THE ANSWER OF THE LORDS and COMMONS Assembled in the Parliament of England AT WESTMINSTER, To several PAPERS OF THE Commissioners of SCOTLAND.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that The Answer to the several Papers of the Commis­sioners of Scotland be forthwith printed and published:

H: Elsynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

LONDON: Printed for Edward Husband, Printer to the Honorable House of Commons. April 16. 1646.

The Lords and Commons assembled in the Parliament of England at VVestmin­ster, having received the several Papers from the Commissioners of the Parliament of Scotland two of the 29th and 30th of September, with a third of the 9th of October; To the particulars therein con­tained, they returned this Answer:

COncerning the payment of the Scots Army, so much insisted upon in your Lordships Papers, The seve­ral Declarations, and the divers courses and wayes which in the said Papers are expressed, and acknowledged by your Lordships to have been made, and taken by us for the payment of that Army, sufficiently witnesse our constant care, and manifold endea­vours for the supply thereof; And if all these wayes have notwithstanding proved so little ef­fectual, [Page 4]as your Lordships alleage, yet can it not in any sort be imputed to the Houses of Parlia­ment, who no sooner have had any wants of that Army, or any obstructions in the wayes ta­ken for the entertainment thereof represented unto then, but they have forthwith applyed themselves to supply the one, and remove the other to the utmost of what lay in their power; Before the Scots Army was entred into this Kingdom, We appointed a Committee to sit purposely at Godsmiths-Hall, to provide Moneys and necessaries for the support thereof; This Committee hath sate ever since constantly to that end, and to put forwards the execution of our Ordinances therein, whereat twice a week some of the Commissioners of Scotland them­selves were present to be witnesses and promo­ters of their diligence; The same Committee had their Agents in every county, to quicken the execution of our Orders below in the coun­try; we allowed Sallaries and Rewards to the Diligent, we gave power to punish the negli­gent, and all that should it any sort divert or obstruct the coming in the those Assessments: When the course first designed for the payment [Page 5]of the Scots Army out of the Estates of Papists and other Delinquents, answered not expectati­on, we provided for it, as for other Armies, by way of Tax and Assessment upon several coun­ties; and when those of the Northern parts pro­ved insfficient for so great a charge, we added others thereunto, and those of the most entire and quiet parts of the Kingdom, where first was laid an Assessment of Two hundred thou­sand pounds in grosse, and after a Monethly As­sessment of Twenty one thousand pounds per mensem: There was never any expedient offered to us for the removal of any obstruction in the raising of those Assessments, which we did not readily assent unto: There was never any thing desired of us, by our Brethren of Scotland which was in our power to grant, which we have not willingly agreed unto, for the more speedy and more effectual execution of our Orders, for the pay and support of that Army: There was no course taken for any other Army, but we have taken the like also for the Scots Army; so that we may truly affirm, That it hath not rested on us, that that Army hath not been as well paid, and provided for, as any other whatsoever; [Page 6]but if the Activenesse and great Successes of some other Armies have given us more credit in procuring Moneys to be advanced for them, or more quickned the spirits of the people to pay in their Assessments to them; surely, that ought not to be turned into matter of Complaint a­gainst us, having found the same by experience from time to time, in the payment of the Armies of our own Nation; possibly also, the pay of other Armies may appear more con­stant, & their wants lesse then it is well known to us, that both the one and the other have been; neither have our endeavours been altogether so ineffectual for the Supply of the Scotish Army, but that from the sixth of October 1643. to the first of November 1645. there hath been actu­ally paid to them in Money and Provisions, for which Money hath been issued out of Gold­smiths-Hall, the Sum of Two hundred twenty thousand six hundred and twenty nine pounds Sterlin, besides Nine thousand pounds in Mo­ney and Lead paid unto them at York: And what they have received upon the Assessments of the Northern parts, appointed to be paid in to the Lord Mayor of York, and upon the fifth and [Page 7]twentieth part, and from the Coal, and Excise of Newcastle, and of the Northern parts, or otherwise by any Assignments of both Houses of Parliament; And likewise besides another As­sessment of Twenty two thousand pounds per mensem, Assessed upon the County of York in Moneys and Provisions for four moneths, du­ring the siege of York, and after amounting to Eighty eight thousand pounds, and also besides Ten thousand pounds more for to cloath the sol­diers of that Army, upon the return to Newcastle, over and above all that themselves have taxed and levyed in the several Counties where they have been, and their free-quarter and disorder­ly plunderings (which if they have been so ex­cessive as the cry thereof from several parts re­presenteth them to our Ears) it is not much to be wondered, if the water run more sparingly from the Cistern and Conduit, when it is so much exhausted at the Spring-head, from whence the Assessments for the entertainment of that Army and other Forces should have risen. Concerning the Excise of the Northern parts, and the wayes that are alleaged to be taken to divert it from the Scotish Army, by [Page 8]forestalling it here in the South, and applying it to other uses, no such practises have been made known to us; and whensoever they shall be discovered, we shall be ready to apply fitting remedies thereunto: And for the Coal of Newcastle possibly the profit thence arising might fall very short of the estimate made thereof in some one moneth, but in other Moneths it hath come in, in greater quantities. And we finde, that for these Twelve Moneths last past, there hath actually come in, and been taken to the use of that Army upon the Coals of Newcastle and Sunderland above Fifty three thousand pounds sterling, whereof Four thou­sand five hundred pounds was of the Customes belonging to the Navie: And if upon the ta­king of Newcastle by the Scotish Army, the course for the managing of the Coals setled by both Houses of the Parliament of England in the Committee of Goldsmiths-Hall had not been in­terrupted; That Committee might have been better able to have given an Accompt of any decay of Trade therein, and how it hath hapned that many Moneths it hath fallen below the first estimate thereof.

