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A great English force had been anticipated; but the late quarrel with the Army had rendered that impossible. Jones, with such inadequate forces as he had, made head against the Rebels; * gained 'a great victory' over them on the 8th of August, at a place called Dungan Hill, not far from Trim :* 'the most signal victory we had yet gainedfor which there was thankfulness enough.—Four days before that Sermon by Hugh Peters, followed by the military conclave in Putney Church, Cromwell had addressed this small Letter of Congratulation to Jones, whom, by the tone of it, he does not seem to have personally known:
For the Honorable Col. Jones, Governor of Dublin, and Commander-inChief of all the Forces in Leinster: These.
'Putney,' 14th September, 1647
The mutual interest and agreement we have in the same.Causef give me occasion, as to congratulate, so 'likewise' abundantly to rejoice in God's gracious Dispensation unto you and by you. We have, both in England and Ireland, found the immediate presence and assistance of God, in guiding and succeeding our endeavors hitherto; and therefore ought, as I doubt not both you and we desire, to ascribe the glories of all to Him, and to improve all we receive from Him unto Him alone.
Though, it may be, for the present a cloud may lie over our actions to those who are not acquainted with the grounds of them; yet we doubt not but God will clearf our integrity and innocency from any other ends we aim at but His glory and the Public Good. And as you are an instrument herein, so we shall, as becometh us, upon all occasions, give you your due honor. For my own particular,—wherein I may have your commands to serve you, you shall find none more ready than he that sincerely desires to approve himself,
Your affectionate friend and humble servant,
Michael Jones is the name of this Colonel; there are several
•Rushworth, vii.,779; Carte, ii., v.
f Words uncertain to the Copyist; sense not doubtful.
X Ms. Volume of Letters in Trinity-College Library, Dublin (marked: F. 3. 18), fol. 62. Autograph; docketed by Jones himself, of whom the Volume contains other memorials
Colonel Joneses; difficult to distinguish. One of them, Colonel John Jones, Member for Merionethshire, and known too in Ireland, became afterwards the Brother-in-law of Cromwell; and ended tragically as a Regicide in 1661. Colonel Michael gained other signal successes in Ireland";'welcomed Oliver into it in 1649; and died there soon after of a fever.
One of the remarkablest circumstances of this new Irish Campaign is, that Colonel Monk, George Monk, is again in it. He was taken prisoner, fresh from Ireland, at Nantwich, three years ago. After lying three years in the Tower, seeing his Majesty's affairs now desperate, he has consented -to take the Covenant, embark with the Parliament; and is now doing good service in Ulster.
'To His Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliaments Army: These.
Putney, 13th October, 1647.
The case concerning Captain Middleton hears* ill; inasmuch as it is delayed, upon pretences, from coming to a trial. It is not, I humbly conceive, fit that it should stay any longer. The Soldiers complain thereof, and their witnesses have been examined. Captain Middleton, and some others for him, have made stay thereof hitherto.
I beseech your Excellency to give order it may be tried on Friday, or Saturday at farthest, if you please; and that so much may be signified to the Advocate.
Sir, I pray excuse my not attendance upon you. I feared ' to' miss the House, a day, where it's very necessary for me to be. I hope your Excellency will be at the Head-quarter to-morrow, where, if God be pleased, I shall wait upon you.
Your Excellency's humble servant,
Captain Middleton and his case have vanished completely out
of the records; whether it was tried on Saturday, and how decided, will never now be known. Doubtless Fairfax ' signified' somewhat to the Advocate about it, but let us not ask what. * The Advocate ' is called 'John Mills, Esquire, Judge-Advocate;'* whose military Law-labors have mostly become silent now. The former Advocate was Dr. Dorislaus; of whom also a word. Dr. Dorislaus, by birth Dutch; appointed Judge-Advocate at the beginning of Essex's campaignings; known afterwards on the King's Trial; and finally, for that latter service, assassinated at the Hague, one evening, by certain highflying Royalist cutthroats, Scotch several of them. The Portraits represent him as a man of heavy, deep-wrinkled, elephantine countenance, pressed down with the labors of life and law; the good ugly man here found his quietus.
