Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches II

Letters from Ireland, 1649 and 1650

Edited by Thomas Carlyle, first published 1845

This edition published in 1897 by Chapman and Hall Ltd, London

Oliver Cromwell

Footnotes are Thomas Carlyle's.

Note that the old dating system is used here. The new year 1650 began on 25th March.


Index

Date Location Correspondent

19th July 1649 Bristol Cromwell's brother Richard Mayor
13th Aug 1649 Aboard ship Cromwell's brother Richard Mayor
13th Aug 1649 Aboard ship Cromwell's daughter Dorothy
22nd Aug 1649 Dublin William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
24th Aug 1649 Dublin General Declaration
12th Sept 1649 Tredah [Drogheda] The Chief Officer Commanding in Dundalk
16th Sept 1649 Dublin John Bradshaw, President of the Council of State
17th Sept 1649 Dublin William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
27th Sept 1649 Dublin William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
14th Oct 1649 Wexford William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
3rd Oct 1649 Wexford Commander in Chief of the town of Wexford
3rd Oct 1649 Wexford From D. Sinnot [Commander in Chief at Wexford] to Cromwell
3rd Oct 1649 Wexford Commander in Chief of the town of Wexford
4th Oct 1649 Wexford From D. Sinnot [Commander in Chief at Wexford] to Cromwell
4th Oct 1649 Wexford Commander in Chief of the town of Wexford
4th Oct 1649 Wexford From D. Sinnot [Commander in Chief at Wexford] to Cromwell
5th Oct 1649 Wexford From D. Sinnot [Commander in Chief at Wexford] to Cromwell
5th Oct 1649 Wexford From D. Sinnot [Commander in Chief at Wexford] to Cromwell
6th Oct 1649 Wexford Commander in Chief of the town of Wexford
11th Oct 1649 Wexford From D. Sinnot [Commander in Chief at Wexford] to Cromwell
11th Oct 1649 Wexford [Propositions laid out by D. Sinnot]
11th Oct 1649 Wexford Commander in Chief of Wexford
17th Oct 1649 Ross Commander-in-Chief of Ross
19th Oct 1649 Ross From Lucas Taaff, Commander-in-Chief of Ross, to Cromwell
19th Oct 1649 Ross Commander-in-Chief of Ross
19th Oct 1649 Ross From Lucas Taaff, Commander-in-Chief of Ross, to Cromwell
19th Oct 1649 Ross Commander-in-Chief of Ross
19th Oct 1649 Ross From Lucas Taaff, Commander-in-Chief of Ross, to Cromwell
19th Oct 1649 Ross Commander-in-Chief of Ross
19th Oct 1649 Ross William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
13th Nov 1649 Ross Cromwell's brother Richard Mayor
14th Nov 1649 Ross Hon. Thomas Scott, of the Council of State
14th Nov 1649 Ross William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
Nov 1649 Waterford William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
19th Dec 1649 Cork William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
1st Jan 1649 Cork The Lord Wharton
Jan 1649 Youghal Proclamation 'for the undeceiving of deluded and seduced people'
15th  Feb 1649 Castletown William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
22nd Mar 1649 Kilkenny Governor, Mayor and Aldermen of Kilkenny
25th Mar 1650 Kilkenny Governor of Kilkenny
26th Mar 1650 Kilkenny Governor of Kilkenny
26th Mar 1650 Kilkenny Mayor of Kilkenny
26th Mar 1650 Kilkenny Mayor of Kilkenny
26th Mar 1650 Kilkenny Governor of Kilkenny
27th Mar 1650 Kilkenny Governor of Kilkenny
1st Apr 1650 Carrick-on-Suir Commissioners at Dublin
2nd Apr 1650 Carrick-on-Suir William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament
2nd Apr 1650 Carrick-on-Suir Cromwell's brother Richard Mayor
2nd Apr 1650 Carrick-on-Suir Cromwell's son 'Dick' Cromwell



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FOR MY VERY LOVING BROTHER RICHARD MAYOR, AT HURSLEY: THESE

Bristol, 19th July 1649

 

Loving Brother, - I received your Letter by Major Long; and do in answer thereunto according to my best understanding, with a due consideration to those gentlemen who have abid[sic] the brunt of the service.

I am very glad to hear of your welfare, and that our children have so good leisure to make a journey to eat cherries: - it’s very excusable in my Daughter; I hope she may have a very good pretence for it! I assure you, Sir, I wish her very well; and I believe she knows it. I pray you tell her from me, I expect she writes often to me; by which I shall understand how all your Family doth, and she will be kept in some exercise. I have delivered my Son up to you; and I hope you will counsel him: he will need it; and indeed I believe he likes well what you say, and will be advised by you. I wish he may be serious; the times require it.

I hope my Sister[1] is in health; to whom I desire my very hearty affections and service may be presented; as also to my Cousin Ann[2], to whom I wish a good husband. I desire my affections may be presented to all your Family, to which I wish a blessing from the Lord. I hope I shall have your prayers in the Business to which I am called. My Wife, I trust, will be with you before it be long, in her way towards Bristol. – Sir, discompose not your thoughts or Estate for what you are to pay me. Let me know wherein I may comply with your occasions and mind, and be confident you will find me to you as your own heart.

Wishing your prosperity and contentment very sincerely, with the remembrance of my love, I rest, your affectionate brother and servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR MY LOVING BROTHER RICHARD MAYOR, ESQUIRE, AT HURSLEY : THESE

Milford Haven,” From Aboard the John, 13th August 1649

 

Loving Brother,- I could not satisfy myself to omit this opportunity by my Son of writing to you; especially there being so late and great an occasion of acquainting you with the happy news I received from Lieutenant-General Jones yesterday.

The Marquis of Ormond besieged Dublin with Nineteen-thousand men or thereabouts; Seven-thousand Scots and Three-thousand more were coming to “join him in” that work. Jones issued out of Dublin with Four-thousand foot and Twelve-hundred horse; hath routed this whole Army; killed about Four-thousand upon the place; taken 2,517 prisoners, above Three-hundred “of them” officers, some of them great quality.[3]

This is an astonishing mercy; so great and seasonable that indeed we are like them that dreamed. What can we say! The Lord fill our souls with thankfulness, that our mouths may be full of His praise, - and our lives too; and grant we may never forget His goodness to us. These things seem to strengthen our faith and love, against more difficult times. Sir, pray for me, That I may walk worthy of the Lord in all that He hath called me unto!-

I have committed my Son to you; pray give him advice. I envy him not his contents; but I fear he should be swallowed up in them. I would have him mind and understand Business, read a little History, study the Mathematics and Cosmography: - these are good, with subordination to the things of God. Better than Idleness, or mere outward worldly contents. These fit for Public services,[4] for which a man is born.

Pardon this trouble. I am thus bold because I know you love me; as indeed I do you, and yours. My love to my dear Sister, and my Cousin Ann your Daughter, and all Friends. I rest, Sir, your loving brother,

OLIVER CROMWELL

“P.S.” Sir, I desire you not to discommodate yourself because of the money due to me. Your welfare is as mine: and therefore let me know, from time to time, what will convenience you in any forbearance; I shall answer you in it, and be ready to accommodate you. And therefore do your other business; let not this hinder.

 

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TO MY BELOVED DAUGHTER DOROTHY CROMWELL, AT HURSLEY: THESE

From Aboard the John, 13th Aug. 1649

My dear Daughter, - Your Letter was very welcome to me. I like to see anything from your hand; because indeed I stick not to say I do entirely love you. And therefore I hope a word of advice will not be unwelcome nor unacceptable to thee.

I desire you both to make it above all things your business to seek the Lord: to be frequently calling upon Him, that he would manifest Himself to you in His Son; and be listening what returns He makes to you, - for He will be speaking in your ear and in your heart, if you attend thereunto. I desire you to provoke your Husband likewise thereunto. As for the pleasures of this Life, and outward Business, let that be upon the bye. Be above all these things, by Faith in Christ; and then you shall have the true use and comfort of them, - and not otherwise. I have much satisfaction  in hope your spirit is this way set; and I desire you may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and that I may hear thereof. The lord is very near: which we see by His wonderful works: and therefore He looks that we of this generation draw near to Him. This late great Mercy of Ireland is a great manifestation thereof. Your Husband will acquaint you with it. We should be much stirred up in our spirits to thankfulness. We much need the spirit of Christ, to enable us to praise God for so admirable a mercy.

The Lord bless thee, my dear Daughter. I rest, thy loving Father,

OLIVER CROMWELL

“P.S.” I hear thou didst lately miscarry. Prithee take heed of a coach by all means; borrow thy Father’s nag when thou intendest to go abroad.

 

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT : THESE

Dublin, 22nd August 1649

Sir, - Before my coming for Ireland, I was bold to move the House on behalf of Sir George Ayscough; who then I thought had merited the favour of the Parliament, but since, much more, by his very faithful and industrious carriage in this place.

It seems, whilst he is attending your service, a Lease he holds of the Deanery of Windsor had like to be purchased over his head, he not coming to buy it himself by the time limited. He holds a very considerable part of his estate in Church-leases; one or more being in Impropriate Tithes, which he and his ancestors have held for a good time: all which is like to determine, and go from him and his, by  your Orders.

I found the Parliament well to resent the motion I made on his behalf at that time. I desire you please to revive the business; and to obtain the House’s favour for him, which they intended and expressed. He will, I presume, herewith send his humble desires; for which I beg your furtherance; and rest, Sir, your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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THIS DECLARATION IS APPOINTED TO BE PRINTED, AND PUBLISHED THROUGHOUT ALL IRELAND: BY SPECIAL DIRECTION FROM – OLIVER CROMWELL

WHEREAS I am informed that, upon the marching out of the Armies heretofore, or of parties from Garrisons, a liberty hath been taken by the Soldiery to abuse, rob and pillage, and too often to execute cruelties upon the Country People: Being resolved, by the grace of God, diligently and strictly to restrain such wickedness for the future,

I do hereby warn and require all Officers, Soldiers, and others under my command, henceforth To forbear all such evil practices as aforesaid; and Not to do any wrong or violence toward Country People, or persons whatsoever, unless they be actually in arms or office with the Enemy; and Not to meddle with the goods of such, without special order.

And I farther declare, That it shall be free and lawful to and for all manner of persons dwelling in the country, as well gentlemen and soldiers, as farmers and other people (such as are in arms or office with or for the Enemy only excepted), to make their repair, and bring any provisions unto the Army, while in march or camp, or unto any Garrison under my command: Hereby assuring all such, That they shall not be molested or troubled in their persons or goods; but shall have the benefit of a free market, and receive ready money for goods or commodities they shall so bring and sell: And that they, behaving themselves peaceably and quietly; and paying such Contributions proportionately with their neighbours, as have been, are, or shall be duly and orderly imposed upon them, for maintenance of the Parliament’s forces and other public uses,  - shall have free leave and liberty to live at home with their families and goods; and shall be protected in their persons and estates by virtue Hereof, until the 1st of January next: By or before which time, “1st of January next”, all such of them as are minded to reside, and plough and sow, in the “Army’s” quarters, are to make their addresses, for now and farther protections, to the Attorney-General, residing at Dublin, and to such other persons as shall be authorised for that purpose.

And hereof I require all Soldiers, and others unto my command, diligently to take notice and observe the same: as they shall answer to the contrary at their utmost perils. Strictly charging and commanding all Officers and others, in their several places, carefully to see to it That no wrong or violence be done to any such person as aforesaid, contrary to the effect of the premises. Being resolved, through the grace of God, to punish all that shall offend contrary hereunto, very severely, according to Law or Articles of War; to displace, and otherwise punish, all such Officers as shall be found negligent in their places, and not to see to the due observance hereof, or not to punish the offenders under their respective commands.

Given at Dublin, the 24th of August 1649.

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE CHIEF OFFICER COMMANDING IN DUNDALK : THESE

Tredah,” 12th September 1649

Sir, - I offered mercy to the Garrison of Treedagh, in sending the Governor a Summons before I attempted the taking of it. Which being refused brought their evil upon them.