[Page 9] Having made answer to the most materi­rall points in your Lorships papers concer­ning the pay of the Scotts army, as you have very frequently and very freely declared unto us the wants and necesities thereof, through default of pay, so shall we also with the like freedome and brotherly affection, represent unto our Brethren of Scotland some particu­lars concerning the proceedings of that Ar­my.

It is well knowne unto your Lorships that we have upon divers occasions, signified our advices and directions, how that Army might imploy it self most effectually for the advance­ment of the publique service of this King­dom, by engageing against the common E­nemies, and the places held and possessed by them, wherein (by what occasion we know not) we have found our selves severall times disappointed of our hopes and expectations, by which meanes not only the common cause hath bin retarded, but also the end frustrated for which the assistance of so great and Army was desired by us; which was, that a speedy conclusion might be put to these unhappy [Page 10]Warres we shall not need to goe further backe for an instance, then to that whereof the sence is freshest in our minds, and which in that conjuncture of time and of our af­faires, proved very prejudiciall to the service of this Kingdome, which was the continu­ing of that Army in the North where no Ene­my was, and not marching to beseiged New­arke, at such time as it was thereunto desired by both Houses of Parliament, a [...]ough they not only expressed their desires therein, but al­so their care in provision of money, & ammu­nition to enable & encourage them to under­take that worke; But having received no sa­tisfaction at al in that particular, till that now by your Lordships Letter of the 12. of Nowem­ber the resolution of the Generall the Earle of Leven, concerning the marching of that Army towards Newarke was signified unto us, By meanes of this delay, not only the Northerne parts have layne all this while under a most unsupportable burthen, but also the fairest op­portunity that hath yet offered it selfe to us since the beginning of this Warre of putting an end to our miseries, together with the sea­son [Page 11]the yeare for the speedy reducing of that place which was the principall ground of our resolution in that particular, is already slipt out of our hands, And the advance of the thirty thousand pounds, which we had good hope, and some assurance of from the City for the use of that army, in case it came to New­arke before the first of November, and not o­therwise, is rendred more difficult and doubt­full unto us.

It was farre from our intentions that the Scottish Army should neither be provided for by us, nor yet suffered to provide for their owne subsistance, nor doth the contrary ap­peare by any actions or omissions on our part, nor yet by any sufferings of that army, but that according to our power, we have made provisions for them, and that they al­so have supplyed themselves.

We shall remember according to your Lordships expressions in your papers, That not written Ordinances but reall payments must satisfie the necessitie of the Souldiers, And we hope it shalbe aswell remembred al­so, how far better then paper, our Ordinances [Page 12]have proved to that Army, which hath not bin more ready to engage it selfe really in the seruice of this Kingdome, then we have bin forward to pay it really, for to satisfie the ne­cessities of the souldiers, And therefore desire such expressions may be forborne, which may seeme to derogate from the honour ei­ther of the proceedings or Ordinances of Par­liament.

