The Kings answer to the propositions for peace as was pretended in the club-mens petition to His Majesty with the copie of a letter from Sir Lewis Dives, and another from Colonell Butler, governour of Wareham, sent to them and read in their quarters : also a copie of articles and directions, and divers other passages of their proceedings and intentions, and a list of their chiefe leaders names and which of them are taken and who not : with other papers brought by our scouts from the army.
Charles I, King of England, 1600-1649.
Page  6

The Declaration concerning the Petition of the Club-men, and the Kings answer thereunto.

VVHereas His Majestie seemes to be deeply afflicted with the mi∣serable calamities of his people, and knowes how to remedie it; What is the sum of that expression? An unnaturall warre it is indeed, but faire words will not hide an ill cause; Are not these waies irregu∣lar, when Iesuits, Popish Priests, Papists, and out-lawd persons are prote∣cted from justice? all good men are very sensible of the publike calami∣ty herein.

1. You may take notice that in this Answer, there is no notice ta∣ken of the Lords and Commons at Westminster, to be a Parliament, though the King by Letters sent by Rupert to them gives them that appellation.

2. For these things seemingly vowed to be sought for, how unlike is it, to what is indeed laboured for? Is Gods glory sought, in throwing downe the Kingdome of Jesus Christ? and making warre against his Members? Is the true Protestant Religion sought? by advancing Pa∣pists, Iesuits, and Popish Priests? and we hope none will deny but that if the Crowne of any Prince, shall stand in opposition to the Crown and Power of Jesus Christ, we are to follow the lamb wheresoever he goes, though persecuted; where is the Priviledges of Parliament if not so much as acknowledged, but hunted after, reviled, and with force of armes withstood? and Delinquents, Jesuits, and breakers of the Laws protected from their power, and where is the Liberties of the Subject, if tyrannized over, persecuted and plundered, as daily they are under the Kings Forces?

3. Which party have mis-led his Majesties Subjects, may easily ap∣peare with the well-affected in all parts of England, and Scotland, Ire∣land are very sensible of, notwithstanding any pretences of the Papists and their jugling partie whatsoever.

There is much difference etween one party of the Club-men, and another; but the first grounds of raising them is from a Iesuiticall plot of the enemy, under a pretence of petitioning for peace (which all men desire) to be raised in a violent way to rise as one man against the Parliament, the great ones amongst them that carried on the busi∣ness, let not the people know what their designe was; who intended be∣fore Taunton was relieved, to have risen on the Rear of our Army, (but blessed be God) they were hindred; and now at last they had order Page  7 from the King, to ly still till Sir Thomas Fairfax was marched to Exe∣ter, and then to rise, Rnpert being promised to come with some thou∣sands of horse from Banbury to joyne with them to raise the siege at Sher∣born, and relieve those parts; and then to fall in Sir Th. Fairfaxe's Rear.

For this purpose divers of them sate in councell in Shaftsbury, who were taken and brought prisoners to Sherborne.

    A List of the Countrey-Gentlemen called the Leaders of the Club-men for Wilts, Dorset, and Sommerset, brought Prisoners to Sherborne on the Lords day August 3. 1645. taken at Shaftsbury,
  • Mr. Hollis a younger brother out of meanes, who is one of the Com∣manders in chiefe, a kind of Generall unto them.
  • Mr. Joliffe of Blackmore another younger brother, who is Lievtenant-Generall to them, a notable great stlckler for them.
  • Mr. Yong, Advocate to them, whose habitation was at Manson in Blackmore, and was of old a Star-Chamber Clerk.
  • Captaine John Carew, the great Grand Jury man that lived at Everith.
  • Captaine Edward Davis of Lamhead.
  • Capt. Thomas Bennet of Pithouse.
  • Capt. William Blunt, a notable Cavalier.
  • Capt. Richard Craddock, the malignant Merchant of Blanford.
  • John Saintlo, a Gentleman of Wilt-shire, a notable Agent for the King.
  • Richard Burbidge, son to Burbidge the Attourney in Sturminster.
  • William Smith, sometimes Vnder-Sheriffe for Wilt-shire.
  • Thomas Jervis, the same that was wont to go up and downe to sell cloth from place to place.
  • John Lovell of Sommerset-shire, a notable stickler against godly men.
  • John Eastwood of Dunhead in Wilt-shire.
  • Francis Craddock of Blackmore.
  • John Pope of Marnhill, a man of a verie good estate, but a notable Ma∣lignant.
  • Thomas Rose of Chisgrave, a man also of a faire estate, but malignant.
  • John Bennet, brother to Captaine Bennet of Pithouse.
  • Nicholas Bingham of Hensridge; it is pitie any of that family are Ma∣lignants.
  • Francis Abbot, son to Jeremy Abbot of Horsington.
  • Robert Hollis of Dorset-shire.
  • William Filloll, a Gentleman of a good estate, that lived in Marvell, but averie violent Malignant.
  • Page  8 Charles Studley of Langhton by Blanford.
  • John May of Melbury, a notable Rogue.
  • Iohn Phill of Lidlinch a Grasier, who rise in hope to recruit his grounds by plunder.
  • Laurence Hide a malignant Priest, Mr. Hides son of Hatch.
  • Sarnuel Forman, the Curate of Gillingham.
  • William Laning, a young malignant Priest that lived at Cerne.
  • Mr. Rock, a desperate malignant Person, that was borne at Buttle, and Chaplaine to Banfield at Chafield.
  • Mr. Willams a malignant Priest.