If you, being warned thereby, shall surrender your Garrison to the use of the Parliament of England, which by this I summon you to do, you may thereby prevent effusion of blood. If, upon refusing this Offer, that which you like not befalls you, you will know whom to blame. I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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TO THE HONOURABLE JOHN BRADSHAW, ESQUIRE, PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE : THESE

Dublin,” 16th September 1649

Sir, - It hath pleased God to bless our endeavours at Tredah. After battery, we stormed it. The Enemy were about 3,000 strong in the Town. They made a stout resistance; and near 1,000 of our men being entered, the Enemy forced them out again. But God giving a new courage to our men, they attempted again, and entered; beating the Enemy from their defences.

The Enemy had made three retrenchments, both to the right and left “of” where we entered; all which they were forced to quit. Being thus entered, we refused them quarter; having, the day before, summoned the Town. I believe we put to the sword the whole number of the defendants. I do not think Thirty of the whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did, are in safe custody for the Barbadoes. Since that time, the Enemy quitted to us Trim and Dundalk. In Trim they were in such haste that they left their guns behind them.

This hath been a marvellous great mercy. The Enemy, being not willing to put an issue upon a field-battle, had put into his Garrison almost all their prime soldiers, being about 3,000 horse and foot, under the command of their best officers; Sir Arthur Ashton being made Governor. There were some seven or eight regiments, Ormond’s being one, under the command of Sir Edmund Varney. I do not believe, neither do I hear, that any officer escaped with his life, save only one Lieutenant, who, I hear, going to the Enemy said, That he was the only man that escaped of all the Garrison. The Enemy upon this were filled with much terror. And truly I believe this bitterness will save much effusion of blood, through the goodness of God.

I wish that all honest hearts may give the glory of this to God alone, to whom indeed the praise of this mercy belongs. “As” for instruments, they were very inconsiderable the work throughout.

Captain Brandly did with forty or fifty of his men very gallantly storm the Tenalia; for which he deserves the thanks of the State. “I rest, your most humble servant,”

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND : THESE

Dublin, 17th September 1649

Sir,- Your Army being safely arrived at Dublin; and the Enemy endeavouring to draw all his forces together about Trim and Tecroghan, as my intelligence gave me, - from whence endeavours were made by the Marquis of Ormond to draw Owen Roe O’Neil with his forces to his assistance, but with what success I cannot yet learn, - I resolved, after some refreshment taken for our weather-beaten men and horses, and accommodations for a march, to take the field. And accordingly, upon Friday the 30th of August[5] last, rendezvoused with eight regiments of foot, six of horse and some troops of dragoons, three miles on the north side of Dublin. The design was, To endeavour the regaining of Tredah; or tempting the Enemy, upon his hazard of the loss of that place, to fight.

Your Army came before the Town upon Monday following. Where having pitched, as speedy course was taken as could be to frame our batteries; which took up the more time because divers of the battering guns were on shipboard. Upon Monday the 9th of this instant, the batteries began to play. Whereupon I sent Sir Arthur Ashton, the then Governor, a summons, To deliver the Town to the use of the Parliament of England. To the which receiving no satisfactory answer, I proceeded that day to beat-down the Steeple of the Church on the south side of the Town, and to beat-down a Tower not far from the same place, which you will discern by the chart enclosed.

Our guns not being able to do much that day, it was resolved to endeavour to do our utmost the next day to make breaches assaultable, and by the help of God to storm them. The place pitched upon was that part of the Town-wall next a Church called St. Mary’s; which was the rather chosen because we did hope that if we did enter and possess that Church, we should be better able to keep it against their horse and foot until we could make way for the entrance of our horse; and we did not conceive that any part of the Town would afford the like advantage for that purpose with this. The batteries planted were two, one was for that part of the Wall against the east end of the said Church; the other against the Wall on the south side. Being somewhat long in battering, the Enemy made six retrenchments; three of them from the said Church to Duleek Gate; and three of them from the east end of the Church to the Town-wall and so backward. The guns, after some two or three hundred shot, beat down the corner Tower, and opened two reasonable good breaches in the east and south Wall.

Upon Tuesday the 10th of this instant, about five o’clock in the evening, we began the Storm: and after some hot dispute we entered, about seven or eight hundred men; the Enemy disputing it very stiffly with us. And indeed, through the advantages of the place, and the courage God was pleased to give the defenders, our men were forced to retreat quite out of the breach, not without some considerable loss; Colonel Castle being there shot in the head, whereof he presently died: and divers officers and soldiers doing their duty killed and wounded. There was a Tenalia to flanker the south Wall of the Town, between Duleek Gate and the corner Tower before mentioned; - which our men entered, wherein they found some forty or fifty of the Enemy, which they put to the sword. And this “Tenalia” they held: but it being without the Wall, and the sally-port through the Wall into that Tenalia being choked up with some of the Enemy which were killed in it, it proved of no use for an entrance into the Town that way.

Although our men that stormed the breaches were forced to recoil, as is before expressed; yet, being encouraged to recover their loss, they made a second attempt: wherein God was pleased so to animate them that they got ground of the Enemy, and by the goodness of God, forced him to quit his entrenchments. And after a very hot dispute, the Enemy having both horse and foot, and we only foot, within the Wall, - they gave ground, and our men became masters both of their retrenchments and “of” the Church; which indeed, although they made our entrance the more difficult, yet they proved of excellent use to us; so that the Enemy could not “now” annoy us with their horse, but thereby we had advantage to make good the ground, that so we might let-in our own horse; which accordingly was done, though with much difficulty.

Divers of the Enemy retreated into the Mill-Mount: a place very strong and of difficult access; being exceedingly high, having a good graft, and strongly palisadoed. The Governor, Sir Arthur Ashton, and divers considerable Officers being there, our men getting up to them, were ordered by me to put them all to the sword. And indeed, being in the heat of action, I forbade them to spare any that were in arms in the Town: and, I think, that night they put to the sword about 2,000 men; - divers of the officers and soldiers fled over the Bridge into the other part of the Town, where about 100 of them possessed St. Peter’s Church-steeple, some the west Gate, and others a strong Round Tower next the Gate called St. Sunday’s. These being summoned to yield to mercy, refused. Whereupon I ordered the steeple of St. Peter’s Church to be fired, when one of them was heard to say in the midst of the flames: ‘God damn me, God confound me, I burn, I burn.’

The next day, the other two Towers were summoned; in one of which was about six or seven score; but they refused to yield themselves: and we knowing that hunger must compel them, set only good guards to secure them from running away until their stomachs were come down. From one of the said Towers, notwithstanding their condition, they killed and wounded some of our men. When they submitted, their officers were knocked on the head; and every tenth man of the soldiers killed; and the rest shipped for the Barbadoes. The soldiers in the other Tower were all spared, as to their lives only; and shipped likewise for the Barbadoes.

I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood; and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future. Which are the satisfactory grounds to such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret. The officers and soldiers of this Garrison were the flower of their Army. And their great expectation was, that our attempting this place would put fair to ruin us; they being confident of the resolution of their men, and the advantage of the place. If we had divided our force into two quarters to have besieged the North Town and the South Town, we could not have had such a correspondency between the two parts of our Army, but that they might have chosen to have brought their Army, and have fought with which part “of ours” they pleased, - and at the same time have made a sally with 2,000 men upon us, and have left their walls manned; they having in the Town the number hereafter supplied, but some say near 4,000.

Since this great mercy vouchsafed to us, I sent a party of horse and dragoons to Dundalk; which the Enemy quitted, and we are possessed of, - as also “of” another Castle they deserted, between Trim and Tredah, upon the Boyne. I sent a party of horse and dragoons to a House within five miles of Trim, there being then in Trim some Scots Companies which the Lord of Ardes brought to assist the Lord of Ormond. But upon the news of Tredah, they ran away; leaving their great guns behind them, which also we have possessed.

And now give me leave to say how it comes to pass that this work is wrought. It was set upon some of our hearts, That a great thing should be done, not by power or might, but by the Spirit of God. And is it not so, clearly? That which caused your men to storm so courageously, it was the Spirit of God who gave your men courage, and took it away again; and gave the Enemy courage, and took it away again; and gave your men courage again, and therewith this happy success. And therefore it is good that God alone have all the glory.

It is remarkable that these people, at the first, set up the Mass in some places of the Town that had been monasteries; but afterwards grew so insolent that, the last Lord’s-day before the storm, the Protestants were thrust out of the great Church called St. Peter’s and they had public Mass there: and in this very place near 1,000 of them were put to the sword, fleeing thither for safety. I believe all their friars were knocked on the head promiscuously but two; the one of which was Father Peter Taaff, brother to the Lord Taaff, whom the soldiers took, the next day, and made an end of. The other was taken in the Round Tower, under the repute of a Lieutenant, and when he understood that the officers in that Tower had no quarter, he confessed he was a Friar; but that did not save him.

A great deal of loss in this business fell upon Colonel Hewson’s, Colonel Castle’s, and Colonel Ewer’s regiments. Colonel Ewer having two Field-Officers in his regiment shot; Colonel Castle and a Captain of his regiment slain; Colonel Hewson’s Captain-Lieutenant slain. I do not think we lost 100 men upon the place, though many be wounded.

I most humbly pray the Parliament may be pleased “that” this Army may be maintained; and that a consideration may be had of them, and of the carrying-on affairs here, “such” as may give a speedy issue to this work. To which there seems to be a marvellous fair opportunity offered by God. And although it may seem very chargeable to the State of England to maintain so great a force; yet surely to stretch a little for the present, in following God’s providence, I hope the charge will not be long – I trust it will not be thought by any (that have not irreconcilable or malicious principles) unfit for me to move, For a constant supply; which, in human probability as to outward things, is most likely to hasten and perfect this work. And indeed if God please to finish it here as He hath done in England, the War is like to pay itself.

We keep the field much; our tents sheltering us from the wet and cold. But yet the Country-sickness overtakes many: and therefore we desire recruits, and some fresh regiments of foot, may be sent us. For it’s easily conceived by what the Garrisons already drink up, what our Field-Army will come to, if God shall give more Garrisons into our hands. Craving pardon for this great trouble, I rest, your most obedient servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL.

P.S. Since writing of my Letter, a Major who brought off forty-three horse from the Enemy told me that it’s reported in their camp that Owen Roe and they are agreed.

The defendants in Tredah consisted of: The Lord of Ormond’s regiment (Sir Edmund Varney Lieutenant-Colonel), of 400: Colonel Bryn’s, Colonel Warren’s, and Colonel Wall’s, of 2,000: the Lord of Westmeath’s, of 200; Sir James Dillon’s, of 200; and 200 horse.

 

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND : THESE

Dublin, 27th September 1649

Mr. Speaker.- I had not received any account from Colonel Venables, - whom I sent from Tredah to endeavour the reducing of Carlingford, and so to march Northward towards a conjunction with Sir Charles Coote, -  until the last night.

After he came to Carlingford, having summoned the place, both the three Castles and the Fort commanding the Harbour were rendered to him. Wherein were about Forty Barrels of Powder, Seven Pieces of Cannon; about a Thousand Muskets, and Five-hundred Pikes wanting twenty. In the entrance into the Harbour, Captain Fern, aboard your man-of-war, had some danger; being much shot at from the Sea Fort, a bullet shooting through his main-mast. The Captain’s entrance into that Harbour was a considerable adventure, and a good service; - as also was that of Captain Brandly, who, with Forty seamen, stormed a very strong Tenalia at Treda, and helped to take it; for which he deserves an owning by you.

Venables marched from Carlingford, with a party of Horse and Dragoons, to the Newry; leaving the place, and it was yielded before his Foot came up to him. Some other informations I have received form him, which promise well towards your Northern Interest; which, if well prosecuted, will, I trust God, render you a good account of those parts.