When the Treaty was concluded between the two Kingdomes, it was supposed that such might be the wants & necessities of this Kingdom, as that they might not be able to make due and constant payment to the Scots Army, yet was it no supposed that in default thereof they might forbeare to engate their Army, much lesse lay Taxes upon the people of England to lay themselves, this Kingdome being to give their publique faith for the pay­ment of their Arreares with Interest, as on the other side the Kingdome of Scotland gave their publique faith that neither their entrance in­to, nor continuance in the Kingdome of Eng­land, should be made use of to any other ends then such as are conteyned in the Covenant and Articles of the Treaty.

[Page 13] That it is contrary to the Liberties of the subiects of England That any Taxes or Levies of Monies should bee layd or raised upon them without the consent of both Houses of Parliament▪ we need not declare to your Lordships.

And wee are sorry that the cryes which continually sound in our eares from the peo­ple, especially of the Northerne parts, brought to us by the hands of such us we have inmo­sted there, should enforce us to represent unto our Brethren of Scotland, the great Com­plaints, which long since, and at this present, are made of the laying of Taxes of Money, and other things by some of the Scots Army, and that also in very vast and excessive pro­portions, besides free Quarterings, and dis­orderly plunderings of Horses and other goods, which courses being taken and conti­nued; It cannot be expected that wee should continue the monethly pay of that Army, which though wee have not taken occasion to stop and [...]urcease, upon the Taxes and lea­vies of Moneys and other proceedings of that Army, Yet wee expect (as that which of right is due, that our of it, deduction and [Page 14]satisfaction should be given in the Premisses. And as we are obliged to make good the monethly pay of that Army according to the Treaty, so long as we shall find it necessary to use the assistance thereof within this King­dome and no longer, so is that Army like­wise bound to demeane themselves confor­mable to the tenour of the Treaty, and accor­ding thereunto to give satisfaction to this Kingdome; That such forces of the Scottish Nation, as have beene put into the severall Garrisons of Newcastle upon Tyne, the City of Carlile, and other places in the North, without the consent of both Houses of the Parliament of England shall be removed, to the intent that the same may bee disposed off in such manner as shall be thought fitting by the said Houses of Parliament, The performance whereof we have demanded from the Kingdome of Scotland, by our Letter to that Parliament.

These things we held our selves bound to represent to our Brethren of Scotland, aswell in discharge of the trust reposed in us for the preservation of the Interest and liberties of this Kingdome, as also the better to maintaine the union, and good Correspondency betweene [Page 15]the two Kingdomes, which being the surest foundation of security, and prosperity to both Nations. It alwayes hath, and alwayes shall be the firme resolution of both Houses of the Parliament of England, to preserve and maintaine the same according to the Cove­nant and Treaty, the common rules and markes which both Kingdomes have set up unto themselves to steere their course by, in the pursuance of their joynt interests, and for the attaining of the good ends therein expres­sed and contained, from which we desire that there may bee no swerving on either side, hoping and expecting the like redresse and sa­tisfaction from our Brethren of Scotland, up­on any infringement thereof, as we shall bee ready to give unto them if any such thing should happen on our part.

Concerning Religion, and the settling of Church-Government, as there is nothing wherein wee have more desired to approve our consciences to God, and our actions to the world, so doe our hearts give us a very cleere Testimony of the faithfull and diligent discharge of our duty therein, according to the trust reposed in us, and the Covenant ta­ken [Page 16]by us. And were conceive our actions witnesse no lesse to all that will rightly weigh and consider, what wee have already done therein, and with what diligence and zeale wee have from time to time proceeded in that worke of God, being resolved to conti­nue so doing, till we have fully supplyed what shall yet appeare wanting therein, it be­ing alwayes to bee remembred, that the pre­serving of the Liberty, and freedome of our debates, and Resolutions in Parliament, is not to be interpreted or termed negligence or de­lay in us.

As to the Propositions of Peace to be sent to his Majesty in pursuance of our Resolutions of the sixth of August communicated to your Lordships, we have proceeded therein as the exigents of our affaires would permit, and the Propositions being at this present continually in agitation and debate in Par­liament; Wee are resolved to apply our selves both speedily and effectually to the perfecting of them ac­cording to the Present state of affaires, and we doubt not but that our actions shall testifie to our Brethren of Scotland, and all the world, that there is no earth­ly thing more in our thoughts and desires, then the settling of a safe and a well-grounded Peace in the three Kingdomes, for which we have done and suffe­red asmuch as any Kingdome in the world.

FINIS.

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