, persuaded that you will do it with 
the greatest wisdom. Notwithstanding the distrust your Ex- 
cellencies have conceived respecting so great a personage, you 
should take into account his long imprisonment (which, in 
itself, is already, according to the common law, a great punish- 
ment), and the gi'eat and notable services rendered to the 
kingdom of England by him and his predecessors, kings and 
queens. Your Excellencies will have compassion upon him, 
and remember : Ut eximatiir 2)eTiculo qui est inter vos 
celehri fania, ne i'psis opprobrio multi magis ac magis 

"■ It is of great importcxnce to the welfare of the kingdom 
of England that your Excellencies should proceed accordingly, 
and follow the counsel of that Roman who advised his coun- 
trymen, the better to assure the measures of Pompey's con- 
sulship, not to annul anything that had been done under 
preceding governments, but only to be prudent for the time 
to come. One may with reason apply to the present circum- 
stances that excellent precaution which one took to secure his 
own statue, by preventing the overthrow of that of his enemy, 
whom he had completely subdued. It is thus your Excellen- 
cies are requested to act in an affair of such high importance, 
which may be the source of many troubles, and to show your 
goodness towards this great personage, in preserving him from 


shame and ignominy ; for it is not sparing men to allow them 
to be dishonoured. The Parliament is, then, entreated to 
restore the king to liberty. 

" The ambassadors are also, according to circumstances, 
'mutatis mutandis, to lay the above considerations before 
General Fairfax and the council of the army, adding, that 
their distinguished merit has given them great authority in 
the kingdom of England, and that all these things depend 
principally on them, and will turn upon their intentions. On 
which account the States- General recommend this affair to 
their great wisdom, so that they may be to England (whose 
greatest hopes are now placed in them), not only a shield and 
a sword in time of war, but also a help to the King in his 
unhappy situation, by directing public discussions towards a 
good and moderate end, by which the kingdom will profit, 
and which will bring on themselves immortal glory. By their 
magnanimity, they will cause most of their fellow-citizens to 
shed tears of joy, who are at this moment on the point of 
weeping with sorrow. Of old, it was said that the Syracusans 
were but the body and the limbs, and that Archimedes was 
the soul which gave motion to all ; the same thing may be 
said at present, with far more reason, of the kingdom of 
England, and of his Excellency and the council of the army : 
this body and these limbs will not act, in the present affair, 
under any other direction than that which his Excellency and 
the council of the army shall give them according to their wise 
reflections. While thus setting forth their own eminent qua- 
lities in fresh glory and grandeur, the benefit will be felt by 
every inhabitant of the kingdom. The ambassadors will 
moreover add, that there was a great captain and wise states- 
man who gloried in having never caused any one of his 
countrymen to shed a tear, regarding as the sweetest fruit of 
his victories that he could every day dare to meet all his 
fellow-citizens, following the proverb : ' That clemency wins 
love and reverence for all those who practise it, and that 
severity, far from removing obstacles and difiiculties, usually 
augments and multiplies them.' 

" Prudent physicians, also, fear to employ too powerful 
remedies, because these often drive the disease and the life 


from the body at the same time, and for greater safety's sake 
thev orefer the use of gentler means. 

^U his Excellency and the comicil of the army ac thus, 
the hearts of the well-disposed subjects of England ^vrll unite 
in reciprocal friendship, better and more powerful to con- 
solidate a state than the heaviest chains of iron. 

"The States-General think that the kmgdom of England 
will be invincible, if his Excellency, as well as «» ^^^^ "^ 
the army will proceed on foundations so equitable to the 
worldTnd so agr'eeable to God, and which are besides so con- 
formable to the character of the English nation, and to the 
sration of its affairs. Finally, the States-General entreat 
hk Excellency and the council of the army to embrace and 
employ the said means, so that the King may be enlarged 
from his prison and restored to liberty." 