I have sent those things to be presented to the Council of State for their consideration. I pray God, as these mercies flow in upon you, He will give you an heart to improve them to His glory alone; because He alone is the author of them, and of all the goodness, patience and long-suffering extending towards you.

Your army has marched; and, I believe, this night lieth at Arklow, in the County of Wicklow, by the Sea-side, between thirty and forty miles from this place. I am this day, by God’s blessing, going towards it.

I crave your pardon for this trouble; and rest, your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

P.S. I desire the Supplies moved for may be hastened. I am verily persuaded, though the burden be great, yet it is for your service. If the Garrisons we take swallow-up your men, how shall we be able to keep the field? Who knows but the Lord may pity England’s sufferings, and make a short work of this? It is in His hand to do it, and therein only your servants rejoice. I humbly present the condition of Captain George Jenkin’s Widow. He died presently after Tredah Storm. His Widow is in great want.

The following Officers and Soldiers were slain at the storming of Tredah: Sir Arthur Ashton, Governor; Sir Edmund Varney, Lieutenant-Colonel to Ormond’s Regiment; Colonel Fleming, Lieutenant-Colonel Finglass, Major Fitzgerald, with eight Captains, eight Lieutenants, and eight Cornets, all of Horse; Colonels Warren, Wall, and Byrn, of Foot, with their Lieutenants, Majors, etc; the Lord Taaff’s Brother, an Augustine Friar; forty-four Captains, and all their Lieutenants, Ensigns, etc; 220 Reformadoes and Troopers; 2,500 Foot-soldiers, besides the Staff-Officers, Surgeons, etc.

 

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND : THESE

Wexford, 14th October 1649

Sir, - The Army marched from Dublin, about the 23rd of September, into the County of Wicklow, where the Enemy had a Garrison about fourteen miles from Dublin, called Killincarrick; which they quitting, a Company of the Army was put therein. From thence the Army marched through almost a desolated country, until it came to a passage over the River Doro[6], about a mile above the Castle of Arklow, which was the first seat and honour of the Marquis of Ormond’s family. Which he had strongly fortified; but it was, upon the approach of the Army, quitted; wherein we left another Company of Foot.

From thence the Army marched towards Wexford; where in the way was a strong and large Castle, at a town called Limbrick, the ancient seat of the Esmonds; where the Enemy had a strong Garrison; which they burnt and quitted, the day before our coming thither. From thence we marched towards Ferns, an episcopal seat, where was a Castle; to which I sent Colonel Reynolds with a party to summon it. Which accordingly he did, and it was surrendered to him; where we having put a company, - advanced the Army to a passage over the River Slaney, which runs down to Wexford; and that night we marched into the fields of a Village called Enniscorthy, belonging to Mr. Robert Wallop;[7] where was a strong Castle very well manned and provided for by the Enemy; and, close under it, a very fair House belonging to the same worthy person, - a Monastery of Franciscan Friars, the considerablest in all Ireland; they ran away the night we came. We summoned the Castle; and they refused to yield at the first; but upon better consideration, they were willing to deliver the place to us; which accordingly they did; leaving their great guns, arms, ammunition and provisions behind them.

Upon Monday the First of October we came before Wexford. Into which the Enemy had put a Garrison, consisting of “part of” their Army; this Town having, until then, been so confident of their own strength as that they would not, at any time, suffer a Garrison to be imposed upon them. The Commander that brought in those forces was Colonel David Sinnott; who took upon him the command of the place. To whom I sent a Summons, a Copy whereof is this enclosed; between whom and me there passed Answers and Replies, Copies whereof these also are:

1. ‘TO THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE TOWN OF WEXFORD

‘Before Wexford, 3d October 1649.

‘Sir, - Having brought the Army belonging to the Parliament of England before this place, to reduce it to its due obedience: to the end effusion of blood may be prevented, and the Town and Country about it preserved from ruin, I thought fit to summon you to deliver the same to me, to the use of the State of England.

‘By this offer, I hope it will clearly appear where the guilt will lie, if innocent persons should come to suffer with the nocent. I expect your speedy answer; and rest, Sir,  your servant,

‘OLIVER CROMWELL’

 

‘FOR THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL

Wexford, 3d October 1649

‘Sir, - I received your Letter of Summons for the delivery of this Town into your hands. Which standeth not with my honour to do of myself; neither will I take it upon me, without the advice of the rest of the Officers and Mayor of this Corporation; this Town being of so great consequence to all Ireland. Whom I will call together, and confer with; and return my resolution to you, tomorrow by twelve of the clock.

In the mean time, if you be so pleased, I am content to forbear all acts of hostility, so you permit no approach to be made. Expecting your answer in that particular, I remain, - my Lord, - your Lordship’s servant,

‘D. SINNOT.’

 

2. ‘TO THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE TOWN OF WEXFORD

‘Before Wexford, 3d October 1649

‘Sir, - I am contented to expect your resolution by twelve of the clock tomorrow morning. Because our tents are not so good a covering as your houses, and for other reasons, I cannot agree to a cessation. I rest, - your servant,

‘OLIVER CROMWELL’.

 

‘FOR THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL

Wexford, 4th October 1649.

‘Sir, - I have advised with the Mayor and Officers, as I promised, and thereupon am content that Four, whom I shall employ, may have a Conference and Treaty with Four of yours, to see if any agreement and understanding may be begot between us. To this purpose I desire you to send mine a Safe-conduct, as I do hereby promise to send unto yours when you send me their names. And I pray that the meeting may be had tomorrow at eight of the clock in the forenoon, that they may have sufficient time to confer and debate together, and determine the matter and that the meeting and place may be agreed upon, and the Safe-conduct mutually sent for the said meeting this afternoon. Expecting your answer hereto, I rest, - my Lord, - your servant,

‘D. SINNOTT.

‘Send me the names of your Agents, their qualities and degrees. Those I fix upon are: Major James Byrne, Major Theobald Dillon, Alderman Nicholas Chevers, Mr. William Stafford.’

 

TO THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE TOWN OF WEXFORD

‘Before Wexford, 4th October 1649.

‘Sir, - Having summoned you to deliver the Town of Wexford into my hands, I might well expect the delivery thereof, and not a formal Treaty; which is seldom granted but where the things stand upon a more equal foot.

‘If therefore yourself or the Town have any desires to offer, upon which you will surrender the place to me, I shall be able to judge of the reasonableness of them when they are made known to me. To which end, if you shall think fit to send the Persons named in your last, intrusted by yourself and the Town, by whom I may understand your desires, I shall give you a speedy and fitting Answer. And I do hereby engage myself, that they shall return in safety to you.

‘I expect your answer hereunto within an hour; and rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL.’

 

‘FOR THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL

Wexford, 4th October 1649.

‘Sir, - I have returned you a civil Answer, to the best of my judgment; and thereby, I find, you undervalue me and this place so much, that you think to have it surrendered without Capitulation or honourable Terms, - as appears by the hour’s limitation in your last.

‘Sir, had I never a man in this Town but the Townsmen, and Artillery here planted, I should conceive myself in a very befitting condition to make honourable conditions. And having a considerable party, “along” with them, in the place, I am resolved to die honourably, or make sure conditions as may secure my honour and life in the eyes of my own Party.

‘To which reasonable terms if you hearken not, - or give me “not” time to send my Agents till eight of the clock in the forenoon tomorrow, with my Propositions, with a farther Safe-conduct, - I leave you to your better judgment, and myself to the assistance of the Almighty; and so conclude. – Your servant,

D. SINNOTT.’

 

‘FOR THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL

Wexford, 5th October 1649.

‘Sir, - My Propositions now being prepared, I am ready to send my Agents with them unto you. And for their safe return, I pray you to send a Safe-conduct by the Bearer unto me, - in hope an honourable agreement may thereupon arise between your lordship and, - my Lord, - your Lordship’s servant,

D. SINNOTT.’

 

Whilst these papers were passing between us, I sent the Lieutenant-General[8] with a party of dragoons, horse and foot, to endeavour to reduce their Fort, which lay at the mouth of their harbour, about ten miles distant from us. To which he sent a troop of dragoons; but the Enemy quitted their Fort, leaving behind them about seven great guns; betook themselves, by the help of their boats, to a Frigate of twelve guns lying in the harbour, within cannon-shot of the Ford. The dragoons possessed the Fort: and some seamen belonging to your Fleet coming happily in at the same time, they bent their guns at the Frigate, and she immediately yielded to mercy, - both herself, the soldiers that had been in the Fort, and the seamen that manned her. And whilst our men were in her, the Town, not knowing what had happened, sent another small vessel to her; which our men also took.

The Governor of the Town having obtained from me a Safe-conduct for the four persons mentioned in one of the papers, to come and treat with me about the surrender of the Town, I expected they should have done so. But instead thereof, the Earl of Castlehaven brought to their relief, on the north side of the river, about five-hundred foot. Which occasioned their refusal to send out any to treat; and caused me to revoke my Safe-conduct, not thinking it fit to leave it for them to make use of it when they pleased:

 

‘FOR THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL

Wexford, 5th October 1649.

‘My Lord, - Even as I was ready to send out my Agents unto you, the Lord General of the horse came hither with a relief. Unto whom I communicated the proceedings between your Lordship and me, and delivered him the Propositions I intended to despatch unto your Lordship; - who hath desired a small time to consider of them, and to speed them unto me. Which, my Lord, I could not deny, he having a commanding power over me.

‘Pray, my Lord, believe that I do not do this to trifle out time; but for his present consent; - and if I find any long delay in his Lordship’s returning them back unto me, I will proceed of myself, according to my first intention. To which I beseech your Lordship give credit; at the request, - my Lord, - of your Lordship’s ready servant,

D. SINNOTT.’

 

4. ‘TO THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE TOWN OF WEXFORD

Wexford, 6th October 1649.

‘Sir, - You might have spared your trouble in the account you give of your transaction with the Lord General of your horse, and of your resolution in case he answer not your expectation in point of time. These are your own concernments, and it behoves you to improve the relief you mention to your best advantage.

‘All that I have to say is, To desire you to take notice, that I do hereby revoke my Safe-conduct from the persons mentioned therein. When you shall see cause to treat, you may send for another. – I rest, Sir, your servant,

‘OLIVER CROMWELL.’

 

Our cannon being landed[9], and we having removed all our quarters to the south-east end of the Town, next the Castle, “which stands without the Walls,” – it was generally agreed that we should bend the whole strength of our artillery upon the Castle; being persuaded that if we got the Castle, the Town would easily follow.

Upon Thursday the 11th instant (our batteries being finished the night before), we began to play betimes in the morning; and having spent near a hundred shot, the Governor’s stomach came down; and he sent to me to give leave for four persons, intrusted by him, to come unto me, and offer terms of surrender:

 

‘FOR THE LORD GENERAL CROMWELL

Wexford, 11th October 1649.

‘Sir, - In performance of my last, I desire your lordship to send me a Safe-conduct for Major Theobald Dillon, Major James Byrne, Alderman Nicholas Chevers, and Captain James Stafford, whom I will send to your Lordship instructed with my desires. And so I rest, - my Lord, - your servant,

‘D. SINNOTT.’

 

Which I condescending to, two Field-Officers with an Alderman of the Town, and the Captain of the Castle, brought out the Propositions enclosed, - which for their abominableness, manifesting also the impudency of the men, I thought fit to present to your view; - together with my Answer:

 

‘THE PROPOSITIONS OF COLONEL DAVID SINNOTT, GOVERNOR OF THE TOWN AND CASTLE OF WEXFORD, FOR AND ON THE BEHALF OF THE OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS AND INHABITANTS IN THE SAID TOWN AND CASTLE, UNTO GENERAL CROMWELL.

