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say strange things:“Thata Hypocrite," or Solecism Incarnate, "ought not to reign over us; that we should treat with Cromu well, and give him assurance not to trouble England with a “King; that whosoever mars such a Treaty, the blood of the "slain shall be on his head!” “Which are strange words," says Baillie, “if true.” Scotland is in a hopeful way. The extreme party of Malignants in the North is not yet quite extinct; and here is another extreme party of Remonstrants in the West, – to whom all the conscientious rash men of Scotland, in Kirkcaldy and elsewhere, seem as if they would join themselves! Nothing but remonstrating, protesting, treatying and mistreatying from sea to sea.
To have taken up such a Remonstrance at first, and stood by it, before the War began, had been very wise: but to take it up now, and attempt not to make a Peace by it, but to continue the War with it, looks mad enough! Such nevertheless is Colonel Gibby Ker's project, - not Strahan's, it would seem: men's projects strangely cross one another in this time of bewilderment; and only perhaps in doing nothing could a man in such a scene act wisely. Lambert, however, is gone into the West with Threethousand horse to deal with Ker and his projects; the Lord General has himself been in the West: the end of Ker's projects is succinctly shadowed forth in the following Letter. From Baillie* we learn that Ker, with his Western Army, was lying at a place called Carmunnock, when he made this infall upon Lambert; that the time of it was “four in the morning of Sunday 1st December 1650;" and the scene of it Hamilton Town, and the streets and ditches thereabouts: a dark sad business, of an ancient Winter morning, - sufficiently luminous for our purpose with it here.
The "treaties among the Enemy" means Ker and Strahan's confused remonstratings and treatyings; the “result," or general upshot, of which is this scene in the ditches at four in the morning. **
* iii. 125. ** See also Whitlocke, 16th December 1650.
To the Honourable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the Parliament of England: These.
Edinburgh, 4th December 1650. I have now sent you the results of some Treaties amongst the Enemy, which came to my hand this day.
The Major-General and Commissary-General Whalley marched a few days ago towards Glasgow. The Enemy attempted his quarters in Hamilton; were entered the Town: but by the blessing of God, by a very gracious hand of Providence, without the loss of six men as I hear of, he beat them out; killed about an Hundred; took also about the same number, amongst whom are some prisoners of quality; and near an Hundred horse,
— as I am informed. The Major-General is still in the chase of them; to whom also I have since sent the addition of a fresh party. Colonel Ker (as my Messenger, this night, tells me) is taken; his Lieutenant-Colonel; and one that was sometimes Major to Colonel Strahan; and Ker's Captain-Lieutenant. The whole Party is shattered. And give me leave to say it, If God had not brought them upon us, we might have marched Three-thousand horse to death, and not have lighted on them. And truly it was a strange Providence brought them upon him. For I marched from Edinburgh on the north side of Clyde; "and had' appointed the Major-General to march from Peebles to Hamilton, on the south side of Clyde. I came thither by the time expected; tarried the remainder of the day, and until near seven o'clock the next morning, — apprehending then that the Major-General would not come, by reason of the waters. I being retreated, the Enemy took encouragement; marched all that night; and came upon the Major-General's quarters about two hours before day; where it pleased the Lord to order as you have heard.
sent me word) were still gone on in the prosecution of them; and “he' saith that, except an Hundred-and-fifty horse in one body, he hears they are fled, by sixteen or eighteen in a company, all the country over. Robin Montgomery was come out of Stirling, with four or five regiments of horse and dragoons, * but was put to a stand when he heard of the issue of this business. Strahan and some other Officers had quitted some three weeks or a month before this business; so that Ker commanded this whole party in chief.
