A LETTER From His Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, AND A Councel of VVar at Ʋxbridge, JUNE 29. 1647.

To be communicated to both Houses of Parlia­ment, and the Lord Major, Aldermen and Common-Councel of the City of LONDON, OF The Armies drawing farther back from the City of London, and the Head-quarters that night at Wickam; In Answer to the VOTES of both Houses.

WITH A perfect Copy of the Votes; And the Names of the Councel of WAR.

BY the appointment of his Excellency Sir Tho: Fairfax, and the Councel of War.

Signed JOHN RUSHWORTH.

London, Printed for Laurence Chapman, JULY 1. 1647.

To all my fellow Commoners that love peace and righteousnesse.

THere are new births of providence e­very day wherein the wisdom of God appeares in a very delightfull varie­ty. There are yet not many days since some who are neyther true friends to the King or Kingdomes interest, to the Episcopall or Presbyteriall Interest, were driving on the Chariot of the State on their own wheels, wheels of self-interest, and popularity abusing only the notion and name of a King, Episcopacy and Presby­tery, to form a Kingdom to their own advantage. But Divine Providence seeing this, opposes it self against such a vanity, working out this politick power and selfish sensuall wisdom, and set new wheels on going, and new preparatories to justice and righteousnesse, fortifying weak and despised instruments, to do and accomplish things in order to his own glory.

[Page] But, loe the prider and vanity of men [...]cted by self-respects: when God cosses them in their enterprises, behold how they spurn against him, if hee employs any instruments to hinder the building of their Babylonish towres, aspiring towards the heavens, then may you see how through policy and power they seek to traduce and calumniate such instrumenct, branding their loyall and upright actions with the ignominious terms of Trea­sons and Rebellions. But (I hope) these mens folly be­gins now to be made manifest to all men, and shall no more be covered. By these few lines ensuing, if thy eyes be opened, thou whosoever thou art that shall read them, mayst see the mystery of this iniquity working in that Pamphlet, which for truths sake and thy better infor­mation in this following discourse, thou shalt see a little unmasqued.

A Vindication of his MAIESTIE and the Army, from a Paper of M. Reymes, pretending to be printed by the authority of the LORDS in Parliament.

MAster Reymes to gain the more credit to his own inventions, with much falshood, hee hath enterwoven some truth: yet so confu­sedly that, it is a hard matter to say what hee hath related truly; for his Relations are either guil­ty of direct contrariety to truth, Addition or Substraction. And how a man may scandalize any man by any truth, by such an imperfect, lame, and false relation, I leave to wisemen to judge.

Whereas Master Reymes sayth, for his admission to his Majesty, Major Generall Brown espying him, proffered him the honour of his Majesties hand: Major Generall Brown denyes that hee e­ver knew this man, or so proffered him his Ma­jesties hand, but Master Reymes desired it of him.

[Page 2] And whereas Master Reymes writes that the King struck Colonell Whaley for his presumptuous listning, while his Majesty was in conference with one, whom they suspected, came from London, The truth is, the report of his is false, the King denyes that hee struck him: neither was the Messen­ger suspected to come from London, but the truth of that matter is as followeth.

There came a Messenger to New-market, from the Prince of Orange, and the rest of the Kings Friends, with a message to his Majesty, which hee delivered to the King as he was walking in the Garden, Co­lonell Whaley espying this Messenger privatly to be discoursing with his Majesty, defined him to forbear any further discourse in private with him, whose de­sire was grounded upon the Commissioners, decla­ring to him that at Holmby none were suffered pri­vatly to discourse with the King, nor any that had been in the Kings Army, to come within three miles of Holmby, Colonel Whaley endevouring to prevent any evill Counsellours from his Majesty, the danger and prevalency of whom this Kingdom yet groans, under the wofull experience of, and to keep a good correspondency with the Commissioners, true it is, the King was something troubled at it, and did thrust him from him, but not strike him, according to the Pamphlet, and the reason of the Kings so doing, was when the King after dinner was discour­sing with this Messenger in the Presence Cham­ber, Colonel Whaley came in, which made the King as hee said himselfe to talke a little longer with him, to see what the Colonell would doe

[Page 3] The Collonel perceiving this, desired the King to for­beare speaking with any such persons; the King then prote­sted he would not, for it they were in his sight, he would not bid them goe away; Then the Collonel desiring him to for­beare speaking with him, the King thrust him away, not for presumptuous listning; as Mr. Reymes affirmes.

To passe by the many particular untruths and incertain­ties of Master Reymes his relation, the substance of it be­ing to make the world believe that the King was taken a­way against his will, I shall in a word or two answer to that;

When we came to Holmby, he told me when we had an­swered his desires, and those things we should propound to him, he would goe along with us; to which his propositions we gave him such a satisfactory answer, that he told us, hee would goe with us whether the Commissioners would, yea or no, and accordingly did. Moreover, one of the Commis­sioners before ever I spake with his Majestie, told me he was resolved to goe with us.