Mr. Henry Hayward, Henry Gouge, John Every, Edward Boone, Thomas Roes, Robert Squier, Thomas Marvell, Richard Alborne, Charles Simms, Robert Sapist, Thomas Brooke, John King, Edmond Clerke, Martin Marble, Thomas Bunce, William Sanders, John Cor∣bet, Robert Fry, William Ford, Matthew Martin, and Henry Good∣win. All which are notoriously knowne to be dangerous Malignants, besides divers others which were taken next day by Lievtenant-Ge∣nerall Cromwell, in an old Roman Work on Hambleton-Hill, where he routed 2500. of them that were gathered in a Body, and killed some 12. ann tooke almost 300. prisoners, and almost all their Armes and Colours, the rest fled home.

Besides these, there is remaining still amongst the Clum-men di∣vers great Malignants.

  • Capt. George Moore of Winborn.
  • Capt. William Whiting of Spetsbury.
  • Capt. Henry Burley of Beer Regis.
  • George Sexton of Beer Regis, a man of a great estate but a desperate rogue and violent against the Parliament and good men.
  • Robert Arnall of Cheslebourn another desperate Agent.
  • Raughly Radford of Divelish, and more divelish Malignant.

The great ones that were the Ring-leaders that are taken, are to be brought up to London, and may be made examples.

But there are many silly people have been mis-led by them, that will now (it is hoped) be laid, and in divers parts the Club-men are firme for the Porliament, and laugh at the folly of the rest.

Now for further satisfaction, here followeth the copie of two Letters, one finn Sir Lewis Dives of the King party, and the other from Colo∣nell Butler the Governour of Warcham, of the Parliaments party, both to the Club-men.

Page  9

A Copie of Sir Lewis Dives Letters to the Club men.

Gentlemen and Friends,

THat I have not hitherto required any accompts of former Assemblies; the reason is, because I deemed your professed desires and resolutions tending to the preservation of the true reformed Protestant Religion established by law, and of your selves from Plunder, and such like unlawfull violence; no way derogatory to His Majesties service, wherein I am through∣out this Countie intrusted: but rather such as the same trust bi••des mee, and you shall ever finde mee most ready to assist you in. But perceiving of late a backwardnesse in some of your parts of the Countie, and a denyall from others in the payments of Contri∣bution after the late moderate proportion; which in consideration of the present poverty of the Countrie hath beene by mee requi∣red of them; and by with-holding whereof, His Maiesties ser∣vice must necessarily faile, it being the onely means His Maiesty hath left him to supply his Forces here, and by the Gentlemen and Freeholders agreed and promised to bee paied unto him, and never promised or agreed to be paied to those that are in Rebell on against him, His Maiesties one Revenues, Customes and Rents being for the most part seized, and against all the rules of Law ta∣ken and disposed of by the Rebells, for payment of those that serve them in this un-naturall Warre. I am therefore forced to put you to the question, whether it be your generall resolution over and above your published resolutions to deny His Maiestie these necessary supplies, to the end I may consider what course to steere; and withall, out of my care of your safety and preserva∣tion, which may otherwaies bee endangered, to admonish you that you be not seduced to must or rely on those who have brought this Even and destruction on you; remember by what degrees they have effected it, how they first Fortified severall Townes in this County, then dis-armed you; then sent out Tickets and Pa∣pers, requiring upon paine of Plundering great summes of Mony, to the full yearly value of your Estates, from all Gentlemen, Freeholders, and Yeomen of any abilitie, and forced the paiment thereof by Imprisonment of their persons, and Plundering of ther goods, they not onely required, but where they have pow∣er, Page  10 have enforced the twentieth part of your Estates, and the 5th part of your yearly Revenue, besides the Contribution, and yet not contented herewith; have fired the houses of divers Gent∣lemen of this Countie, where no Garison or force did oppose them▪ Remember how they have banished your Orthodox, and loyall Clergie; consider how they have Plundered almost all men of qualitie in this Countie, from some 2000 sheap at a time, from others more, from others 1500, from some 1000, 40 for Oxen from another, to the undoing of many, both Gentlemen and Far∣mours; the particulars whereof are so infinite and many, and the parties who have suffered these losses so well known to your selves, that I forbeare to make any farther mention thereof. Also that af∣ter all these sufferings, how they set an Excise upon your Bread and Meat you eate, in all places where they have power; and which is worst of all, they have abused our Churches by making flables thereof, and by robbing and defacing the same, and now abolished the Common-Prayer and Litturgie of the Church so long publickly used amongst us, and confirmed by Law; and in∣stead thereof, have introduced so many religions as men shall fan∣cie of themselves. Remember how wee and our Ancestours have happy lived under the government of many godly and pious kings and Queenes, and see where we have not suffered more in 3 years under them. And lastly, thinke upon it seriously, whither ever you can or probably may expect such happie daies again, if you joyne not with the King and His Forces, to advance His Throne and Regall Dignitie, who hath so often sought and desired your peace and safety, I remaine