‘1. In primis, That all and every the Inhabitants of the said Town, from time to time and at all times hereafter, shall have free and uninterrupted liberty publicly to use, exercise and profess the Roman Catholic Religion, without restriction, mullet or penalty, any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

‘2. That the Regular and Secular Roman Catholic Clergy now possessed of the Churches, Church-livings, Monasteries, Religious-houses and Chapels in the said Town, and in the suburbs and franchises thereof, and their successors, shall have, hold and enjoy, to them and their successors forever, the said churches, church-livings, monasteries, religious-houses and chapels, and shall teach and preach in them publicly, without any molestation, any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

‘3. That Nicholas, now Lord Bishop of Ferns, and his successors, shall use and exercise such jurisdiction over the Catholics of his Diocese as since his consecration hitherto he used.

‘4. That all the Officers and Soldiers, of what quality or degree soever, in the said Town and Castle, and such of the Inhabitants as are so pleased, shall march with flying colours, and be conveyed safe, with their lives, artillery, ordnance, ammunition, arms, goods of all sorts, horses, moneys and what else belongs to them, to the Town of Ross, and there to be left safe with their own party; allowing each musketeer, towards their march, a pound of powder, four yards of match, and twelve brace of bullets; and a strong Convoy to be sent with the said soldiers, within four-and-twenty hours after the yielding-up of the said Town.

‘5. That such of the Inhabitants of the said Town as will desire to leave the same at any time hereafter, shall have free liberty to carry away out of the said Town all their frigates, artillery, arms, powder, bullets, match, corn, malt, and other provision which they have for their defence and sustenance, and all their goods and chattels, of what quality or condition soever, without any manner of disturbance whatsoever, and have passes and safe-conducts and convoys for their lives and said goods to Ross, or where else they shall think fit.

‘6. That the Mayor, Bailiffs, Free Burgesses and Commons of the said Town may have, hold and enjoy the said Town and Suburbs, their commons, their franchises, their liberties and immunities, which hitherto they enjoyed; and that the Major, Bailiffs and Free Burgesses may have the government of the said Town, as hitherto they enjoyed the same from the Realm of England, and that they may have no other government, they adhering to the State of England, and observing their orders, and the orders of their Governors in this Realm for the time being.

‘7. That all and every the Burgesses and Inhabitants, either native or strangers, of the said Town, who shall continue their abode therein, or come to live there within three months, and their heirs, shall have, hold and enjoy all and singular their several castles, messuages, houses, lands, tenements and hereditaments within the land of Ireland and all their goods and chattels, of what nature, quality of condition soever, to them and their heirs, to their own several uses forever, without molestation.

‘8. That such Burgess or Burgesses, or other Inhabitant of the said Town, as shall at any time hereafter be desirous to leave the said Town, shall have free leave to dispose of their real and personal estates respectively to their best advantage; and farther have full liberty and a safe-conduct respectively to go into England or elsewhere, according to their several pleasures who shall desire to depart the same.

‘9. That all and singular Inhabitants of the said Town, either native or strangers, from time to time and at all times hereafter, shall have, reap and enjoy the full liberty of free-born English subjects, without the least incapacity or restriction therein; and that all the Freemen of the said Town, from time to time, shall be as free in all the seaports, cities and towns in England, as the Freemen of all and every the said cities and towns; and all and every the Freemen of the said cities and towns to be as free in the said Town of Wexford as the Freemen thereof, for their greater encouragement to trade and commerce together on all hands.

’10. That no memory remain of any hostility or distance which was hitherto between the said Town and Castle on the one part, and the Parliament or State of England on the other part; but that all act and acts, transgressions, offences, depredations and other crimes, of what nature or quality soever, be they ever so transcendent, attempted or done, or supposed to be attempted or done, by the Inhabitants of the said Town or any other, heretofore or at present adhering to the said Town, either native or stranger, and every of them, - shall pass in oblivion; without chastisement, challenge, recompense, demand or questioning for them, or any of them, now or at any time hereafter.

D. SINNOTT.’

 

‘FOR THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN THE TOWN OF WEXFORD

‘”Before Wexford,” 11th October 1649.

‘Sir, - I have had the patience to peruse your Propositions; to which I might have returned an Answer with some disdain. But, to be short, -

‘I shall give the Soldiers and Noncommissioned Officers quarter for life, and leave to go to their several habitations, with their wearing-clothes; - they engaging themselves to live quietly there, and to take-up arms no more against the Parliament of England. And the Commissioned Officers quarter for their lives, but to render themselves Prisoners. And as for the Inhabitants, I shall engage myself That no violence shall be offered to their goods, and that I shall protect the Town from plunder.

‘I expect your positive Answer instantly; and if you will upon these terms surrender and quit, “and” shall, in one hour, send forth to me Four Officers of the quality of Field-Officers, and Two Alderman, for the performance thereof, I shall thereupon forbear all acts of hostility. Your servant,

‘OLIVER CROMWELL.’

 

Which “Answer” indeed had no effect. For whilst I was preparing of it; studying to preserve the Town from plunder, that it might be of the more use to you and your Army, - the Captain, who was one of the Commissioners, being fairly treated, yielded up the Castle to us. Upon the top of which our men no sooner appeared, but the Enemy quitted the Walls of the Town; which our men perceiving, ran violently upon the Town with their ladders, and stormed it. And when they were come into the market-place, the Enemy making a stiff resistance, our forces brake them; and then put all to the sword that came in their way. Two boatfuls of the Enemy attempting to escape, being overprest with numbers, sank; whereby were drowned nearly three-hundred of them. I believe, in all, there was lost of the Enemy not many less than Two-thousand; and I believe not Twenty of yours from first to last of the Siege. And indeed it hath, not without cause, been deeply set upon our hearts, That, we intending better to this place than so great a ruin, hoping the Town might be of more use to you and your Army, yet God would not have it so; but by an unexpected providence, in His righteous justice, brought a just judgment upon them; causing them to become a prey to the soldier who in their piracies had made preys of so many families, and now with their bloods to answer the cruelties which they had exercised upon the lives of divers poor Protestants! Two “instances” of which I have been lately acquainted with. About seven or eight score poor Protestants were by them put into an old vessel; which being, as some say, bulged by them, the vessel sank, and they were all presently drowned in the Harbour. The other “instance” was thus: They put divers poor Protestants into a Chapel (which, since they have used for a Mass-house, and in which one or more of their priests were now killed), where they famished to death.

The soldiers got a very good booty in this place; and had not they[10] had opportunity to carry their goods over the River, whilst we besieged it, it would have been much more: - I could have wished for their own good, and the good of the Garrison, they had been more moderate[11]. Some things which were not easily portable, we hope we shall make use of to your behoof. There are great quantities of iron, hides, tallow, salt, pipe- and barrel-staves; which are under commissioners’ hands, to be secured. We believe there are near a hundred cannon in the Fort, and elsewhere in and about the Town. Here is likewise some very good shipping: here are three vessels, one of them of thirty-four guns, which a week’s time would fit to sea; there is another of about twenty guns, very near ready likewise. And one other Frigate of twenty guns, upon the stocks; made for sailing; which is built up to the uppermost deck: for her handsomeness’ sake, I have appointed the workmen to finish her, here being materials to do it, if you or the Council of State shall approve thereof. The Frigate, also, taken beside the Fort, is a most excellent vessel for sailing. Besides divers other ships and vessels in the Harbour.

This Town is now so in your power, that of the former inhabitants, I believe scarce one in twenty can challenge any property in their houses. Most of them are run away, and many of them killed in this service. And it were to be wished, that an honest people would come and plant here; - where are very good houses, and other accommodations fitted to their hands, which may by your favour be made of encouragement to them. As also a seat of good trade, both inward and outward;- and of marvellous great advantage in the point of the herring and other fishing. The Town is pleasantly seated and strong, having a rampart of earth within the wall near fifteen feet thick.

Thus it hath pleased God to give into your hands this other mercy. For which, as for all, we pray God may have all the glory. Indeed your instruments are poor and weak, and can do nothing but through believing, - and that is the gift of God also.

I humbly take leave, and rest, your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL.

“P.S.” A day or two before our Battery was planted, Ormond, the Earl of Castlehaven, the Lord of Ardes and Clanneboyes were on the other side of the water, with about 1,800 horse “and” 1,500 foot; and offered to put in four or five hundred foot more into the Town; which the Town refusing, he marched away in all haste. I sent the Lieutenant-General after him, with about 1,400 horse; but the Enemy made haste for him.

 

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FOR THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF IN ROSS: THESE

“Before Ross,” 17th October 1649.

Sir, - Since my coming into Ireland, I have this witness for myself, That I have endeavoured to avoid effusion of blood; having been before no place, to which such terms have not been first sent as might have turned to the good and preservation of those to whom they were offered; this being my principle, that the people and places where I come may  not suffer, except through their own wilfulness.

To the end I may observe the like course with this place and people therein, I do hereby summon you to deliver the Town of Ross into my hands, to the use of the Parliament of England. Expecting your speedy answer, I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL.

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FOR GENERAL CROMWELL, OR, IN HIS ABSENCE, FOR THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMY NOW ENCAMPED BEFORE ROSS.

Ross, 19th October 1649.

Sir, - I received a Summons from you, the first day you appeared before this place; which should have been answered ere now, had not other occasions interrupted me. And although I am now in far better condition to defend this place than I was at that time, yet am I, upon the considerations offered in your Summons, content to entertain a Treaty; and to receive from you those conditions that may be safe and honourable for me to accept of. Which if you listen to, I desire that pledges on both sides may be sent, for performance of such Articles as shall be agreed upon; and that all acts of hostility may cease on both sides, and each party keep within their distance. To this your immediate resolution is expected by, - Sir, your servant,

LUCAS TAAFF

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FOR THE GOVERNOR OF ROSS: THESE

“Before Ross,” 19th October 1649

Sir, - If you like to march away with those under your command, with their arms, bag and baggage, and with drums and colours, and shall deliver up the Town to me, - I shall give caution to perform these conditions; expecting the like from you. As to the inhabitants, they shall be permitted to live peaceably, free from the injury and violence of the soldiers.

If you like hereof, you can tell how to let me know your mind, notwithstanding my refusal of a cessation. By these you will see the reality of my intentions to save blood, and to preserve the place from ruin. I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR GENERAL CROMWELL: THESE

Ross, 19th October 1649

Sir, - There wants but little of what I would propose; - which is, That such Townsmen as have a desire to depart, may have liberty within a convenient time to carry away themselves and goods; and liberty of conscience to such as shall stay: and that I may carry away such artillery and ammunition as I have in my command. If you be inclined to this, I will send, upon your honour as a safe-conduct, an Officer to conclude with you. To which your immediate answer is expected by, - Sir, your servant,

LUCAS TAAF

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FOR THE GOVERNOR OF ROSS: THESE

“Before Ross,” 19th October 1649

Sir, - To what I formerly offered, I shall make good. As for your carrying away any artillery or ammunition, that you brought not with you, or “that” hath not come to you since you had the command of that place, - I must deny you that; expecting you to leave it as you found it.

“As” for that which you mention concerning liberty of conscience, I meddle not with any man’s conscience. But if by liberty of conscience, you mean a liberty to exercise the Mass, I judge it best to use plain dealing, and to let you know, Where the Parliament of England have power, that will not be allowed of. As for such of the Townsmen who desire to depart, and carry away themselves with goods (as you express), I engage myself they shall have three-months time so to do; and in the mean time shall be protected from violence in their persons and goods, as others under the obedience of the Parliament.

If you accept of this offer, I engage my honour for a punctual performance hereof. I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR GENERAL CROMWELL: THESE

19th October 1649

‘Sir, - I am content to yield up this place upon the terms offered in your last and final Letters. And if you please to send your safe-conduct to such as I shall appoint to perfect these conditions, I shall on receipt thereof send them to you. In the interval,- To cease all acts of hostility, and that all parties keep their own ground, until matters receive a full end. And so remains, - Sir,  your servant,

LUCAS TAAFF

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FOR THE GOVERNOR OF ROSS: THESE

19th October 1649

Sir, - You have my hand and honour engaged to perform what I offered in my first and last Letters; which I shall inviolably observe. I expect you to send me immediately four persons of such quality as may be hostages for your performance; for whom you have this Safe-conduct enclosed, into which you may insert their names. Without which I shall not cease acts of hostility. If anything happen by your delay, to your prejudice, it will not be my fault. Those you send may see the conditions perfected. Whilst I forbear acts of hostility, I expect you forbear all actings within. I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

 

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: THESE

Ross, 25th October 1649

Sir,-Since my last from Wexford, we marched to Ross; a walled Town, situated upon the Barrow; a port-town, up to which a ship of seven or eight hundred tons may come.