" High and Mightt Lords, 

" On arriving here on the 5th instant, towards even- 
ing, we were received by the Master of the Ceremomes of 
Parliament with ma^y excuses, and we immediately recjuested 
and insisted upon an audience for the next day. On the 6th 
Lly in the morning, we requested, through o™ J-— 
and the Master of the Ceremonies, to be presented to both 
Houses of Parliament. In reply, the Speaker of the Uppe. 
House sent word to us, that the said House had adjourned to 
Monday, and the Speaker of the House o Commons inti- 
mated that, notwithstanding some particular obstacles, he 
would present our request, and endeavour to obtain ajent to 
r Our secretaries having waited for the answer the Speaker 
let us know in the afternoon that the House had not been 
able to sit in the morning, because all the judges who form 
part of it, had had to attend the high court of justice and 
Lt for tliis reason the Lower House also had been obliged 
to adioum to Monday next. Learmng afterwards, that on 
the sle day the slid court of justice had pronounced 
sentence of death against the King, in his own presence, we 


succeeded, on Sunday the 7th instant (although all occupa- 
tions that do not relate to religious worship are set aside 
on this day), after much trouble, in obtaining in the morning, 
first, a private audience of the Speaker of the Lower House, 
then, one of that of the Upper House ; and, at last, in the 
afternoon (but not without great difficulty), we were admitted 
to the presence of General Fairfax, Lieutenant -General 
Cromwell, and the principal officers of the army, who were at 
the same time assembled at the General's house. We toade 
all possible representations to the said Speakers, General, 
and Lieutenant-General, as well in private as when assembled 
together ; we supported our solicitations with the most 
powerful arguments we could devise, to obtain a reprieve of 
the King's execution (which, it was said, was fixed for Monday), 
until we should have been heard by the Parliament ; but we 
only received different answers, dictated by the disposition or 
the temper of each of them. 

" On Monday the 8th, early in the morning, we sent again 
to the Speakers of both Houses, to urge them to obtain an 
audience for us ; and after our secretaries, together with the 
Master of the Ceremonies, had been kept waiting at West- 
minster till the afternoon, we were all at once informed, 
scarcely ten minutes before the time, that the two Houses 
would receive us before they went to dinner, and that we were 
to go at two o'clock to the Upper House, and at three to the 
House of Commons. We acted according to this intimation, 
and went to the Upper House, where there were very few 
peers, as v/ell as to the House of Commons, where sat about 
eighty Members. After having verbally stated and delivered 
in writing the substance of our instructions, tending prin- 
cipally to have the King's execution postponed until we 
should, in a second audience, or in conferences, have had 
opportunities to state more powerful grounds to induce them 
to grant him his life, or at least not to proceed precipitately 
to execute the sentence of death, we were answered by the 
two Speakers that our proposal should be taken into con- 

" The members of the Upper House voted, that conferences 
on this subject, between the two Houses should immediately 


take place ; but as the day was already far advanced, and as 
the members of the House of Commons, as soon as our 
audience was over, rose to depart, even before we had left the 
anteroom, into which we had been conducted on our way out, 
we with all speed had our proposal trauvslated into English, 
and delivered to the Speaker of the Lower House, and after- 
wards to the Speaker of the Upper House. 

" Yet, having seen yesterday, as we passed by Whitehall, 
that preparations were making, which were said to be for the 
execution, and having conferred for a long time this morning 
with the Commissioners of the Crown of Scotland, to save, if 
possible, the King's life, we still continued to request of 
Parliament, through our secretaries, either an answer or 
another audience ; and endeavoured, by the intervention of 
the Scottish Commissioners, to speak once more to the 
General, and met him about noon at his secretary's house, at 
Whitehall. The General was at length touched by our 
animated and pressing entreaties, and declared that he would 
go directly to Westminster, and recommend to Parliament to 
grant the answer and the reprieve we requested, and that he 
would take a few officers of note with him to support the 

" But we found, in front of the house in which we had just 
spoken with the General, about two hundred horsemen ; and 
we learned, as well on our way as on reaching home, that all 
the streets, passages, and squares of London were occupied by 
troops, so that no one could j)ass, and that the approaches of 
the City were covered with cavalry, so as to prevent any one 
from coming in or going out. We could not, and we knew 
not in consequence, what further to do. Two days before, as 
well previous to as after our audience, we had, by trustworthy 
persons, been assured that no proceeding or intercession in the 
world could succeed, and that God alone could prevent the 
execution resolved upon ; and so the Scottish Commissioners, 
with great pains, had also told us. And so it proved ; for, 
the same day, between two and three o'clock, the King was 
taken to a scaffold covered with black, erected before White- 
hall. His Majesty, accompanied by the Bishop of London, 
who, it is said, had that morning, at six o'clock, administered 


to him the holy sacrament and consolations of religion, after 
having said a few words, gave up the garter, the blue riband, 
and his cloak, took his coat off himself, and showed a great 
deal of firmness in all his conduct. The King, having laid 
himself down, his head was cut off, and held up to the gaze of 
the assembled crowd. 