Whereas Master Reymes further affirmeth, that the King said, that if he were at the head of the Army, he would protest against all their proceedings, the King denied to me that ever he said so. But I shall for this time leave Master Reymes without any further Character of the man, or re­ply to his paper, then what his Majestie said of both at the sight of his Booke; who said, if the Citizens dealt thus with him, he should be carefull of having to doe with them, or speaking to a Citizen for time to come, except it were before five or six witnesses, they being so sickle, by which it may fully appeare, that he hath abused his Majesty, by laying those things to his charge, which he never said, wronged Major Generall Browne, by imputing that to him which he never did, scandalized the Army, by saying they [Page 4] tooke away the King against his will, when he went accor­ding to his profession willingly with them, injured Collo­nell Whaley, by affirming the King did strike him, for pre­sumptuous listning to his Majesties discourse with the Messenger, which was no such matter, deluded the people by presenting them with a false Relation to prejudice, fore­stall, and capivate their judgements, and surprized the house of Lords, by obtaining to all this his wickednesse their au­thority for its publication.

Therefore now fellow Commoners, who are borne to as large priviledges and immunities as any people on the earth, which you may all challenge as your birth-right, lest you should be induced through the subtilty of some litigi­ous Lawyers, or through the policy and specious pretences of any man whatsoever to judge our action of guarding his Majesty from Holmby to be illegall, and contrary to the trust reposed in us, assure your selves that action of ours was not a rash precipitant enterprise, as some say, but chal­lenges the law of Nature, Nations, this Kingdeme, and our Commissioners derived from the Parliament for its foundation.

The law of Nature vindicates us, for as in a naturall bo­dy which is composed of sundry members, may lawfully seek its owne preservation as from inward distempers, or outward dangers that threaten its ruine, so likewise may a politicall body do, if the head be in danger, the foot ought to run, and the hand to act for its preservation, and in this endeavour every member particularly, as well as joyntly, is obliged, so that if one hand be cut off, one foot lame, one eye forth, the other hand foot and eye are not hereby dis­ingaged, but the more firmely bound to put forth their ut­most powers for the bodyes fence.

[Page 5] 2. The Law of Nations warrants us, every Nation in­violably maintaining this, that every member in the Nati­on ought to preserve the Nation as much as in him lyes; It is a universall principle, non nobis solum nati sumus, &c. We are not borne for our selves alone, but the Country in which we live chalenges an interest in us, this prin­ciple made many rejoyce in dying, esteeming it, dulce & decorum pro patria mori.

3. The Law of this Kingdome (by which we may expect to stand or fall) secures us in this Kingdome, wee have this Maxime, that salus populi is suprema lex, The safety of the people is the supremest law; this was the hinge wee moved upon, the Kingdomes safety was endangered, and without a speedy application of a timely preservative was likely to be consumed: the best preservative wee could see, was the security of his Majesties person, which our act hath effe­cted. Whose enemies are so dull, and whose understanding is so stupified and sottishly blind, but may remember and know what a sad disaster hath befallen the Kingdome, in the expence of so much blood and treasure, by the surpris­ing of his Majesties Person in the late warres? who can but know, had they not had his persons their designes had pro­ved abortive? We will know there was a designe to seize on his Majestie, to raise a new Army, and unnaturally to involve this Kingdome in its owne blood, and so to render our latter end miserably worse then our beginning, but this we thought our selves bound to prevent if possible, which we still judge and doubt not to prove it, and is yet lawfull for us to doe. As the King is by the law of this King­dome bound to governe and secure us according to the Law, so are we engaged to secure his Person against the violaters of the Law, which we have, through the blessing of God [Page 6] accomplished, Our end was not his enthrallment, bondag and ruine, as by our actions, may appeare, but his safety, an the Kingdomes preservation, which otherwise we justly fea had both been endangered, suppose the King through igno­rance of traitors intention to destroy His Person or His Kingdome, should expose himself to the mercy of him that sought his life, do you imagine it would be treasonable for any one to remove his Majesty though without his consent frōns the place the traytor sought his life in, & so to preserve him? but the case is yet more fair for us, His judgement being sati [...]fied, his will was likewise concurring to his remove, we hope this our action will be recented in good part by all the Nation for whose good it was effected. Had the King been surprised, another army been under his name raised, the Nation once more wallowed in its own blood then surely but too late, would the people have cryed out, oh that some had been stirred up to have stood in this breach.

4 The Cōmission from the Parl. whom some say though with more boldnesse then judgement, more malice then wis­dome, and more envy then prudence or honesty, we have re­belled against & acted contrary to in this action) acquits us, for by our Cōmission we are bound to seek the preservation of the Kings person, whether we have not so done let all the kingdome judge: what hurt to his person have we done? what hurt to the Kingdome have we done? we are not conscious to our selves that we have in this done amisse, who hath cause to complain, surely none can nor will, except those who had thought to have made all men dance after their pipes, kisse their hands, and resigne up their birthrights, liberties and lives to their arbitrary, and tyrannicall, lawlesse boundles wills, these Haman-like are mad to think a poore Mordecay will not standcap in hand, bow his knee, and bend unto them.