We came before it upon Wednesday the 17th instant, with three pieces of cannon. That evening I sent a summons; Major-General Taaff, being Governor, refused to admit my Trumpet into Town; but took the Summons in, returning me no answer. I did hear that near 1,000 foot had been put into this place some few days before my coming to it. The next day was spent in making preparations for our battery; and in our view there were boated over from the other side of the river, of English, Scots, and Irish, 1,500 more; Ormond, Castlehaven, and the Lord of Ardes, being on the other side of the water to cause it to be done.

The night we planted our battery; which began to play very early the next morning. The Governor immediately sent forth an Answer to my Summons; copies of all which I make bold herewith to trouble you “with”; the rather because you may see how God pulls down proud stomachs. The Governor desired commissioners might treat, and that in the mean time there might be a easing of acts of hostility on both sides. Which I refused; sending in word, That if he would march away with arms, bag and baggage, and give me hostages for performance, he should. Indeed he might have done it without my leave, by the advantage of the River. He insisted upon having the cannon with him; which I would not yield unto, but required the leaving the artillery and ammunition; which he was content to do, and marched away, leaving the great artillery and the ammunition in the stores to me. – When they marched away, at least 500 English, many of them of the Munster forces, came to us.

Ormond is at Kilkenny, Inchiquin in Munster, Henry O’Neil, Owen Roe’s son, is come up to Kilkenny, which near 2,000 horse and foot, with whom and Ormond there is now a perfect conjunction. So that now, I trust, some angry friends will think it high time to take off their jealousy from those to whom they ought to exercise more charity.

The rendition of this Garrison was a seasonable mercy, as giving us an opportunity towards Munster; and is for the present a very good refreshment for our men. We are able to say nothing as to all this, but that the Lord is still pleased to own a company of poor worthless creatures; for which we desire His name to be magnified, and “that” the hearts of all concerned may be provoked to walk worthy of such continued favours. This is the earnest desire of your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

P.S. Colonel Horton is lately dead of the Country-disease, leaving a Son behind him. He was a person of great integrity and courage. His former services, especially that of the last summer, I hope will be had in remembrance.

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FOR MY BELOVED BROTHER RICHARD MAYOR, ESQUIRE, AT HURSLEY: THESE

Ross, 13th November 1649

Dear Brother,- I am not often at leisure, not now, to salute my friends; yet unwilling to lose this opportunity. I take it, only to let you know that you and your Family are often in my prayers. As for Dick, I do not much expect it from him, knowing his idleness; but I am angry with my Daughter as a promise-breaker. Pray tell her so; - but I hope she will redeem herself.

It has pleased the Lord to give us (since the taking of Wexford and Ross) a good interest in Munster, by the accession of Cork and Youghal, which are both submitted; their Commanders are now with me. Divers other lesser Garrisons are come in also. The Lord is wonderful in these things; it’s His hand alone does them: oh that all the praise might be ascribed to Him!

I have been crazy in my health; but the Lord is pleased to sustain me. I beg your prayers. I desire you to call upon my Son to mind the things of God more and more: alas, what profit is there in the things of this world! – except they be enjoyed in Christ, they are snares. I wish he may enjoy his Wife so, and she him; I wish I may enjoy them both so.

My service to my dear Sister “and” Cousin Ann; my blessing to my Children, and love to my Cousin Barton and the rest. Sir, I am, your affectionate brother and servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE HON. THOMAS SCOTT, OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE: THESE

Ross, 14th November 1649.

Sir,- I hope you will excuse this trouble. I understand the House did vote Lieutenant-General Jones Five-hundred pounds per annum of lands of inheritance from Irish Lands, upon the news of the Defeat given to the Enemy before Dublin, immediately before my coming over. I think it will be a very acceptable work, and very well taken at your hands, to move the House for an immediate settlement thereof: it will be very convenient at this time.

Another thing is this. The Lord Broghil is now in Munster; where he, I hope, will do very good offices: all his suit is for Two-hundred pounds to bring his Wife over: such a sum would not be cast away. He hath a great interest in the men that come from Inchiquin.[12] I have made him and Sir William Fenton, Colonel Blake, and Colonel Deane,- who I believe, “at least” one of them, will be frequently in Cork Harbour; making that a victualling place for the Irish Fleet, instead of Milford Haven, - “I have made them” and Colonel Phayr, Commissioners for a temporary management of affairs there.

This Business of Munster will empty your Treasury: therefore you need to hasten our money allotted us; lest you put us to stand with our fingers in our mouths! – I rest, Sir, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: THESE

Ross, 14th November 1649.

Sir,- About a fortnight since, I had some good assurance that Cork was returned to its obedience; and had refused Inchiquin, who did strongly endeavour to redintegrate[sic] himself there, but without success. I did hear also that Colonel Townsend was coming to me with their submission and desires, but was interrupted by a Fort at the mouth of Cork Harbour. But having sufficient grounds upon the former information, and other confirmation out of the Enemy’s camp that it was true, I desired General Blake, who was here with me, that he would repair thither in Captain Mildmay’s Frigate, called the Nonsuch. Who, when they came thither, received such entertainment as these enclosed will let you see.

In the mean time the Garland, one of your third-rate Ships, coming happily into Waterford Bay, I ordered her, and a great Prize lately taken in that Bay, to transport Colonel Phayr[13] to Cork; whitherward he went, having along with him near Five-hundred foot, which I spared him out of this poor Army, and 1,500l. in money; giving him such instructions as were proper for the promoting of your interest there. As they went with an intention for Cork, it pleased God the wind coming cross, they were forced to ride off from Dungarvan. Where they met Captain Mildmay returning with the Nonsuch Frigate, with Colonel Townsend aboard, coming to me; who advertised them that Youghal had also declared for the Parliament of England. Whereupon they steered their course thither; and sent for Colonel Gifford, Colonel Warden, Major Purden (who with Colonel Townsend have been very active instruments for the return both of Cork and Youghal to their obedience, having some of them ventured their lives twice or thrice to effect it), and the Mayor of Youghal aboard them; who, accordingly, immediately came and made tender of some propositions to be offered to me. But my Lord Broghil being on board the Ship, assuring them it would be more for their honour and advantage to desire no conditions, they said they would submit. Where-upon my Lord Broghil Sir William Fenton, and Colonel Phayr, went to the Town; and were received, - I shall give you my Lord Broghil’s own words, - ‘with all the real demonstrations of gladness an overjoyed people were capable of.’

Not long after, Colonel Phayr landed his foot. And by the endeavours of the noble person[14] afore mentioned, and the rest of the gentlemen, the Garrison is put in good order; and the Munster officers and soldiers in that Garrison in a way of settlement. Colonel Phayr intends, as I hear, to leave Two-hundred men there, and to march with the rest overland to Cork. I hear by Colonel Townsend, and the rest of the gentlemen that were employed to me, that Baltimore, Castlehaven, Cappoquin, and some other places of hard names, are come in, - I wish Foot come over seasonably to man them; - as also that there are hopes of other places.

From Sir Charles Coote, Lord President of Connaught, I had a Letter, about three or four days since, That he is come over the Bann, and hath taken Coleraine by storm; and that he is in conjunction with Colonel Venables, - who, I hear, hath besieged Carrickfergus; which if through the mercy of God it be taken, I know nothing considerable in the north of Ireland, but Charlemont, that is not in your hands.

We lie with the Army at Ross; where we have been making a bridge over the Barrow, and “have” hardly yet accomplished “it” as we could wish. The Enemy lies upon the Nore, on the land between the Barrow and it; having gathered together all the force they can get. Owen Roe’s men, as they report them, are Six-thousand foot, and about Four-thousand horse, beside their own Army “in this quarter”; and they give out they will have a day for it: - which we hope the Lord of His mercy will enable us to give them, in His own good time. In whom we desire our only trust and confidence may be.

Whilst we have lain here, we have not been without some sweet taste of the goodness of God. Your Ships have taken some good prizes. The last was thus: There came in a Dunkirk man-of-war with 32 guns; who brought-in a Turkish man-of-war whom she had taken, and another ship of ten guns laden with poor-john and oil. These two your ships took. But the man-of-war, whose prizes these two were, put herself under the Fort of Duncannon, so that your ships could not come near her. It pleased God we had two demi-cannon with the foot, on the shore; which being planted, raked her through, killing and wounding her men; so that after ten shot she weighed anchor, and ran into your Fleet, with a flag of submission, surrendering herself. She was well manned, the prisoners taken being Two-hundred-and-thirty. I doubt the taking prisoners of this sort will cause the wicked trade of Piracy to be endless. They were landed here before I was aware; and a hundred of them, as I hear, are gotten into Duncannon, and have taken up arms there; and I doubt the rest, that are gone to Waterford, will do us no good. The seamen, being so full of prizes and provided of victual, knew not how otherwise to dispose of them.

Another “mercy” was this. We, having left divers sick men, both horse and foot, at Dublin, - hearing many of them were recovered, sent them orders to march up to us; which accordingly they did. Coming to Arklow on Monday the first of this instant, being about 350 horse and about 800 foot, - the Enemy, hearing of them (through the great advantage they have in point of intelligence), drew together a body of horse and foot near 3,000, which Inchiquin commanded. There were also, with this party, Sir Thomas Armstrong, Colonel Trevor, and most of their great ranters.[15] we sent fifteen or sixteen troops to their rescue, near eight hours too late. It pleased God we sent them word by a nearer way, To march close, and be circumspect, and to make what haste they could to Wexford, by the sea-side. They had marched near eighteen miles, and were come within seven miles of Wexford (the foot being miserably wearied), when the Enemy gave the scouts of the rearguard an alarm. Whereupon they immediately drew-up in the best order they could upon the sands, the sea on the one hand, and the rocks on the other; where the Enemy made a very furious charge: “and” overbearing our horse with their numbers, which, as some of their prisoners confess, were Fifteen-hundred of their best horse, forced them in some disorder back to the foot. Our foot stood; forbearing their firing till the Enemy was come almost within pistol-shot, and then let fly very full in the faces of them: whereby some of them began to tumble; the rest running off in a very great disorder; - and “they” faced not about until they got above musket-shot off. Upon this our horse took encouragement; drawing-up again; bringing-up some foot to flank them. And a gentleman of ours, that had charged through before, being amongst them undiscerned, having put his signal into his hat as they did, - took his opportunity and came off; letting our men know, that the Enemy was in a great confusion and disorder, and that if they could attempt another charge, he was confident good might be done on them. It pleased God to give our men courage: they advanced; and falling upon the Enemy, totally routed them; took two colours and divers prisoners, and killed divers upon the place and in the pursuit. I do not hear that we have two men killed; and but one mortally wounded, and not five that are taken prisoners.

The quick march of our party made Inchiquin that he could reach them with nothing but his horse, hoping to put them to a stand until his foot came up; which if he had done, there had probably been no saving of a man of this party. Without doubt Inchiquin, Trevor, and the rest of those people, who are very good at this work, had swallowed up this party! And indeed it was, in human probability, lost; but God, that defeated Trevor in his attempt upon Venables (which Trevor, as I hear this night from the Enemy’s camp, was shot through the belly in this service, and is carried to Kilkenny, - and Sir Thomas Armstrong is also wounded), hath disappointed them, and poured shame upon them in this defeat; giving us the lives of a company of our deaf friends, which I hope will be improved to His glory and their Country’s good.

