A LETTER FROM The Earl of ESSEX to His Highnesse Prince RUPERT, con­cerning the putting to death of Souldiers come out of Ireland taken Prisoners.

WITH His Highnesse Answer thereunto.

BRISTOLL, Printed by ROBERT BARKER, and JOHN BILL, Printers to the Kings most Excel­lent Majesty: MDC.XLV.

A Letter from the Earl of Essex, to his Highnesse Prince Rupert.


THe two Houses of Parliament have received Information, That because the Committee at Shrewsbury caused thirteen Irish Rebels taken in Hosti­lity against the Parliament to suffer death, according to an Ordinance of Parliament herewith sent; therefore by your expresse Com­mands thirteen English Protestants, who had Quarter given them by your Officers that took them Prisoners, were notwithstanding murthered upon coole blood; and that you have resolved to proceed in the same manner for the future; A Re­lation and Resolution so strange, that the truth thereof might justly be suspected, were it not cer­tified by Letters from that Committee of the 24. of March last, to the Speaker of the House of Com­mons, and by a letter of the 23. of March sent to the same Committee by your direction, and subscribed by one Ralph Goodwin your Secretary (as I am in­formed) which doth own and avow the fact. And therefore the two Houses of Parliament being deeply affected with such cruell Massacres com­mitted [Page 2] upon their Protestant Bretheren, whose lives they value as their own, have commanded me to acquaint your Highnesse, That it is evident by undoubted proof, that the Rebels of Ireland (what ever they pretended to some on this side the Sea) did really intend by that odious Rebellion, to wrest that Kingdom, for ever, from the Crown of England, to the utter deshereson of the King, and His Posterity, and to extirpate the English Nation, and Protestant Religion. And for that purpose have sollicited, by their Agents, the bringing over of powerfull Aids from Forraign parts, to assist them in this their intended Conquest; and have set up the Spanish Colours publiquely, both at Wexford and Galloway; have caused their Captains, Officers, and others, to make Oath before their ti­tular Clergy, That they shall not suffer any English, or Protestant to live in that Kingdom, That they prosecuted this horrid designe by murthering, hanging, drowning, burning alive, and sterving, within few Moneths in one Province, one hundred fifty four thousand of harmlesse Brittish Prote­stants, Men, Women, and Children, without di­stinction of Age, or Sex, without any provocati­on given, but living securely by them, in a full and setled Peace. That the King first by Proclamation attested by His own Royall Signiture and privie Signet, hath proclaimed them Traytors, and Re­bels; [Page 3] and since that time, both King and Parlia­ment, by four severall Acts of Parliament, have declared and stiled them in the same manner. And further, His Majesty, by Act of Parliament, hath consented, That all Pardons granted to them, or any of them before attainder, shall be void. Now that such bloody barbarous Miscreants, so odious both to God and Men, so obnoxious to Law and Justice (even by the judgement of both sides) coming out of Ireland (where they neither did give nor receive Quarter) to burn and lay waste this Kingdom, as they have done that, should after all this be admitted to receive Quarter here, and con­sequently be made equall in Exchange with the English Nation, and Protestants: The Lords and Commons of the Parliament of England, cannot with Religion, Honour, or Justice, in any sort con­sent unto it: And have commanded me to let your Highnesse, and all other Commanders on that side know, That if hereafter, upon executing the Irish Rebels, in pursuance of that just Ordinance, any unjust pretext shall be made, to murther, in coole blood, any Officer, Souldier, or Seaman in the ser­vice of the Parliament, That the two Houses have resolved, and do hereby declare, That for every Of­ficer, Souldier, or Seaman so causelesly massacred, they shall, and must (though with deep sorrow and reluctancy) cause so many of the Prisoners re­maining [Page 4] in their power to be put to death in the same manner. And therefore do earnestly desire your Highnesse, and all other your inferiour Com­manders, to forbear by such prodigious Cruelty, to embase the value of the English Nation, which they are confident will be recented with indigna­tion, even by those English Protestants, who are for the present deceived into Arms against the Pro­testant Religion, and the Parliament of England: To whom they shall be ready to allow Quarter, and equall exchange as before, and for whom they daily pray, That Almighty God would open their eyes, and reduce them into the right way. Sir, this being all I have in command, I take my leave, and remain

Your humble Servant ESSEX.

THe Lords and Commons assembled in the Par­liament of England, do declare, That no Quarter shall be given hereafter, to any Irish-man, nor to any Papists whatsoever born in Ireland, which shall be taken in hostility against the Parliament, either upon the Sea, or within this Kingdom, or Dominion of Wales; And therefore do Order and Ordain, That the Lord Generall, Lord Admirall, and all other Of­ficers and Commanders, both by Sea and Land, shall except all Irish-men, and all Papists born in Ireland out of all Capitulations, Agreements, and Compositions hereafter to be made with the Enemy: And shall upon the taking of every such Irish-man, or Papist born in Ireland, as aforesaid, forthwith put every such person to Death. And 'tis further Or­dered and Ordained, That the Lord Generall, Lord Admirall, and the Committees of the severall Coun­ties do give speedy notice hereof to all subordinate Officers and Commanders by Sea, and Land respe­ctively, who are hereby required to use their utmost care and circumspection, that this Ordinance be duly executed. And lastly, the Lords and Commons do declare, That every Officer and Commander by Sea or Land that shall be remisse, or negligent in ob­serving the tenor of this Ordinance, shall be reputed a favourer of that bloody Rebellion of Ireland, and shall be lyable to such condigne punishment, as the Justice of both Houses of Parliament shall inflict upon him.