" This is what, to our great regret, we are obliged to 
announce to your High Mightinesses ; and we declare that we 
have employed all possible diligence, without intei-raission and 
with all our power, to acquit ourselves of your High Mightinesses' 
commission, in seeking to prevent the execution of this so 
fatal sentence. Meantime, as in this country all kinds of 
reports are put forth, for and against, according to every one's 
fancy, and as they are often misinterpreted and embellished 
or exaggerated, particularly now all minds are so excited, we 
pray your High Mightinesses, in case you should receive 
reports contrary to or more alarming than the present, to 
place no faith in them ; and to believe us, who came hither 
at the peril of our lives, and have neglected none of the duties 
with which we were charged. 

" We dare not send your High Mightinesses the further 
particulars that we learn in many quarters, confidential or 
public, on this event, as the passage is very difficult, all the 
seaports being closed. We will only add that it is said the 
King, on the scafibld, recommended that religion should be 
strengthened by taking the advice of Koman Catholic divines, 
and that the rights of the Prince, his son, should be respected; 
adding, that he thought himself in conscience innocent of the 
blood which had been shed, exce]3t of that of the Earl of 
Strafford. Immediately after the King's death, it was 
announced and proclaimed throughout the City by sound of 

" We beg the Almighty to grant a long prosperity to your 
High Mightinesses, and to your high and mighty Govern- 

(Signed) " Alb. Joachim. 

" London, Febmary Dth, 1649." 



" High and Mighty Lokds, 

" By our first dispatch of the 9th instant, we minutely 
informed your High Mightinesses of all the proceedings we 
had taken with the principal functionaries and other eminent 
personages in this country, as well as of the solicitations we 
addressed to them, and the proposals we transmitted publicly 
and in writing to the two Houses of Parliament (of which 
we herein insert a copy, not having had time to append it to 
our preceding despatch, which was sent by an unexpected 
opportunity), proposals which were left unanswered, as was 
our request to be admitted to a second audience, and which 
were followed by the immediate execution of the King, and 
the prohibition to any one whomsoever, under pain of high 
treason, to take upon himself any authority in the name of 
monarchical power, or to acknowledge and favour the Govern- 
ment of the Prince of Wales, or any other pretender to the 
royal succession. 

" Already, before this event, we apprehended, and our 
fears have since been realized, that it had been resolved 
among the authorities here to abolish entirel}'- the monarchical 
Government, and to establish one of a quite different nature ; 
for it is publicly said here that the descendants of the late 
King will be, without any exception, excluded for ever from 
any sovereignty in this country, though it is not ascertained 
what sort of Government is to replace that which is abolished. 

" We have also just heard that already commissioners are 
appointed by Parliament to go with all speed to Scotland, 
where they presume and annoimce being able to direct affairs 
according to the system adopted in England. It is also said, 
publicly as well as in private, that the members of the Tipper 
House show themselves displeased at the King's execution, 
and do not at all agree with the House of Commons on the 
changes to be introduced in the Government ; on the other 
hand, it is thought that Scotland wishes to remain faithful to 
monarchical Government, and to its old institutiona It is diflfi- 
cult to foresee what will be the issue of all these combinations 

VOL. II. 2 H 


and changes in the two countries ; and though pubhc tran- 
quillity is nowise disturbed in this capital, in consequence of 
the strict watch kept by the numerous military posts, we are 
ignorant what, in this respect, is the situation of the provinces, 

" Yesterday, we received a visit from the Lieutenant- 
General Cromwell, who spoke to us with infinite respect of 
the Government of your High Mightinesses ; among other 
subjects, he introduced that of religion, giving us to under- 
stand that, with the concurrence of your High Mightinesses, 
it would be as possible as necessary to re-establish it here 
upon a better system, and to give it a better organization. 