Sir, having given you this account, I shall not trouble you much with particular desires. Those I shall humbly present to the Council of State. Only, in the general, give me leave humbly to offer what in my judgment I conceive to be for your service, with a full submission to you. We desire recruits may be speeded to us. It is not fit to tell you how your Garrisons will be unsupplied, and no Field marching Army considerable, if but three Garrisons more were in our hands. It is not well not to follow providences.[16] Your recruits, and the forces desired, will not raise your charge, if your assignments already for the forces here do come to our hands in time. I should not doubt “but,” by the addition of assessments here, to have your charge in some reasonable measure borne; and the soldier upheld, without too much neglect or discouragement, - which sickness, in this country so ill agreeing with their bodies, puts upon them; and “which” this Winter’s-action, I believe not heretofore known by English in this country, subjects them to. To the praise of God I speak it, I scarce known one Officer of forty amongst us that hath not been sick. And how many considerable ones we have lost, is no little thought of heart to us.

Wherefore I humbly beg, that the moneys desired may be seasonably sent over; and those other necessaries, clothes, shoes and stockings, formerly desired; that so poor creatures may be encouraged: and, through the same blessed Presence that has gone along with us, I hope, before it be long, to see Ireland no burden to England, but a profitable part of its Commonwealth.

And certainly the extending your help in this way, at this time, is the most profitable means speedily to effect it. And if I did not think it your best thrift, I would not trouble you at all with it.

I have sent Sir Arthur Loftus with these Letters. He hath gone along with us, testifying a great deal of love to your service. I know his sufferings are very great; for he hath lost near all: his Regiment was reduced to save your charge, not out of any exceptions to his person. I humbly therefore present him to your consideration.

Craving pardon for this trouble, I rest, your most humble and faithful servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: THESE

“Before Waterford, - Nov. 1649,”

Mr. Speaker, - The Enemy being quartered between the two rivers of Nore and Barrow, and masters of all the passages thereupon; and giving out their resolutions to fight us, thereby, as we conceived, labouring to get reputation in the countries, and occasion more strength, - it was thought fit our Army should march towards them. Which accordingly, upon Thursday the 15th instant, was done. The Major-General and Lieutenant-General (leaving me very sick at Ross behind them), with two battering guns, advanced towards Inistioge; a little walled Town about five miles from Ross, upon the Nore, on the south side thereof, which was possessed by the Enemy. But a party of our men under the command of Colonel Abbot, the night before, approaching the gates, and attempting to fire the same, the Enemy ran away through the River, leaving good store of provisions behind them.

Our Commanders hoped by gaining this Town to have gained a pass.[17] But indeed there fell so much sudden wet as made the River unpassable by that time the Army was come up. Whereupon, hearing that the Enemy lay about two miles off upon the River, near Thomastown, a pretty large walled Town upon the Nore, on the north side thereof, having a bridge over the River,- our Army marched thither. But the Enemy had broken the bridge, and garrisoned the Town; and in the view of our Army marched away to Kilkenny, - seeming, though I believe they were double our number, to decline an engagement. Which they had the power to have necessitated us unto; but “which it” was noways in our power, if they would stand upon the advantage of the Passes, to engage them unto; - nor indeed “was it in our power” to continue out two days longer, having almost spent all the bread they[18] carried with them.

Whereupon, seeking God for direction, they resolved to send a good party of horse and dragoons under Colonel Reynolds, to Carrick; and to march the residue of the Army back towards Ross,- to gain more bread for the prosecution of that design, if, by the blessing of God, it should take. Colonel Reynolds, marching with twelve troops of horse, and three troops of dragoons, came betimes in the morning to Carrick. Where, dividing himself into two parties, - whilst they were amused with the one, he entered one of the Gates with the other. Which their soldiers perceiving, divers of them and their officers escaped over the River in boats: about an hundred officers and soldiers “ere” taken prisoners, without the loss of one man on our part. In this place is a very good Castle, and one of the ancientest seats belonging to the Lord of Ormond, in Ireland: the same was rendered without any loss also, where were good store of provisions for the refreshing of our men.

The Colonel giving us speedy intelligence of God’s mercy in this, we agreed to march, with all convenient speed, the residue of the Army up thither. Which accordingly was done upon Wednesday and Thursday the 21st and 22nd of this instant; and, through God’s mercy, I was enabled to bear them company. Being come hither, we did look at it as an especial good hand of Providence to give us this place; inasmuch as it gives us a passage over the River Suir to the City of Waterford, and indeed into Munster to our shipping and provisions, which before were beaten from us out of Waterford Bay by the Enemy’s guns. It hath given us also opportunity to besiege or block-up Waterford; and we hope our gracious God will therein direct us also. It hath given us also the opportunity of our guns, ammunition, and victual; and indeed quarter for our horse, which could not have subsisted much longer: so sweet a mercy was the giving of this little place unto us.

Having rested there a night, and by noon of the next day gotten our Army over the River;- leaving Colonel Reynolds with about One-hundred-and-fifty Foot, his own six troops of horse, and one troop of dragoons, with a very little ammunition according to the smallness of our marching store; - we marched away towards Waterford, upon Friday the 23d; and on Saturday about noon came before the City. The Enemy, being not a little troubled at this unsuspected business (which indeed was the mere guidance of God), marched down with great fury towards Carrick with their whole Army, resolving to swallow it up; and upon Saturday the 24th, assault the place round, thinking to take it by storm. But God had otherwise determined. For the troopers and the rest of the soldiers with stones[19] did so pelt them, they “were forced to draw off; after” continuing near four hours under the walls; “after” having burnt the Gates, which our men barricaded up with stones; and likewise “having” digged under the walls, and sprung a small mine, which flew in their own faces. But they left about forty or fifty men dead under the Walls; and have drawn off, as some say, near four-hundred more, which they buried up and down the fields; besides what are wounded. And, as Inchiquin himself confessed in the hearing of some of their soldiers lately come to us, “this” hath lost him above a thousand men. – The Enemy was drawing off his dead a good part of the night. They were in such haste upon the assault, that they killed their own trumpeter as he was returning with an Answer to the Summons sent by them. Both in the taking and defending of this place Colonel Reynolds his carriage was such as deserves much honour.

Upon our coming before Waterford, I sent the Lieutenant-General with a regiment of horse, and three troops of dragoons, to endeavour the reducing of the Passage Fort; a very large Fort with a Castle in the midst of it, having five guns planted in it, and commanding the River better than Duncannon; it not being much above musket-shot over, where this Fort stands; and we can bring up hither ships of three-hundred tons, without any danger from Duncannon. Upon the attempt, though our materials were not very apt for the business, yet the Enemy called for quarter, - and had it, and we the place. We also possessed the guns which the Enemy had planted to beat our ships out of the Bay, two miles below. By the taking of this Fort we shall much straiten Duncannon from provisions by water, as we hope they are not in a condition to get much by land; besides the advantage it is to us to have provisions to come up the River.

It hath pleased the Lord, whilst these things have been thus transacting here, to add to your interest in Munster, Bandon Bridge; the Town, as we hear, upon the matter, thrusting out young Jephson[20], who was their Governor; or else he deserting it upon that jealousy. As also Kinsale, and the Fort there:- out of which Fort Four-hundred men marched upon articles, when it was surrendered. So that now, by the good hand of the Lord, your interest in Munster is near as good already as ever it was since this War began. I sent a party about two days ago to my Lord of Broghil; from whom I expect to have an account of all.

Sir, what can be said in these things? Is it an arm of flesh that hath done these things? Is it the wisdom and counsel, or strength of men? It is the lord only. God will curse that man and his house that dares to think otherwise! Sir, you see the work is done by a Divine leading. God gets into the hearts of men, and persuades them to come under you. I tell you, a considerable part of your Army is fitter for an hospital than the field: if the Enemy did not know it, I should have held it impolitic to have writ this. They know it; yet they know not what to do.

I humbly beg leave to offer a word or two. I beg of those that are faithful, that they give glory to God. I wish it may have influence upon the hearts and spirits of all those that are now in place of Government, in the greatest trust, - that they may all in heart draw near to God; giving Him glory by holiness of life and conversation; “and” that these unspeakable mercies may teach dissenting brethren on all sides to agree, at least, in praising God. And if the Father of the family be so kind, why should there be such jarrings and heart-burnings amongst the children? And if it will not be received That these are the seals of God’s approbation of your great Change of Government, - which indeed are no more yours than these victories and successes are ours, - yet let them with us say, even the most unsatisfied heart amongst them, That both are the righteous judgments and mighty works of God. That He hath pulled the mighty from his seat, and calls to an account “for” innocent blood. That He thus breaks the enemies of His Church in pieces. And let them not be sullen, but praise the Lord, - and think of us as they please; and we shall be satisfied, and pray for them, and wait upon God. And we hope we shall seek the welfare and peace of our native country: and the Lord give them hearts to do so. Indeed, Sir, I was constrained in my bowels to write thus much. I ask your pardon; and rest, your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: THESE

Cork, 19th December 1649

Mr. Speaker, - Not long after my last to you from before Waterford,- by reason of the tempestuousness of the weather, we thought fit, and it was agreed, To march away to Winter-quarters, to refresh our men until God shall please to give farther opportunity for action.

We marched off, the 2d of this instant; it being so terrible a day as ever I marched in all my life. Just as we marched off in the morning, - unexpected to us, the Enemy had brought an addition of near Two-thousand horse and foot to the increase of their Garrison: which we plainly saw at the other side of the water. We marched that night some ten or twelve miles through a craggy country, to Kilmac Thomas; a Castle some eight miles from Dungarvan. As we were marching off in the morning from thence, the Lord Broghil, - I have sent before to him to march up to me, - sent a party of horse, to let me know, He was, with about Twelve or Thirteen hundred of the Munster horse and foot, about ten miles off, near Dungarvan, which was newly rendered to him.

In the midst of these good successes, wherein the kindness and mercy of God hath appeared, the Lord, in wisdom, and for gracious ends best known to himself, hath interlaced some things which may give us cause of serious consideration what His mind therein may be. And we hope we wait upon Him, desiring to know, and to submit to His good pleasure. The noble Lieutenant-General[21], - whose finger, to our knowledge, never ached in all these expeditions, - fell sick; we doubt, upon a cold taken upon our late wet march and ill accommodation: and went to Dungarvan, where, struggling some four or five days with a fever, he died; having run his course with so much honour, courage and fidelity, as his actions better speak than my pen. What England lost hereby, is above me to speak. I am sure, I lost a noble friend, and companion in labours. You see how God mingles out the cup unto us. Indeed we are at this time a crazy company: - yet we live in His sight; and shall work the time that is appointed us, and shall rest after that in peace.

But yet there hath been some sweet at the bottom of the cup; - of which I shall now give you an account. Being informed that the Enemy intended to take-in the Ford of Passage, and that Lieutenant-General Ferral with his Ulsters was to march for that service, - I ordered Colonel Zanchy, who lay on the north side of the Blackwater, To march with his regiment of horse, and two pieces of two troops of dragoons to the relief of our friends. Which he accordingly did; his party consisting in all of about Three-hundred-and-twenty. When he came some few miles from the place, he took some of the Enemy’s stragglers in the villages as he went; all which he put to the sword: seven troopers of his killed thirty of them in one house. When he came near the place, he found the Enemy had close begirt it, with about Five-hundred Ulster foot under Major O’Neil; Colonel Wogan also, the Governor of Duncannon, with a party of his, with two great battering guns and a mortar-piece, and Captain Browne, the Governor of Ballihac, were there. Our men furiously charged them; and beat them from the place. The Enemy got into a place where they might draw up; and the Ulsters, who bragged much of their pikes, made indeed for the time a good resistance: but the horse, pressing sorely upon them, broke them; killed near an Hundred upon the place; took Three-hundred-and-fifty prisoners, - amongst whom, Major O’Neil, and the Officers of Five-hundred Ulster foot, all but those which were killed; the renegado Wogan, with twenty-four of Ormond’s kurisees, and the Governor of Ballihac, etc. Concerning some of these, I hope I shall not trouble your justice.