Tyranny of these men who now usurpe Regall Authoritie unto themselves, then one 200 years before, under the Government of those Religious Kings and Queenes. Gent. your very affectionate friend Lewes Dives.

In answer to this Letter, there shall need to bee said no more, onely to referre the Reader to Colonel Butlers Letter following, which is the true Copie of that which he sent to the Club-men.

Page  11

Gentlemen and Neighbours,

YOu have had many meetings, but few salutations from me, not that I love you lesse than other Governours: but that I knew not how to shape a discourse to you, till I saw which way you did encline. I have seene some of your Articles, and find you pretend chiefly to stand up in your owne defence, and the pre∣servation of that little which is left to maintain and preserve you and yours. If that onely be your intent, I know not how, or why it should be withstood by any one that loves his Countrey; but then I would wish you would manifest it, by your yeelding no assistance to the aduerse partie, and we will endeavour to re∣quire none from you; otherwise we must look on you as not what you professe your own friend onelie, but our professed enmie. Put us in a way by your assistance to get the Kings party to quit their holds, and we I assure you, will speedily relinquish our land Gar∣risons. If your intentions are according to your expressions, then I desire you would manifest it; First, by your prohibiting Pa∣pists, and such as are notorious enemies to the Parliament. Se∣condly, by warily declining the counsell and the wily practises of some eminent men now in Armes against us, who plott and con∣trive to abuse and seduce your honest and innocent intentions. Thirdly, wee intreat you likewise not to suffer scandalous nor drunken ministers to have any great power with you, nor influence upon you, because we know such are our professed enmies; for they know the Parliament intends to call them to a stric•• ac∣count. Fourthly, we shall desire that you may give us no 〈◊〉 cause of exception, that no man that is knowne to have beene our ene∣mies, may be neither a Clerke or Reader, or any other kinde of officer among you. Fiftly, that our Letters be read, and our mes∣sengers safely returned aswell as any others. Sixthly, that our Souldiers and Troopers may have free egresse and regresse a∣mongst you, that if they behave themselues amisse, and fall into your hands, you would acquaint us with their offences that wee might punish them. These things if you will performe, we shall wish you well, and that you may be prosperous to the end you pre∣tend to undertake it for▪ otherwise whatsoever your pretences are, we know that you are abused by those that are our enemies, and that would make you so too; and we desire to know, how can you be Parliaments enemies? Is it because they endeavour with the hazard of their liues to preserue your Liberties▪ when the ty∣rannie and oppression of the Court was at highest: or is it be∣cause they Vow and Covenant to extirpate Popery, Schism〈…〉 Errors, and Superstition. Why will you plead for Baal, will youo to keepe up that which God hath promised, and hee will Page  12 have downe; or is it because you feare wee will take away the Kings Crowne and Dignitie. Looke upon the Parliaments De∣clarations to the contrary, sent to all Princes and States. Looke upon our solemne Vow and Covenant to the contrary, and doe not thinke us a people gréedie of periurie, and of hatred and infa∣mie from all posterity; or is it because we endeavour for Refor∣mation in Church and State. I desire you to consider, whether it bee not 〈…〉e to endeavour to be better, when God is punishing us because we are so bad. Whether the Reformation aymed at, will not make us walke more pleasing before God, and make us more conformable to all other reformed Protestant Churches, who have long looked and prayed for such a Reformation amongst us; whither this be not to thwart and oppose what God will have brought to passe. If you canot apprehend the great necessities of it, yet I advise you at least to stand still, aud not to lift up your hand against it; for if it be of God, it will stand, if it bee not of him, it will fall of it selfe to the ground. Take heede then good Neigh∣bours aud fellow Protestants, of ioyning and associating your 〈◊〉 with bloodie Papists and Irish Rebbels, lest you partake of their 〈…〉ments, for God will shortly bring them to an account of all the innocent blood shed here and in Ireland. Take heed of setting your selves against them, that earnestly pray and endea∣vour for the true good of your soules, bodies, and estates; and the Lord give you a right understauding in all things, and guide you into those wayes and counsels which will most conduce to his glo∣rie, and your true good. Pardon mee for being so tedious, I have not troubled you often, I should be glad to heare from you what your resolutions are, and shall rest