It is given out that the Malignants will be almost all received, and rise unanimously and expeditiously. I can assure you, that those that serve you here find more satisfaction in having to deal with men of this stamp than 'with others; and it is our comfort that the Lord hath hitherto made it the matter of our prayers, and of our endeavours (if it might have been the will of God), To have had a Christian understanding between those that fear God in this land and ourselves. And yet we hope it hath not been carried on with a willing failing of our duty to those that trust us: -- and I am persuaded the Lord hath looked favourably upon our sincerity herein; and will still do so; and upon you also, whilst you make the Interest of God's People yours.
* For the purpose of rallying to him these Western forces, or such of them as would follow the official Authorities and him; and leading them to Stirling, to the main Army (Baillie, ubi supra). Poor Ker thought it might be useful to do a feat on his own footing first: and here is the conclusion of him! Colonel “Robin Montgomery" is the Earl of Eglinton's Son, whom we have repeatedly seen before.
Those religious People of Scotland that fall in this Cause, we cannot but pity and mourn for them; and we pray that all good men may do so too. Indeed there is at this time a very great distraction, and mighty workings of God upon the hearts of divers, both Ministers and People; much of it tending to the justification of your Cause. And although some are as bitter and as bad as ever; making it their business to shuffle hypocritically with their consciences and the Covenant, to make it 'seem' lawful to join with Malignants, which now they do, — as well they might long before, having taken in the Head ‘Malignant of them: yet truly others are startled at it; and some have been constrained by the work of God upon their consciences, to make sad and solemn accusations of themselves, and lamentations in the face of their Supreme Authority; charging themselves as guilty of the blood shed in this War, by having a hand in the Treaty at Breda, and by bringing the King in amongst them. This lately did a Lord of the Session; and withdrew 'from the Committee of Estates. And lately Mr. James Livingston, a man as highly esteemed as any for piety and learning, who was a Commissioner for the Kirk at the said Treaty, - charged himself with the guilt of the blood of this War, before their Assembly; and withdrew from them, and is retired to his own house.
It will be very necessary, to encourage victuallers to come to us, that you take off Customs and Excise from all things brought hither for the use of the Army. I beg your prayers; and rest,
Your humble servant,
OLIVER CROMWELL. S § Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, pp. 94, 5).
This then is the end of Ker's fighting project; a very mad one, at this state of the business. The Remonstrance continued long to be the symbol of the Extreme-Covenantor Whiggamore Party among the Scots; but its practical operation ceased here, Ker lies lamed, dangerously wounded; and, I think, will fight no more. * Strahan and some others, voted traitorous by the native Authorities, went openly over to Cromwell; - Strahan soon after died. As for the Western Army, it straightway dispersed itself; part towards Stirling and the Authorities; the much greater part to their civil callings again, wishing they had never quitted them. “This mis"carriage of affairs in the West by a few unhappy men,' says Baillie, “put us all under the foot of the Enemy. They pre"sently ran over all the country; destroying cattle and crops; 66putting Glasgow and all other places under grievous contri“butions. This makes me,” for my part, “stick at Perth; not "daring to go where the Enemy is master, as he now is of all 6 Scotland south of the Forth.” **
It only remains to be added, that the two Extreme Parties being broken, the Middle or Official one rose supreme, and widened its borders by the admission, as Oliver anticipated, " of the Malignants almost all;" a set of Public Resolutions" so-called being passed in the Scotch Parliament to that end, and ultimately got carried through the Kirk Assembly too. Official majority of “Resolutioners," with a zealous party of "Remonstrants," who are also called “Protesters:" in Kirk and State, these long continue to afflict and worry one another, sad fruit of a Covenanted Charles Stuart; but shall not farther concern us here. It is a great comfort to the Lord General that he has now mainly real Malignants for enemies in this country; and so cansmite without reluctance. Unhappy "Resolutioners," if they could subdue Cromwell, what would become of them at the hands of their own Malignants! They have admitted the Chief Malignant, "in whoin all Malignity
* Other notice of him, and of his unsubduable stiffness of neck, in Thurloe, iv. 480 (Dec. 1655), &c.
** iii. 125 (date, 20 January 1650-1). Carlyle, Cromwell. Ill.