[Page 7] Now therefore fellow Commoners I dare assure you, if you listen to those men that in pulpit and presse sound forth con­tinuall alarmes against us, you will involve your selves and us in a bloody abhorred by us) ingagement. Therefore my advice to you all, whom I love and honour, for whose peace and native immunities & Priviledge, I think no task too hard to undertake, no labour too great to undergo, no danger so fearful as not to venter my self) is that you would speedily & unanimously addresse your selves to the Parliament (whom you have chosen, whose servants in truth they are or ought to be) that they would no longer protect unjust men through lawlesse pretence of infringing the liberties of Parliament, but that they would give free liberty, and declare it to all the Kingdom, that all and every man shall and may have free liberty to accuse any member of that house, and that no man shall sit there against whom the Kingdome shall have ought justly, as being an unreasonable thing, to think that the op­pressors of the subject are fit Reformers of the Kingdome, and that the Parliament would speedly without delay ha­sten this Kingdomes yeare of Jubile, that every man may re­turn to his own home, sit under his own vine, and all our swords may be turned into plow shares, that there may no more be the alarm of war sounded in this Kingdome. You, Oh Country men it lies upon you to remedy that the Parlia­ment are your Stevvards, they ought to give a good account of their actions, you have set them a work, good reason they should tell you what they have done for you, have you not parted with much peace, much money, much blood, and are you content to bury all in oblivion? never to enquire what is become of all your lost pains and endevours? As­sure your selves, that if you awake not you are undone, God hath put an opportunity into your hands, will you not em­brace [Page 8] it? If you neglect this, you may never have another, when all your money friends and arms are in the hands of your enemies, do you expect justice then, and can hardly have any now? Deare Country men, the Common-wealth is sicke at heart, and groane under a desperate distemper, it lyes languishing even as at the last gaspe of peace. Blee­ing hath produced no other effect then to make it more faint; it is time to thinke of some Cordiall, redresse and remedy, the principall cause of our distempers is yet predo­minant, justice must take it away, for, sublata causa tollit [...] effectus, Many of those that pretend to be our Physitians, ad­minister malignant druggs to us, even oppression, vexation, and diminution of our estates. But thinke you that op­pression and slavery is a good receipt to restore us to liberty, or to free us from bondage. Bee corrupt men fit instru­ments to remoue our corruption? If you ever expect peace and quietnesse with justice and righteousnesse to live and flourish in this Kingdome, then seeke to remove coveto [...] men, that seeke to fill their owne baggs, though they [...] the Kingdome, bloud-thirsty men, treacherous men that have betrayed their trust from all places of publicke con­cernment, that endeavour to re-enter honest men (who have been displaced) into the places of trust, into the Militia, Common-Councell, Courts of Judicature; for through the great corruption that yet remains in all courts the foot-steps of reformation are yet invisible: Endeavour to call all men to accompt, whither Parliament men, Committee-men, Judges, Justices, Lord Moyor, Mayors, Aldermen, Com­mon-Councell men; all Officers, Souldiers, Treasurers, and all men that have been entrusted with any thing of the pub­lique, that the good stewards may be rewarded, have a cha­racter of honour stamped upon them, the evill imbezellin [...] [Page 9] stewards may be displaced, punished, and their ill gotten goods taken from them, and given to the right owners; Use all your lawfull power to place the Militia of the King­dome in the hands of such men that have best husbanded it for your advantage, goe on and cease not, till Righteous­nesse and peace flows down in this Kingdome like a mighty water, till the oppressed and imprisoned be set at liberty and this gasping, languishing, dying Kingdome be instated into a full absolute, compleat and pefect possession of all its na­tive priviledges, freedomes, Charters and immunities what­soever, wherein assure your selves, you will have no cause of repentance, but shall receive a crown of joy, and a deep share, portion and interest of such liberty, as a long time through blinding guides have been hid from your eyes, your burthens are greater then ever; good men discountenanced, evil men encouraged, your purses exhausted, your liberties infringed by many taxes and assessements, by the Covetous Clergy mans exacting of tithes, the great burden of the Common-wealth, by quartering of Souldiers. Oh therefore cease not to endeavour petitioning, demand again and again, for your Liberties which if you do, & the Lord prosper you, I shall rejoyce, however I have done my duty, and discharged my conscience, and shall I hope ever in liberty & in bonds, in Peace and warre, in the capacity of a souldier, or of an English man, in life and death in all lawfull things, by all lawfull meanes manifest my self to beyours and the King­domes faithful servant, against all oppression, and oppressi­ons, tyranny & tyrants, by what Prerogative, names, titles or specious pretences, they are or may be dignified or distin­guished whatsoever, although I perish in the work.

George Joyce.
FINIS.

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