" The Earl of Denbigh, who came also yesterday to see us, 
spoke at great length on different questions relating to the 
Government, past and to come ; whence we concluded that 
there are still many affairs to arrange, and that the measures 
they propose to take do not afford any probable conjecture 
as to their issue and success. As the unhappy event of 
the King's execution puts an end to the negociation with 
which our extraordinary embassy was charged, we will jointly 
use our endeavours that the affairs of our mission may suffer 
as little as possible, and may continue to be treated according 
to the interests and to the entire satisfaction of your High 

" The high court of justice having terminated its functions, 
other extraordinary tribunals have been instituted, to try the 
peers and other illustrious state prisoners, such as the Duke 
of Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, Lord Goring, &c. Those 
of a lower rank will be tried by the ordinary tribunals, and 
the prisoners of war by a court-martial. 

" Among other matters that are at present treated of in 
Parliament, it is proposed that our people should enjoy here 
all the rights of navigation, commerce, manufacture, trades, 
and market, equally and in common with the English nation. 
We were not ignorant of these dispositions, and, moreover, 
were given to understand that they would be disposed to 
make more full and minute proposals to us on this subject- 
We think we hereby give your High Mightinesses an evident 
proof that people here are occupying themselves with questions 
quite out of the ordinary track of affairs. 

Al'l'KNDIX. 467 

" We implore the Almighty to keep in long prosperity the 
Government of your High Mightinesses. 

(Signed) " Alb. Joachim, 

" A. Pauw. 

" Londou, February 12, 1649." 

v. third despatch. 

" High and Mjghty Lords, 

" After the bloody catastrophe which put an end to 
the King's life, an event of which our despatches of the 9th 
and 1 2th instant informed your High Mightinesses, we resolved 
to keep within our lodgings, after the example of other ambas- 
sadors, and of the Scottish Commissioners. The French 
ambassador and the Scottish Commissioners, however, having 
paid us a visit before this event, and the Spanish ambassador 
having repeatedly done us the same honour before and after, 
we could do no otherwise than return these acts of kindness : 
we accordingly acquitted ourselves of this duty on the 13th, 
and we remarked that their excellencies were deeply affected 
by this great event, though the French ambassador had assured 
us beforehand of his perfect knowledge of the events which 
would take place. 

" The ambassador of Spain, Don Alfonso de Cardenas, told 
us that the day after this fatal event he had received orders 
from the King his master to intervene in the affairs of this 
country : but at present he is of opinion, as well as the French 
ambassador, that by the unexpected death of the King of 
England, their diplomatic functions and character having 
ceased, they cannot act any longer in their high office, nor 
interfere in any respect until they have received fresh orders 
from their Court. The Scottish Commissioners have sent two 
despatches to their constituents, that is, to the Scottish Parlia- 
ment at present assembled ; they expect an answer to their 
first despatch in the course of the week, and will not act till 
they are duly authorized. 

" The general opinion is, that the Government will undergo 
an entire change ; that the Royal Family will be set aside, 
and another form of Government introduced ; that perhaps 
they will imitate that of the Republic of Venice, of the 


United Provinces, or some other Republican Government. 
We are informed that, in fact, nine members of the House 
of Peers and eighteen of that of the House of Commons are 
to meet in commission to draw up conjointly the basis of a 
fresh constitution. The 13th of this month was the day 
appointed for the meeting of the King's judges, in a court of 
justice at Westminster Hall ; but we have just been informed 
that the meeting did not take place, the judges having alleged 
that they were not sufficiently qualified for this, their functions 
having expired at the King's death, and that they cannot 
resolve to accept so suddenly their new nominations made by 
Parliament, nor change the title of their acts of procedure 
and other necessary formalities, such as those adopted by 
Parliament on the 29th of January, 1648, and which we 
transmitted to your High Mightinesses by our despatch of the 
9th instant. We continue in the most complete uncertainty 
as to the issue of the events which, from the diversity of 
opinions and other fortuitous occurrences, may still undergo 
vicissitudes that it is impossible to submit to any probable 
conjecture ; we shall, therefore, merely remark, that hitherto 
public tranquillity has not been in any way disturbed ; and 
we pray your High Mightinesses to attach no other value to 
our information than that which may be merited by our 
efforts to discover truth in this maze of true and false reports 
which we receive on all sides, and which only leave us the 
satisfaction of confidentially informing your High Mightinesses 
of what we have been able to collect in our zeal for your 

(Signed) " Adrian Pauw, 

" Alb. Joachim. 

" Londou, February 15th, 1649." 