The business in the House, 'where it's necessary for me to be' without miss of a sitting, is really important, or at least critical, in these October days; Settlement of Army arrears, duties and arrangements; Tonnage and Poundage; business of the London Violence upon the Parliament (pardoned for the most part); business of Lieutenant-Colonel John Lilburn, now growing very noisy ;—above all things, final Settlement with the King, if that by any method could be possible. The Army-Parliament too still sits; 'Council of War' with its Adjutator meeting frequently at Putney.f In the House, and out of the House, Lieutenant General Cromwell is busy enough.
This very day, 'Wednesday, 13th October, 1647,' we find him deep in debate ' On the farther establishment of the Presbyterial Government' (for the law is still loose, the Platform except in London never fairly on foot); and Teller on no fewer than three divisions. First. Shall the Presbyterian Government be limited to three years? Cromwell answers Yea, in a House of 73; is beaten by a majority of 3. Second, Shall there be a limit of time to it? Cromwell again answers Yea; beats, this time, by a majority of 14, in a House now of 74 (some individual having dropt in). Third, Shall the limit be seven years? Crom
* Spngge, p. 326. t Rushworth, vii., 849, &c.
well answers Yea; and in a House still of 74 is beaten by 8. It is finally got settled that the limit of time shall be 'to the end of the next Session of Parliament after the end of this Present Session,'—a very vague Period, 'this present session' having itself already proved rather long! Note, too, this is not yet a Law; it is only a Proposal to be made to the King, if his Majesty will concur, which seems doubtful. Debating enough !—Saturday last there was a call of the House, and great quantities of absent Members; 'cegrotantes,' a good many of them,—sickness being somewhat prevalent in those days of waiting upon Providence.*
To His Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, General of the Parliament's Army: These.
Putney, 22d October, 1647.
Hearing the Garrison of Hull is most distracted in liie present government, and that the most faithful and honest Officers have no disposition to serve there any longer under the present Gover nor; and that it is their earnest desires, with all the trusty and faithful inhabitants of the Town, to have Colonel Overton sent to them to be your Excellency's Deputy over them,—I do humbly offer to your Excellency, Whether it might not be convenient that' Colonel Overton be speedily sent down; that so that Garrison may be settled in safe hands. And that your Excellency would be pleased to send for Colonel Overton, and confer with him about it. That either the Regiment' now ' in the Town may be so regulated as your Excellency may be confident that the Garrison may be secured by them; or otherwise it may be drawn out, and his own Regiment in the Army be sent down thither with him.— But I conceive, if the Regiment in Hull can be made serviceable to youi Excellency, and included in the Establishment, it will be better to continue it there, than to bury a Regiment of your Army in the Garrison.
Sir, the expedient will be very necessary, in regard of the present dia
• Commons Journals, v., 329; ib., 333.
tractions here. This I thought fit to offer to your Excellency's consider ation. I shall humbly take leave to subscribe myself Your Excellency's
Humble ' and faithful servant,
Oliver Cromwell. *
After Hotham's defection and execution, the Lord Ferdinando Fairfax, who had valiantly defended the place, was appointed Governor of Hull; which office had subsequently been conferred on the Generalissimo Sir Thomas, his Son; and was continued to him, on the readjustment of all Garrisons in the spring of this same year.f Sir Thomas therefore was express Governor of Hull at this time. Who the substitute or Deputy under him was, I do not know. Some Presbyterian man; unfit for the stringent times that had arrived, when no algebraic formula, but only direct vision of the relations of things would suffice a man.
Colonel Overton was actually appointed Governor of Hull: there is a long Letter from the Hull people about Colonel Overton's laying free billet upon them, a Complaint to Fairfax on the subject, next year.J He continued long in that capacity; zealously loyal to Cromwell and his cause,§ till the Protectorship came on. His troubles afterwards, and confused destinies, may again concern us a little.
This Letter is written only three weeks before the King took his flight from Hampton Court. One spark illuminating (very faintly) that huge dark world, big with such results, in the Army's quarters about Putney, and elsewhere!
* Sloane Msg., 1519, fol.82:—Signature, and all after ' humble,' is torn off. The Letter is not an autograph; it has been dictated, apparently in^reat haste.
t 13 March, 1646-7 (Commons Journals, v 111). X 4 March, 1647-8 (Rushworth, vii., 1020).
§ Sir James Turner's Memoirs. Milton State-Papers (London, 1743), pp. 10, 24, 161,—where the Editor calls him Colonel Richard Overton: hia name was Robert: 'Richard Overton' is a ' Leveller,' unconnected witlr him; Colonel Richard Overton is a non-existence.