This mercy was obtained without the loss of one on our part, only one shot in the shoulder. Lieutenant-General Ferral was come up very near, with a great party to their relief; but our handful of men marching toward him, he shamefully hasted away, and recovered Waterford. It is not unworthy taking notice, That having appointed a Day of public Thanksgiving throughout our territories in Ireland, as well as a week’s warning would permit, for the recovery of Munster,- which proves a sweet refreshment to us, even prepared by God for us, after our weary and hard labour, - That that very day, and that very time, while men were praising God, was this deliverance wrought.

Though the present state of affairs bespeaks a continuance of charge, yet the same good hand of Providence, which hath blessed your affairs hitherto, is worthy to be followed to the uttermost. And who knows, or rather who hath not cause to hope, that He may, in His goodness, put a short period to your whole charge? Than which no wordly thing is more desired and endeavoured by your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL.

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FOR THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE LORD WHARTON: THESE

Cork, 1st Jan. 1649

My dear Friend, my Lord, - If I know my heart, I love you in truth: and therefore if from the jealousy of unfeigned love, I play the fool a little, and say a word or two at guess, I know you will pardon it.

It were a vain thing, by Letter, to dispute over your doubts, or undertake the answer your objections. I have heard them all; and I have rest from the trouble of them, and “of” what has risen in my own heart; for which I desire to be humbly thankful. I do not condemn your reasonings; I doubt them. It’s easy to object to the glorious Actings of God, if we look too much upon Instruments! I have heard computations made of the Members in Parliament. ‘The good kept out, the worst left in,’[22] etc. – it has been so these nine years: yet what hath God wrought! the greatest works last; and still is at work! Therefore take heed of this scandal.

Be not offended at the manner “of God’s working”; perhaps no other way was left. What if God accepted their zeal, “even” as He did that of Phinehas[23], whom reason might have called before a jury! What if the Lord have witnessed His approbation and acceptance to this “zeal” also, - not only by signal outward acts, but to the heart “of good men” too? What if I fear, my Friend should withdraw his shoulder from the Lord’s work, - Oh, it’s grievous to do so! – through scandals, through false mistaken reasonings - ?

‘There’s difficulty, there’s trouble; here, in the other way, there’s safety, ease, wisdom: in the one no clearness,’  - this is an objection indeed, - ‘in the other satisfaction.’ - - ‘Satisfaction’: it’s well if we thought of that first, and “as” severed from the other considerations[24], which do often bias, if not bribe the mind. Whereby mists are often raised in the way we should walk in, and we call it darkness or ‘dissatisfaction’: Oh, our deceitful hearts! Oh, this flattering world! How great is it to be the Lord’s servant in any drudgery - - (I thought not to have written near “so far as” the other side: love will not let me alone; I have been often provoked “to it by you”) - - in all hazards His worst is far above the world’s best! He makes us able in truth to say so; we cannot of ourselves. How hard a thing is it to reason ourselves up to the Lord’s service, though it be so honourable; how easy to put ourselves out there, where the flesh has so many advantages!-

You were desired to go along with us: I wish it still.[25] Yet we are not triumphing; - we may, for aught flesh knoweth, suffer after all this: the Lord prepare us for His good pleasure! You were with us in the Power of things; why not in the Form? I am persuaded your heart hankers after the hearts of your poor Friends; and will, until you can find others to close with: which I trust, though we in ourselves be contemptible, God will not let you do!

My service to the dear little Lady: I wish you make her not a greater temptation “to you, in this matter,” than she is! Take heed of all relations. Mercies should not be temptations: yet we too oft make them so. The Lord direct your thoughts into the obedience of His will, and give you rest and peace in the Truth. Pray for your most true and affectionate servant in the Lord,

OLIVER CROMWELL.

“P.S.” I received a Letter from Robert Hammond, whom truly I love in the Lord with most entire affection: it much grieved me, not because I judged, but feared the whole spirit of it was from temptation; - indeed, I thought I perceived a proceeding in that; which the Lord will, I trust, cause him to unlearn. I would fain have written to him, but am straitened in time. Would he would be with us a little! Perhaps it would be no hurt to him.

 

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A DECLARATION OF THE LORD LIEUTENANT OF IRELAND, FOR THE UNDECEIVING OF DELUDED AND SEDUCED PEOPLE: WHICH MAY BE SATISFACTORY TO ALL THAT DO NOT WILFULLY SHUT THEIR EYES AGAINST THE LIGHT. IN ANSWER TO CERTAIN LATE DECLARATIONS AND ACTS, FRAMED BY THE IRISH POPISH PRELATES AND CLERGY, IN A CONVENTICLE AT CONMACNOISE.

HAVING lately perused a Book printed at Kilkenny in the year 1649, containing divers Declarations and Acts of the Popish Prelates and Clergy, framed in a late Conventicle at Clonmacnoise, the 4th day of December in the year aforesaid, - I thought fit to give a brief Answer unto the same.

And first to the first; which is a Declaration, wherein (having premised the reconciliation of some differences among themselves, “and the hearty ‘Union’ they have now attained to”) they come to state “the reasons of” their War, “grounding it” upon ‘the interest of their Church, of his Majesty and the Nation,’ and their resolution to prosecute the same with unity. All which will deserve a particular survey.

The Meeting of the Archbishops, Bishops and other Prelates at Clonmacnoise is by them said to be proprio motu. By which term they would have the world believe that the Secular Power hath nothing to do to appoint, or super-intend, their Spiritual Conventions, as they call them; - although in the said meetings they take upon them to intermeddle in all Secular Affairs; as by the sequel appears. – But first for their ‘Union’ they so much boast of. If any wise man shall seriously consider what they pretend the grounds of their ‘differences’ to have been, and the way and course they have taken to reconcile the same; and their expressions thereabout, and the ends for which, and their resolutions how to carry on their great Design declared for; he must needs think slightly of their said ‘union.’ And also for this, That they resolve all other men’s consent “and reconciliation” into their own; without consulting them at all.

The subject of this reconciliation was, as they say, ‘the Clergy and Laity.’ The discontent and division itself was grounded on the late difference of opinion happening amongst the ‘Prelates and Laity’. – I wonder not at differences in the opinion, at discontents and divisions, where so Antichristian and dividing a term as ‘Clergy and Laity’ is given and received. A term unknown to any save the Antichristian church, and such as derive themselves from her: ab initio non fuit sic. The most pure and primitive Times, as they best knew what true union was, so in all addresses to the several Churches they wrote unto, not one word of this. The members of the Churches are styled ‘Brethren, and Saints of the same household of Faith’; “and” although they had orders and distinctions amongst them for administration of ordinances, - of a far different use and character from yours, - yet it nowhere occasioned them to say, contemption, and by way of lessening it contradistinguishing, ‘Laity and Clergy.’ It was your pride that begat this expression. And it is for filthy lucre’s sake that you keep it up: that by making the People believe that they are not so holy as yourselves, they might for their penny purchase some sanctity from you; and that you might bridle, saddle and ride them at your pleasure; and do(as is most true of you) as the Scribes and Pharisees of old did by their ‘Laity,’ – keep the knowledge of the Law from them, and then be able in their pride to say, ‘This people, that know not the Law, are cursed.’

And no wonder, - to speak more nearly to your ‘differences’ and ‘union,’ – if it lie in the Prelates’ power to make the Clergy and Laity go together by the ears when they please, but that they may as easily make a simple and senseless reconciliation! Which will last until the next Nuncio comes from Rome with supermandatory advices; and then this Gordion knot must be cut, and the poor ‘Laity’ forced to dance to a new tune.

I say not this as being troubled at your ‘union.’ By the grace of God, we fear not, we care not for it. your Covenant, “if you understood it,” is with Death and Hell! Your union is like that of Simeon and Levi: ‘Associate yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; take counsel together, and it shall come to naught!’ – For though it becomes us to be humble in respect of ourselves, yet we can say to you: God is not with you. You say, Your union is ‘against a common enemy’: and to this, if you will be talking of ‘union,’ I will give you some wormwood to bite on; by which it will appear God is not with you.

Who is it that created this ‘common enemy’ (I suppose you mean Englishmen)? The English? Remember, ye hypocrites, Ireland was once united to England. “That was the original ‘union.’” Englishmen had good inheritances which many of them purchased with their money; they and their ancestors, from you and your ancestors. They had good Leases from Irishmen, for long times to come; great stocks thereupon; houses and plantations erected at their own cost and charge. They lived peaceably and honestly amongst you. You had generally equal benefit of the protection of England with them; and equal justice from the Laws, - saving what was necessary for the State, out of reasons of State, to put upon some few people, apt to rebel upon the instigation of such as you. You broke this ‘union’! You, unprovoked, put the English to the most unheard-of and most barbarous Massacre (without respect of sex or age) that ever the Sun beheld. And at a time when Ireland was in perfect Peace. And when, through the example of English Industry, through commerce and traffic, that which was in the Natives’ hands was better to them than if all Ireland had been in their possession, and not an Englishman in it. And yet then, I say, was this unheard-of villany perpetrated, - by your instigation, who boast of ‘peace-making’ and ‘union against this common enemy.’ What think you: by this time, is not my assertion true Is God, will God be, with you?

I am confident He will not! And though you would comprehend Old English, New English, Scotch, or whom else you will, in the bosom of your catholic charity, yet shall not this save you from breaking. I tell you and them, You will fare the worse for their sakes. Because I cannot but believe some of them go against, some stifle, their consciences. And it is not the fig-leaf of pretence ‘that they fight for their King,’ will serve their turn; when really they fight in protection of men of so much prodigious “guiltiness of” blood; and with men who have declared the ground of their ‘union’ and fighting, as you have stated it in this your Declaration, to be Bellum Praelaticum et Religiosum, in the first and primary intention of it. Especially when they shall consider your principles: “and” that except what fear makes you comply with, - viz. that alone without their concurrence you are not able to carry on your work of War, - you are ready, whenever you shall get the power into your hands, to kick them off too, as some late experiences have sufficiently manifested! – And thus we come to the Design, you being thus wholesomely ‘united,’ which is intended to be prosecuted by you.

Your words are these: ‘That all and ever of us the above Archbishops, Bishops and Prelates, are now, by the blessing of God, as one body united. And that we will, as becometh charity and our pastoral charges, stand all of us as one entire body, for the interests and immunities of the Church, and of every the Bishops and Prelates thereof; and for the honour, dignity, estate, right and possessions of all and every of the said Archbishops, Bishops and other Prelates. And we will, as one entire and united body, forward by our counsels, actions and devices, the advancement of his Majesty’s Rights, and the good of this Nation, in general and in particular occasions, to our power. And that none of us, in any occasion whatsoever concerning the Catholic religion, or the good of this Kingdom of Ireland, will in any respect single himself; or be or seem opposite to the rest of us; but will hold firm and entire in one sense, as aforesaid, etc.’

And now, if there were no other quarrel against you but this, which you make to be the principal and first ground of your Quarrel: - to wit, As so standing for the rights of your ‘Church’ falsely so called, and for the rights of your ‘Archbishops, Bishops and Prelates,’ as to engage People and Nations into blood therefor[sic]: - this alone would be your confusion. I ask you, Is it for the ‘Lay-fee’ as you call it, or for the Revenue belonging to your Church, that you will after this manner contend? Or is it your Jurisdiction, or the exercise of your Ecclesiastical Authority? Or is it for the Faith of your Church? Let me tell you, Not for all or any of these is it lawful for the ministers of Christ, as you would be thought to be, thus to contend. And therefore we will consider them apart.