" High and Mighty Lords, 

" The information contained in our last despatch, of 
the 15th of this month, having appeared sufficiently important 
to us, we took care to forward it to your High Mightinesses 
by a safe and speedy opportunity ; yet the wind having since 


that time been very contrary, we fear it did not reach its 
destination so speedily as we had hoped. Since that, we have 
witnessed events of still greater importance. On the 16th of 
this month, the House of Commons, notwithstanding the 
expectation and the wish of the commissioners of both Houses, 
sitting in committee, and which requested to be consulted on 
all the measures to be taken, decreed that the House of 
Lords should from that period cease its functions, and be no 
longer consulted or looked upon as a deliberative body, or as 
constituting an authority in anything concerning the affairs of 
the kingdom ; so that, notwithstanding that the lords and 
princes still retain their titles and dignities, and are qualified 
to occupy any office whatever, there will in future be only one 
sole House of Commons as the English Parliament ; and the 
peers will no longer be admitted in it but as deputies elected 
by the counties. Next day, the J 7th, the House of Commons 
by a decree abolished for ever the office of King in England. 
We are informed, moreover, that the Parliament, thus reduced to 
one House of Commons alone, will meet once every two years 
for a limited time ; and that permanent executive power will be 
vested in a council of thirty or forty members, of whom about 
twelve may be peers. The council thus organized will repre- 
sent, during the recess of Parliament, the sovereign power of 
the kingdom. This last measure is not, however, so definitely 
resolved as the two above-mentioned. The House of Commons 
is becoming, by degrees, complete, by the return of several 
members, who resume their seats on signing an expurgatory 
act, by which they declare that they renounce the opinions 
which heretofore placed them in opposition to their colleagues. 
It is also said that at an early day new judges for the higher 
courts will be elected, and new justices of peace. 

" The Earl of Denbigh, Speaker of the House of Lords, not 
having been able to send us a message on the 1 7th, came to 
pay us a visit on the 18th, to inform us in what manner had 
been carried into effect the dissolution of this assembly, and 
to deliver the last commands he had received from theu' lord- 
ships, in transmitting to us their answer to our projDosals ; and 
after having read them to us, he gave us the copy, which we 


enclose in the present despatch, retaining to himself the 
original manuscript as his personal quittance, adding that it 
was, at the same time, the last deliberative act of the Upper 
House, which had not wished to dissolve until it had given 
this mark of respect to your High Mightinesses. 

" The House of Commons also sent to ask us, by its own 
messenger, when it would suit us to present ourselves to them 
to receive their answer to our proposals. To which we replied, 
that as soon as the House would acquaint us with the time 
appointed for this audience, we would attend. 

" Since the unhappy event of the King's death, we had not 
insisted upon an answer ; and though we had heard no more 
about it, we learn at this moment that an outline of this 
answer has been published in the ' Gazette,' without any 
official communication of it having been sent us. A report 
had previously been spread, and even printed, that we had 
requested that our proposals should not be made public. 
Nothing can be more false than this assertion. Without 
having in any way interfered in the matter, or having even 
mentioned a word on the subject, we left it entirely to the 
discretion of the two Houses, to each of which our proposals 
were separately addressed in writing, with the necessary form. 
We liave remarked, besides, that the reply made by us to the 
Speaker of the House of Commons, when our proposals were 
delivered, has not been inserted in the ' Gazette ' in its real 
tenour, and it has been hitherto impossible for us to discover 
whether such publications appear with or without the sanction 
of the superior authorities. 

" On the 16tli of this month, some troops of infantry and 
cavalry marched hence to Bristol ; and there is a report that 
in that town, as well as at Gloucester, some indignation has 
been expressed against the proceedings of Parliament. Here, 
however, and in the neighbourhood, all is quiet. 

" To-day being the day appointed for the appearance of 
the impeached lords before the newly- created High Court at 
Westminster Hall, Goring, Capel, Hamilton, Holland, and Sir 
John Owen, these lords, with the exception of the Earl of 
Holland, who is ill, appeared before that Court, and after 


having heard each in his turn, tlie charges brought against 
him, and given in answers to them, were sent back to prison, 
to await another summons for the continuation of their 

(Signed) " Adrian Pauw, 

" Alb. Joachim." 

vii. fifth despatch. 