Warham Iune 30. 1645.

Your truly wel-wish∣ing friend and Neighbour Robert Butler.

4. For His Majesties promise of a Cessation of Armes, and no∣mination of a Treaty, the late printed Letters between the King and Queen, it is hoped have given full satisfaction to every ratio∣nall man; and yet (such is the Parliaments desire of Peace, if it may be, that) the Lords and Commons have both agreed to send Propositions to the King for Peace, and that without any Treaty; but forthwith by Bill to require a positive answer: to which if it shall please His Majesty to give his Royall Assent, an end will bee of the Wars, and the kingdom setled in peace, and he received with joy, and honoured with the love and loyalty of all his Subjects.

Page  13 5. The reading of the malignant booke printed at Oxford about the Treaty, hath givn little satisfaction to reasonable men, who will without doubt be fully satisfied in the Declartion, which the Parliament are putting out concerning the same.

6. What faithfull Protestant can be so blinded, as not to under∣stand, and in his conscience confesse, that the sins of the Kings Army are exceeding great, both in drinking, swearying, whoring, robbing, plundering, killing, and idolatry, and all manner of wickednesse and barbarous cruelties daily exercised in all parts where they come. And what redresse is here promised for the reliefe of His Majesties Subjects herein. To the third, you may see the answer is, that Taxes and Free-quarter shall be done with moderation, and severe justice is promised for plunder; but should that be fulfilled, the King would soone hang up all his souldiers.

7. For the trusting of any to keepe the Garrisons for the King, it is notoriously knowne, that the Queen must approve of them, and none but Papists must bee entrusted there with; is it not so in all parts of the kings quarters.

8. For the want of Iustice, the kingdome is very sensible, that that very thing hath beene a great cause of these Wars; which Pa∣pists, Iesuits, and Delinquents were the fomenters of, to be a Pro∣tection for them from the power of the Parliament.

Now because the very Club-men themselves are sufficiently sen∣sible how they have suffered under the kings forces, therefore they have framed directions for the security of their estates, the Copies whereof follow.

The desires and Resolutions of the Inhabitants of Dorset.

WE the miserable Jnhabitants of the said Countie, being too too deeply touched with the appre∣hension and sense of our past and present sufferings (oc∣casioned onely by these Civill and vnaturall warrs with∣in this Kingdome.) and finding by sad experience, that by meanes thereof the true worship of almighty God and our religion are almost forgotten, and that our an∣cient Lawes and liberties, are alltogether swallowed up in the arbitrarie power of the sword; and foreseeing that famine and utter Desolation will imediatly fall up∣on Page  12 us, our wives and children, (unlesse God of his in fi∣nit mercy shall looke upon our true humilation be graci∣ously pleasd, spedily to put a period to these sad distra∣ctions, are unanimously resolved to joyne in Petitioning His Majestie and the two Houses of Parliament for a hap∣pie peace and accommodatin of the present differences, without future effusion of Christian bloud; without which accommodation we cannot expect the enjoyment either of our Religion, Liberties, or proprieties: meane while, that we whose names are under written, Resolve, and doe here Declare.

