|Edward Sexby (ft. 1642–1667)|
For further information see the following:
T.118 [1647.11.11] Edward Sexby, Copy of a Letter to all the Souldiers in the Armie (11 November, 1647)
Edward Sexby, A Copy of a Letter sent by the Agents of severall Regiments of his Excellencies Army, that are resolved to the last drop of their bloud to stand for the Liberties of the People, to all the Souldiers in the said Armie.
Novemb. 11. 1647.
11 November, 1647.
TT1, p. 569; Thomason E. 41. (18.)
(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)
Novemb. 11. 1647.
Gentlemen and fellow Souldiers;
WEE esteeme it our dutie to render you an account of our present state of affaires with us, and at the head Quarters: wee have been consulting about the most speedy and effectuall settlement of your and all the peoples freedoms, whereby the people may be disposed into a capacitie and willingnesse to provide constant pay, and secure our arreares: we finde by sad experience that there was no possibilitie of obtaining either, so long as the settlement of the peoples freedoms was delaid; and therefore as well in love and reall respects to you, as to our deare Countrey, wee were constrained to propound the foundations of freedoms, to be forthwith established by a mutuall agreement between the people and you; and though we dare averre, that there is nothing contained in that Agreement, nor in the case of the Armie stated, which is propounded to be insisted on, but what is at least the equitable sense, of our sense, of our former Declarations and Remonstrances; yet we finde many at the head Quarters obstructing and opposing our proceedings: wee sent some to them to debate in love the matters and manners of the Argument. And the first Article thereof being long debated, it was concluded by Vote in the Affirmative; viz. That all Souldiers and others, if they be not servants or beggers, ought to have voyces in electing those which shall represent them in Parliament, although they have not fortie shillings in the yeare, by free-hold Land.
And there were but three voyces against this your native freedome. After this they would referre all to a Committee, and the next Generall Councell our friends obtained a generall Randezvouz, and a Letter from the Councell to cleare the Armie from any desire or intent of constraining the Parliament to send new Propositions to the King, whereby your indemnitie for fighting against the King, should be begged of the King, and so the gilt of innocent bloud laid upon your owne beads, and your enemies shall boast and insult over you, saying, You were forced to aske them to save you harmlesse.
At the next meeting a Declaration was offered to the Councell, wherein the Kings corrupt interest was so intermixed, that in a short time, if he should so come in, he would be in a capacitie to destroy you, and the people; and assure your selves, if any power be in the least given to him; he will improve it to the utmost to inslave and ruine you that conquered him, and to advance your enemies to trample upon you. Upon this wee desired onely a free debate of this Question; Whether it were safe, either for the Armie, or the people, to suffer any power to be given to the King: and Lievtenant Generall Crumwell, and the rest, professed as before God, they would freely debate it; and munday last, a generall Councell was appointed for that purpose; but when they met they wholly refused, and in stead of that spake very reproachfully of us and our Actions, and declared against that which was past the Councell before, Concerning the voyces of those in Election, which have not fortie shillings by the yeare free-hold, and against the Letter sent by the Councell to the Parliament, and the day before Commissary Generall Ireton withdrew and protested he would act no more with them, unlesse they recalled the Letter, and to prevent any further debate, they would have dissolved the Councell for above a fortnight; and thus our hopes of agreeing together to settle your and the peoples freedoms were then frustrated, and though the chiefe of them had desired some of our friends, not above three dayes before to goe on in their actings, for they might come in when they should doe us more service then at that time, yet then they made great outcries against us, and complaints of distempers in the Armie, which were nothing but endeavours after their rights and freedoms.
The next day they still waved and refused the free debate of the aforesaid Question, and dissolved this Councel for above a fortnight; and for a time resolved they would only prepare some faire Propositions to the Army, and about Arrears and pay, and sent to the Parliament for a moneths pay against a Randezvouz; But they declared they would divide the Army into three parts, to Randezvouz severally; and all this appeares to be only to draw off the Army from joyning together, to settle those cleere foundations of Freedome propounded to you, & to procure your rights as you are Souldiers effectually, without any more delusions. Thus you may observe the strange unconstancy of those who would obstruct your wayes, and the great matter wherein the difference lay, and the candidness of our actings, but we hope it will be no discouragement unto you, though your Officers, yea, the greatest Officers, should apostatise from you; Its well known that the great Officers which now oppose, did as much oppose secretly when wee refused to disband according to the Parliaments Order; and at last they confessed the Providence of God was the more wonderfull; because those resolutions to stand for Fredom and justice began among the Souldiers only. And yet now they would affright you from such actings, by telling you, its disobedience to the Generalls commands, and distempers, and mutiules: these were the words of those men in Parliament, and which opposed you before; and you may consider that you had done as much service for the people, by disobedience to the Parliament, as ever you did by obedience; if you had fulfilled your Declarations and Engagements, which you then passed, as for the moneths pay if it came, you may consider its but your due, and yet wee believe none had bin procured for you, unlesse wee had thus appeared. And if any Declarations or Propositions about Pay, or Arrears, be offered to you, remember you have been sed with papers too long, we desire that there may be a generall Randezvouz, and no parting each from other till we be fully assured we shall not returne to burthen the Countrie by free-quarter, untill our Arrears be actually secured, and the foundations of our native Freedom, Peace, and security in the Agreement established; and likewise till a sure way be set and for calling all Committees, Sequestrators, and Parliament men to account for the Countries money, that so the Countrie might know wee intend their good and freedom: wee know some faire overtures will be made to you about Pay, Arreares, seeming Freedom, and security: But wee hope as you formerly, rejected such overtures from the Parliament, knowing that without a settlement of Freedom, no constant pay, or Arrears will be provided, so now wee are confident you will not be deceived, and hope you are all resolved of a generall Randezvouz; that wee may all agree together in fulfilling our Declarations, and Engagements to the people; that so, wee may not become the objects of scorne and hatred; Wee shall now onely add we are
London the 11th
of Novem. 1647.
Yours and the peoples for common
Rights, and Freedoms;
|Edward Saxbee }||Generalls|
|Edmund Beare }||Regiment.|
|VVilliam Michell }||Life Guard.|
|George Hassall }||Commissarie Generalls|
|VVilliam Perkins }||Regiment.|
|Robert Everard }||Leut. Generalls|
|Iohn VValter }||Regiment|
|William Pryor }||Coll. Fleetwoods R.|
|Humphery Daveis }||Coll. Oklies R.|
|George Clark }||Col. Wallers R.|
|Joseph Aleyn }||Coll. Harrison R.|
|Richard Seale }|
|VVilliam Russell }||Coll. Whalyes R.|
|Richard Hilyer }|
|Christopher Belsen }|
|Thomas George }||Coll. Lilburnes R.|
|Andrew Devell }|
|Michall Everard }|
THe urgent necessity of one Generall Randezvouz, wherein wee may so insist upon our Rights as Souldiers, and the settlement of our Freedoms as English-men, still appeares more evident to us. This day the Parliament considered the Proposition from the Army, that Deans and Chapters Lands should be part of our security for Arreares, and they refused to grant it: wee see no good will be done but by a Generall Randezvouz, and remember the Parliament would have brought us to several Randezvouz, when they would have divided and disbanded us, therefore we wish that we may so remember our ingagement, as we may all resolve to meet, and not to part untill the rights and freedoms of us all, and of all our Countrey-men be setled and secured.