" High and Mighty Lords, 

" The Commissioners of the kingdom of Scotland, 
having received despatches from their Parliament, sent word 
of their contents to us last evening at a somewhat irregular 
hour, and forwarded to us the proclamation, the decree, and 
the letter, copies of which accompany this despatch. Your 
High Mightinesses will learn by their contents, that the 
Prince of Wales has just been proclaimed, by the Scottish 
Parliament, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland. The 
Commissioners, besides, informed us that a gentleman had 
been immediately sent abroad with copies of these decrees ; 
that the proclamation of them had been made in every 
direction, and that they were preparing forthwith to send an 
envoy, furnished with the largest instructions to his Majest}'. 
It is rumoured here that the Parliament is much displeased at 
this measure ; and particularly because the Scots did not 
content themselves with proclaiming him King of Scotland 
oidy, but had added to his titles ' King of Great Britain and 
Ireland.' Levies of troops are going on here in secret, and 
are constantly dispatched towards Scotland and other places, 
which makes it to be presumed that in the latter engagements 
many men were killed. The capital yet continues to enjoy 
perfect tranquillity, and exhibits no appearance of sedition. 
The complements of the men-of-war are being made up, one 
after another, and we should not be surprised if in a very 
short time there were nearly thirty vessels perfectly equipped 
and ready for sea ; this number, it is confidently said, will 
hereafter be increased to seventy, and it is added that three 
commissioners of Parliament will take the command or 


superintendence of this fleet : as to that, there seems no 
longer any mention made of the Earl of Warwick as com- 
mander. Last Monday, the 22nd instant, the gentleman- 
usher came to inform us that on the Wednesday or Thursday 
following, we should be requested to go to Parliament, to 
receive, before the whole House, an answer to our proposals. 
On Wednesday he informed us that the audience would take 
place on Thursday evening ; and accordingly on that day we 
were conducted in state to W^estminster Hall. Having been 
immediately introduced into the House of Commons, we 
sat down on the chairs placed for us, and the Speaker, having 
read to us the answer of the House, gave us a copy of it. 
Whereupon, we answered, in a few words, that when we had 
read it, we would ourselves transmit it to our Government, 
whom it was our intention, with the least possible delay, to 
rejoin, and that we availed ourselves of the present oppor- 
tunity to take leave of Parliament in our quality of ambas- 
sadors-extraordinary. The House that day was much fuller 
than at our first audience, on account of the return of several 
of their absent members, and the restoration of many 
dissentient members who had successively come to resume 
their seats under the expurgatory Act. The nomination of a 
greater number of members has been one of the first cares of 
the new House ; after which they proceeded to elect the 
thirty-eight members of whom the State Council of the king- 
dom is to be composed, and whose names and qualities your 
High Mightinesses will read in the enclosed ' Gazette.' The 
judges of the kingdom also resumed their sittings last week, 
and held their usual term. 

" The day before our last audience, and consequently after 
the notification we had received of it, we received the letters 
of your High Mightinesses of the 22nd instant ; and having 
already made preparations for our departure, we shall effect it 
as soon as possible, wishing to return as soon as we can to 
your High Mightinesses, to communicate the answer we have 
received, and render a detailed account of our mission, which 
has been accompanied and followed by a multitude of inci- 
dents and circumstances, which, in the present precarious state 


of affairs, we do not think proper to trust to paper. Contrary 
winds and severe frosts having imj^eded the navigation of the 
Thames, we cannot fix the day of our departure ; but we will 
seize the first opportunity to return, either directly or by way of 
Dover and Calais, notwithstanding the inconveniences which 
this last passage is said to present. 

" The state prisoners, viz., the Duke of Hamilton, Lord 
Goring, Lord Capel, and Sir John Owen, have already 
ajjpeared several times before the high court of justice. The 
first put in a bill of exceptions, but it was rejected, and he 
was ordered to prepare his defence, and counsel were assigned 
to him. The three others have confined themselves within 
the terms of their defence, particularly Lord Capel, against 
whom, as to the capitulation and the quarter granted. General 
Fairfax and Commissary-General Ireton were heard as wit- 
nesses, appearing for this specially before the Court. All these 
circumstances make one entertain fears as to the fate of these 
noble personages, who are considered to be in imminent 
danger. We think it proper to inform your High Mighti- 
nesses, that the present is the sixth despatch we have sent 
you, the two preceding ones being of the loth and 19th 
instant; the delays occasioned by contrary winds and the 
frost give us reason to fear that all may not have reached your 
High Mightinesses. 

(Signed) " Adrian Pauw. 

"Alb. Joachim. 

" London, February 26th, 1649." 


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