1. To defend and maintain with our lives and fortunes the true reformed Protestant Religion.

2. To joyne with and assist one another in the mutuall defence of our Lawes, liberties, and properties, against all plunderers, & all other unlawful violence whatsoever.

3. Wee doe faithfully promise each to other, that the damage or losse which in the execution hereof shall hap∣pen to any one, be accounted as the losse of the generali∣ty, and that reparation be made to such party or parties by the whole County; and in case of losse of life, provi∣sion be made for his wife and children, by the County.

4. To declare all such unworthy of the generall assist∣ance, as shall refuse, or delay to joyne with us in the pro∣secution of these our just intentions.

Some directions for present behaviour made and agreed on at a meeting of the Inhabitants of the Counties of Dorset and Wilts, at Gorhead corner, the 28th of May, 1645.

VVHereas by the Articles of our Association, wee challenge unto our selues no other freedome for the present from the burthen of the Warres, then to preserue our selues from plder, and all other unlawfull violence. It is therefore advised Page  15 by the generality, that untill such time as we receiue answer to our petitions from his Maiesty and the two Houses of par∣liament.

1. Euery Towne, Tything-parish, great Hamlet, make pre∣sent choice of thrée or more or the ablest men for Wisedome, Va∣lour, and estate, Inhabitants in the same, unto whom at all times they may repayre for assistance and direction.

2. That the Constable, Tything-man, or other officer of the Tawne, Tything-parish, or liberty, in pursuance of the Statute in that case prouided, set a constant watch of two at the least euery night, and they well Armed, and if need so require, by day also; and the number of the watchmen to bee encreased, according to the discreation of the said chosen able men, and the said officers.

3. That the watchmen be charged not to stoppe, 〈◊〉, or exa∣mine any Souldier on his march, nor any other passenger that pas∣seth peaceably; but if they be friendly spoken unto by the passen∣ger, to returne a friendly answer, to encourage him in his peace∣able behauiour.

4. That the watchmen keepe walking in their precincts, in as much secresie as conueniently they may, in auoyd a hidden surpri∣sall; and as soone as they or either of them descry any Vlolence to any person, house, or goods, if they are not of sufficient strength themselues to suppresse or stop the said Violence; then one of them presently repayring unto one or more of the said chosen able men, by his or their aduice, to raise the parish, tything towne, or Ham∣let into armes, to assist the distressed, and the other watchman withall speed to repayre to the next neighbouring watch, or wat∣ches, if need so requires; and there in like manner raising the men into armos, to bring presently with him to relieue the distressed halfe of the men there armed, the other halfe to remaine ready armed in their owne precincts to protect the same, and to appre¦hend the plunderers in their Retreat.

5. That all such as pretend themselues to be Souldiers, and are taken plundering, or doing any other unlawfull Violence, be pre∣sently disarmed, and after examination, hauing confest unto which Army they doe belong, to be safely Guarded, together, with suffi∣cient witnesse to proue the offence; from Tything Tything, until they be brought to the next Garrison belonging unto the said Army, and there to bee deliuered unto the commander in chiefe, with tender of the witnesses to proue the crime; but in case they say they belong to an Army that doth quarter neere the place where the offence was committed, then in like manner to convey them to the commander in chiefe of the said Army.

Page  16 6. That they auoyd false Alarums, no men rise into Arms but such as are so nominated by the watchmen, unlesse they see appa∣rent Violence; or in case the watch be defectiue or surprised, they be called by a very probable out cry.

7. That all men furnish themselues with as much, and good Armes, Weapons, and Ammunition as they can procure; and the Rich out of a good conscience to relieue the poore herein, as also in their labours of watching and other assistance in some proportionable measure.

8. That the contribution money, and all prouision and necessa∣rie maintenance for the Armies, if it be demanded by a lawfull warrant directed to the Officer of the place; bee not denied, but euery man as hee is able in some reasonable proportion forthwith to contribute; and for those that are truely unable, certificate of their inability to be made by the sayd officer, with the advise of the said chosen able men of the place, unto their commander in chiefe, from whom the warrant issued, with petition for respite and mittigation of the proportion by the sayd warrant required, untill they shall be better enabled.

9. If quarter be demanded according to order martiall, the sol∣dier to be friendly entertained, behaving himselfe fairly in his quarters; but if they plunder or offer any other violence, then to be restrained and delivered up unto his commander in chiefe to be by him corrected.

If any inconvenience shall bee found to ensue on the observation of these directions, it is desired to bee made knowne at the next generall meeting that it may be amended.
FINIS.
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