Jo. Browne Cler. Parliam.

His Highnesse Prince Rupert's Answer to the aforesaid LETTER.

My Lord,

I Received your Lordships Letter of the 4. of this Moneth on the 11. and cannot but wonder, that it should seem strange to the two Houses, that I should cause those Prisoners which were taken in Arms against His Majesty to be used in the same manner, and by the same measure, as His Ma­jesties good Subjects taken Prisoners in the Act of their duty, are used by those that take them. Those Souldiers of mine, which were barbarously murthered, in cold blood, after Quarter given to them, at Shrewsbury, were those who during the time they were in Ireland served His Majesty stout­ly, constantly, and faithfully against the Rebels of that Kingdom, and after the Cessation there, were by His Majesties Command transported to serve him in this, where they honestly performed the duty of Souldiers; and therefore I were un­worthy of the Command I hold under His Ma­jesty [Page 7] if upon so high a provocation, and so un­heard of an Act of injustice, as the putting those poor honest men to death, I had not let the Au­thours of that Massacre know, that their own men must pay the price of such Acts of Inhumanity, and be used as they use their Brethren: And there­fore I caused the like number (to whom Quarter was no otherwise given then to the former) to be put to death in the same manner as had been done at Shrewsbury. How the Rebellion in Ireland began, and with what circumstances of blood and cruelty it hath been carryed on, (the odiousnesse whereof, and of all other Rebellions is apparent, and all good men must abhorre) is not applica­ble to this Argument; (I wish the temper of this Kingdom had been, or yet were such as might be applyed to the composure of that) Your Lordship hath in that Army many Souldiers, who served His Majesty in that Kingdom of Ireland, yet to those Souldiers when taken Prisoners, Quarter is given, and observed on this side, the like must be expected from you; And if it should be otherwise, and that Quarter should be denyed to all those who have been Proclaimed Traytors and Rebels, or who by Act of Parliament are such, this War will be much more mercilesse and bloody then it hath been, or then any good man, or true Eng­lishman can desire to see it: I am sure such rigour [Page 8] shall be prevented by all the interest and power I have. Neither can that threat and menace in your Lordships Letter, of the resolution to use such Prisoners as shall be taken of His Majesties Army for the future, make any other impression in me, then of grief and sadnesse of heart to see such In­justice and Inhumanity, a proceeding contrary to the Laws of Nature and Nations, contrary to the Rules and Customs of Warre in any part of the Christian World, so deliberately and solemnly resolved, declared, and published. If there should be an Ordinanc [...] made that there should be no Quarter given to any Souldiers under my Com­mand, and an expectation that those under yours should receive Quarter, would your Lordship ex­pect that I submit to such an Ordinance, This is the case. I have taken Prisoners of those who have taken Arms against His Majesty of all Nations, English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Walloons, of all Religions & Oppinions that are avowed by Christians, and have always allowed them Quar­ter, and equall Exchange, (how unequall soever the quarrell & contention is, & what judgement soe­ver the Law hath determined upon such Persons) and shall do so still, hoping that Almighty God will open the eyes of those who have been strange­ly deceived into Arms against, and to the scandall and destruction of the Protestant Religion, (in [Page 9] which all men know I have bin born, & for which they have reason enough to believe I will dye) and the Parliament of England, assembled by His Ma­jesties Command, and of which His Majesty is the head, and will recover and reduce those, who out of ambition or malice have made those paths, in which the other have trod, to their Piety towards their Maker, and their Allegiance towards their Soveraign: But if the contrary course shall be held, and any Prisoners under my Command shall be taken, executed, and murthered in cold blood, under what senselesse and unjust pretence soever, for every Officer and Souldier so causelesly and barbarously murthered, I will cause so many of the Prisoners remaining in my Power to be put to death in the same manner, and I doubt not but the blood of those miserable men, who shall so suffer by my Order, as well as of those who shall be butcher'd by that Ordinance your Lordship mentions, shall be required at their hands, who by their cruell examples impose a necessity upon other men to observe the Rules they lay down. And I cannot but expresse a great sense to your Lordship, that since His Majesties gracious offers and importunity for Peace will not be hearkned unto, by these prodigious resolutions expressed in your Lordships Letter, the Warre is like to be so managed, that the English Nation is in danger [Page 10] of destroying one another, or (which is a kind of extirpation) of degenerating into such an animo­sity and cruelty, that all eliments of Charity, Com­passion, and Brotherly Affection shall be ex­tinguished. I hope they whose opinions and re­solutions your Lordship hath imparted to me, will take these animadversions into serious consideration from

Your humble Servant RUPERT.

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