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The conquering of the King had been a difficult operation; but to make a Treaty with him now when he was conquered, proved an impossible one. The Scots, to whom he had fled, entreated him, at last 'with tears *and 'on their knees,' to take the Covenant, and sanction the Presbyterian worship, if he could not adopt it: on that condition they would fight to the last man for him; on no other condition durst or would a man of them fight for him. The English Presbyterians, as yet the dominant party, earnestly entreated to the same effect. In vain, both of them. The King had other schemes: the King writing privately to Digby, before quitting Oxford, when he had some mind to venture privately on London, as he ultimately did on the Scotch Camp, to raise Treaties and Caballings there, had said, "— endeavoring to get to London; being not without hope that I shall be able so to draw either the Presbyterians or the Independents to side with me for extirpating one another, that I shall be really King again."* Such a man is not easy to make a Treaty with,— on the word of a King! In fact his Majesty, though a belligerent party who had not now one soldier on foot, considered himself a tower of strength; as indeed he was; all men having a to us inconceivable reverence for him, till bitter Necessity and he together drove them away from it. Equivocations, spasmodic obstinacies, and blindness to the real state of facts, must have an
The following Six Letters, of little or no significance for illustrating public affairs, are to carry us over a period of most intricate negotiation: negotiation with the Scots, managed manfully on both sides, otherwise it had ended in quarrel; negotiations with the King; infinite public and private negotiations ;—which issue at last in the Scots marching home with 200,0007. as 'a
• Oxford, 26 March, 1646-7; Carte's Life of Ormond, iii. (London, 1735), p. 452.
fair instalment of their arrears,' in their pocket; and the King marching, under escort of Parliamentary Commissioners, to Holmby House in Northamptonshire, to continue in strict though very stately seclusion, 'on 507. a-day,'* and await the destinies there.
'• To the Right Honorable Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliament's Army These.'
• London,' 31st July, 1646.
I was desired to write a Letter to you by Adjutant Flemming. The end of it is, To desire your Letter in his commendation. He will acquaint you with the sum thereof, more particularly what the business is. I most humbly submit to your better judgment when you have it from him.
Craving pardon for my boldness in putting you to this trouble,
Your most humble servant,
Adjutant Flemming is in Sprigge's Army-List. I suppose him to be the Flemming who, as Colonel Flemming, in Spring, 1048, had rough service in South Wales two years afterwards; andwas finally defeated,—attempting to 'seize a Pass' near Pembroke Castie, then in revolt under Poyer; was driven into a Church, and there slain,—some say, slew himself.§
Of Flemming's present 'business' with Fairfax, whether it were to solicit promotion here, or continued employment in Ireland, nothing can be known. The War, which proved to be but the 'First War,' is now, as- we said, to all real intents, ended: Ragland Castle, the last that held out for Charles, has been under siege for some weeks; and Fairfax, who had been 'at the Bath for his health,' was now come or coming into those parts for the pe
* Whitlocke, p. 244.
t At Ragland, or about leaving Bath for the purpose of concluding Ragland Siege (Rushworth, vi , 293). X Sloane Mss., 1519, fol. 70.
§ Rushworth, vii., 1097, 38 .—a little ' before' 27 March, 1648
remptory reduction of it.* There have begun now to be discussions and speculations about sending men to Ireland about sending Massey (famed Governor of Gloucester) to Ireland with men, and then also about disbanding Massey's men.
Exactly a week before, 24th July, 1646, the united Scots and Parliamentary Commissioners have presented their 'Propositions' to his Majesty at Newcastle :J Yes or No, is all the answer they can take. They are most zealous that he should say Yes. Chancellor Loudon implores and prophesies in a very remarkable manner: "All England will rise against you; they," these Sectarian Parties, "will process and depose you, and set up another Government," unless you close with the Propositions. His Majesty, on the 1st of August (writing at Newcastle, in the same hours while Cromwell writes this in London), answers in a haughty way, No.
August 10th. The Parliamentary Commissioners have returned, and three of the leading Scots with them,—to see what is now to be done. Fairfax is at Bath; and 'the Solicitor,' St. John the Shipmoney Lawyer, is there with him.
'To the Right Honorable Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliament's Army, at the Bath: These'
Sir, London, 10th August, 1646.
Hearing you were returned from Ragland to the Bath, 1 take the boldness to make this address to you.
Our Commissioners sent to the King came this night to London.} ] have spoken with two of them, and can only learn these generals, That there appears a good inclination in the Scots to the rendition of our Towns, and to their march out of the Kingdom. When they bring in
* Rushworth, vi., 293 ;—Fairfax's first Letter from Ragland is of 7 August; 14 August he dates from Usk; and Ragland is surrendered on the 17th.
t Cromwelliana, April, 1646, p. 31. t Rushworth. vi., 319
§ Commons Journals.
their Papers we shall know more. Argyle, and the Chancellor,* and Dunfermline are come up. Duke of Hamilton is gone from the King into Scotland. I hear that Montrose's men are not disbanded. The King gave a very general answer: things are not well in Scotland;— would they were in England! We are full of faction and worse.
I hear for certain that Ormond has concluded a Peace with the Rebels. Sir, I beseech you command the Solicitor to come away to us. His help would be welcome.—Sir, I hope you have not cast me off. Truly I may say, none more affectionately honors nor loves you. You and yours are in my daily prayers. You have done enough to command the uttermost of
Your faithful and most obedient servant, . Oliver Cromwell.x
'P.S.' I beseech you my humble service may be presented to your Lady.
'P.S. 2d.'J The money for disbanding Massey's men is gotten, and you will speedily have directions about them from the Commons House.
The Commissioners to Charles at Newcastle were: Earls Pembroke and Suffolk, from the Peers; from the Commons, Sir Walter Earle (Weymouth), Sir John Hippesley (Cockermouth), Robert Goodwin (East Grimstead, Sussex), Luke Robinson (Scarborough).§
'Duke of Hamilton :' the Parliamentary Army found him in Pendennis Castle,—no, in St. Michael's Mount Castle,—when they took these places in Cornwall lately. The Parliament has let him loose again ;—he has begun a course of new diplomacies, Which will end still more tragically for him.
Ormond is, on application from the Parliament, ostensibly ordered by his Majesty not to make peace with the outlaw Irish rebels; detestable to all men ;—but Jie of course follows his own judgment of the necessities of the case, being now nearly over with it himself, and the King under restraint unable to give any real 'orders.' The truth "vas, Ormond's Peace, odious to all English Protestants, had been signed and finished in March last; with this condition among others, That an Army of 10,000 Irish
* Loudon. t Sloane Mss., 1519, fol. 63.
t This second Postscript has been squeezed in above the other, and it evidently written after it. § Rushworth, vi., 309, where the proposals are also given