For the first, if it were ‘St. Peter’s Patrimony,’ as you term it, - that would be somewhat that you lawfully came by! But I must tell you, Your predecessors cheated poor seduced men in their weakness on their deathbeds; or otherwise unlawfully came by most of this you pretend to. “Not St. Peter’s Patrimony, therefore, whosesover it may be!” And Peter, though he was somewhat too forward to draw the sword in a better cause, - yet if that weapon, not being proper to the business in hand, was to be put up in that case, he must not, nor would he, have drawn it in this. And that blessed Apostle Paul, who said, ‘the labourer was worthy of hire,’ chose rather to make tents than be burdensome to the Churches. I would you had either of those Good Men’s spirits; on condition your Revenues were doubled to what the best times ever made them to your predecessors! – The same answer may be given to that of your ‘Power and Jurisdiction’; and to that pre-eminence of Prelacy you so dearly love. Only consider what that Master of these same Apostles said to them: ‘So it shall not be amongst you. Whoever will be chief shall be servant of all!’ For He himself came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. And by this he that runs may read of what tribe you are.

And “now” surely if these, that are outward things, may not thus be contended for; how much less say the Doctrines of Faith, which are the works of Grace and the Spirit, be endeavoured by so unsuitable means! He that bids us ‘contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints,’ tells us that we should do it by ‘avoiding the spirit of Cain, Corah, and Balaam’; and by ‘building up ourselves in the most holy Faith,’ not pinning it upon other men’s sleeves. Praying ‘in the Holy Ghost’; not mumbling over Matins. Keeping ‘ourselves in the love of God’; not destroying men because they will not be of our Faith. ‘Waiting for the mercy of Jesus Christ’; not cruel, but merciful! – But, alas, why is this said? Why are these pearls cast before you? You are resolved not to be charmed from ‘using the instrument of a foolish shepherd’! You are a part of Antichrist, whose Kingdom the Scripture so expressly speaks should be ‘laid in blood’; yea ‘in the blood of the Saints.’ You have shed great store of that already: - and ere it be long, you must all of you have ‘blood to drink’; ‘even the dregs of the cup of the fury and the wrath of God, which will be poured out unto you!’-

In the next place, you state the ‘interest of his Majesty,’ as you say, “for a ground of this war.” And this you hope will draw some English and Scotch to your party. But what ‘Majesty’ is it you mean? Is it France, or Spain, or Scotland? Speak plainly! You have, some of you lately, been harping, - or else we are misinformed , - upon his Majesty of Spain to be your Protector. Was it because his Majesty of Scotland was too little a Majesty for your purpose? We know you love great Majesties! Or is it because he is not fully come over to you in point of religion? If he be short in that, you will quickly find out, upon that score, another ‘Majesty.’ His Father, who complied with you too much, you rejected; and now would make the world believe you would make the Son’s interest a great part of the state of your Quarrel.  – How can we but think there is some reserve in this? And that the Son has agreed to do somewhat more for you than ever his Father did? Or else tell us, Whence this new zeal is? That the Father did too much for you, in all Protestant judgments, - instead of many instances let this be considered: what one of your own Doctors, Dr. Enos of Dublin “says”: who, writing against the Agreement made between the Lord of Ormond and the Irish Catholics, finds fault with it, and says it was ‘nothing so good as that “which” the Earl of Glamorgan had warrant from the King to make; but exceeding far short of what the Lord George Digby had warrant to agree “to,” with the People himself at Rome, in favour of the Irish Catholics. - - I intend not this to you; but to such Protestants as may incline to you, and join with you upon this single account, which is the only appearing inducement to them. “To them I intend it,” seeing there is so much probability of ill in this abstracted; - and so much certainty of ill in fighting for the Romish Religion against the Protestant; and fighting “along” with men under the guilt of so horrid a Massacre. From participating in which guilt, whilst they take part with them, they will never be able to assoil themselves, either before God or good men.

In the last place, you are pleased, -  having, after your usual manner, remembered yourselves first, and ‘his Majesty,’ as you call him, next; like a man of your tribe, with his Ego et Rex meus, - you are pleased to take the People into consideration. Lest they should seem to be forgotten; or rather you would make me believe they are much in your thoughts. Indeed I think they are! Alas, poor ‘Laity’! That you and your King might ride them, and jade them, as your Church hath done, and as your King hath done by your means, almost in all ages! – But it would not be hard to prophesy, That the beasts being stung and kicking, this world will not last always. Arbitrary power “is a thing” men begin to weary of, in Kings and Churchmen; their juggle between them mutually to uphold Civil and Ecclesiastical Tyranny begins to be transparent. Some have cast off both; and hope by the grace of God to keep so. Others are at it! Many thoughts are laid up about it, which will have their issue and vent.[26] This principle, That People are for Kings and Churches, and Saints are for the Pope or Churchmen, as you call them, begins to be exploded; - and therefore I wonder not to see the Fraternity so much enraged. I wish ‘the People’ wiser than to be troubled at you; or solicitous for what you say or do.

But it seems, notwithstanding all this, you would fain have them believe it is their good you seek. And to cozen them, in deed and in truth, is the scope of your whole Declaration, and of your Acts and Decrees in your foresaid Printed Book. Therefore to discover and unveil those falsities, and to let them, “the People,” know what they are to trust to from me, is the principal end of this my Declaration. That if I be not able to do good upon them, which I most desire, - and yet in that I shall not seek to gain them by flattery; but tell them the worst, in plainness, and that which I am sure will not be acceptable to you; and if I cannot gain them, “I say,” – I shall have comfort in this, That I have freed my own soul from the guilt of the evil that shall ensue. And on this subject I hope to leave nothing unanswered in all your said Declarations and Decrees at Clonmacnoise.

And because you carry on your matter somewhat confusedly, I shall therefore bring all that you have said into some order; that so we may the better discern what everything signifies, and give answer thereunto.

You forewarn the People of their danger; which you make to consist: First, ‘in the extirpation of the Catholic Religion’; Secondly, ‘in the destruction of their Lives’; Thirdly, ‘in the ruin of their Fortunes.’ – To avoid all which evils you forewarn them: First, That they be not deceived by the Commander-in-Chief of the Parliament Forces: And in the next place, - having stated “the ground of” your War, as aforesaid, - you give them your positive advice and counsel To engage in blood: and “then” lastly “you” bestow upon them a small collation in Four Ecclesiastical Decrees or Orders, - which will signify as little, being performed by your spirit, as if you had said nothing. And the obligation “that lay on you” to all this you make to be your pastoral relation to them, ‘over your Flocks.’

To which last a word or two.[27] I wonder how this relation was brought about! If they be ‘Flocks,’ and you ambitious of the relative term? “Yes,” you are Pastors: but it is by an antiphrasis,  - a minime pascendo! You either teach the People not at all; or else you do it, as some of you came to this Conventicle who sent by others, tanquam Procuratores, - “teach them,” as your manner is, by sending a company of silly ignorant Priests, who can but say the Mass, and scarcely that intelligibly; or with such stuff as these your senseless Declarations and Edicts! – But how dare you assume to call these men your ‘Flocks,’ whom you have plunged into so horrid a Rebellion, by which you have made them and the Country almost a ruinous heap? And whom you have fleeced and polled and peeled hitherto, and make it your business to do so still. You cannot feed them! You poison them with your false, abominable and antichristian doctrine and practices. You keep the Word of God from them; and instead thereof give them your senseless Orders and Traditions. You teach them ‘implicit belief’: - he that goes amongst them may find many that do not understand anything in the matters of your Religion. I have had few better answers from any since I came into Ireland that are of your Flocks than this, ‘That indeed they did not trouble themselves about matters of Religion, but left that to the Church.’ Thus are your ‘Flocks’ fed; and such credit have you of them. But they must take heed of ‘losing their Religion.’ Alas, poor creatures, what have they to ‘lose’?

Concerning this, “of losing their Religion,” is your grand caveat, “however.” And to back this, you tell them of ‘Resolutions and Covenants to extirpate the Catholic Religion out of all his Majesty’s Dominions.’ And you instance in ‘Cromwell’s Letter of 19th October 1649, to the then Governor of Ross’, repeating his words, which are as follows, viz.: ‘For that which you mention concerning liberty of conscience, I meddle not with any man’s conscience. But if by liberty of conscience, you mean a liberty to exercise the Mass, I judge it best to use plain dealing, and to let you know, Where the Parliament of England have power, that will not be allowed of.’ And this you call a ‘tyrannical Resolution’; which you say hath been put in execution in Wexford, Ross and Tredah.

Now let us consider. First, you say, The design is, to extirpate the Catholic Religion. Let us see your honesty herein. Your word ‘extirpate’ is as ill collected from these grounds, and as senseless as the word ‘Catholic,’ ordinarily used by you when you mention Catholic Roman Church. The word ‘extirpate’ means “ruin of” a thing already rooted and established: which word “is” made good by the proof of ‘Covenants,’ by that Letter expressing the non-toleration of the Mass (wherein, it seems you place all the ‘Catholic Religion,’ and there you show some ingenuity[28]), and ‘by’ your instance of what was practised in the three Towns aforementioned: do these prove, either considered apart or all together, the ‘extirpation’ of the Catholic Religion?

By what Law was the Mass “ever rooted, or” exercised in these places, or in any the Dominions of England or Ireland, or Kingdom of Scotland? You were intruders herein; you were open violaters of the known Laws! And yet you call the ‘Covenant,’ and that “refusal” in the Letter, and these practices “at Wexford, Ross and Tredah,” ‘extirpation’ of the Catholic Religion, - “which had” thus again “been” set on foot by you, by the advantage of your Rebellion, and shaking off the just Authority of the State of England over you! Whereas, I dare be confident to say, You durst not own the saying of one Mass, “for” above these eighty years in Ireland. And “only” through the troubles you made, and through the miseries you brought on this Nation, and the poor People thereof, - your numbers, which is very ominous, increasing with the “numbers of the” wolves, through the desolations you made in the Country; - “only by all this” did you recover again the public exercise of your Mass! And for the maintenance of this, thus gained, you would make the poor People believe that it is ghostly counsel, and given in love to them as your ‘Flocks,’ That they should run into Wars, and venture lives, and all upon such a ground as this! But if God be pleased to unveil you of your sheeps-clothing, that they, “the People,” may see how they have been deluded, and by whom, I shall exceedingly rejoice; and indeed for their sakes only have I given you these competent characters, - for their good, if God shall so bless it.

And now for them, “the People of Ireland,” I do particularly declare what they may expect at my hands in this point. Wherein you will easily perceive that, as I neither have “flattered” nor shall flatter you, so neither shall I go about to delude them with specious pretences, as you have ever done.

First, therefore: I shall not, where I have power, and the Lord is pleased to bless me, suffer the exercise of the Mass, where I can take notice of it. “No,” nor “in any way” suffer you that are Papists, where I can find you seducing the People, or by any overt act violating the Laws established; but if you come into my hands, I shall cause to be inflicted the punishments appointed by the Laws,- to use your own term, secundum gravitatem delicti,[29] – upon you; and “shall try” to reduce things to their former state on this behalf. As for the People, what thoughts they have in matters of Religion in their own breasts I cannot reach; but shall think it my duty, if they walk honestly and peaceably, Not to cause them in the least to suffer for the same. And shall endeavour to walk patiently and in love towards them, to see if at any time it shall please God to give them another or a better mind. And all men under the power of England, within this Dominion, are hereby required and enjoined strictly and religiously to do the same.

To the second “danger threatened”; which is ‘the destruction of the Lives of the Inhabitants of this Nation’: to make it good that this is designed, they[30] give not one reason. Which is either because they have none to give; or else for that they believe the People will receive everything for truth they say, - which they have too well taught them, and God knows the People are too apt, to do. But I will a little help them. They speak indeed of ‘rooting out the Common-People’; and also, by way of consequent, that the extirpating the Catholic religion is not to be effected without the ‘massacring, destroying or banishing the Catholic Inhabitants.’ Which how analogical an argument this is, I shall easily make appear by and by.

Alas, the generality of ‘the Inhabitants’ are poor ‘Laity’ as you call them, and ignorant of the grounds of the ‘Catholic religion.’[31] Are they, then, so interwoven with your Church Interest as that the absence of them makes your ‘Catholic Religion’ fall to the ground? We know you think not so. You reckon yourselves, and yourselves only, the pillars and supporters thereof; and the Common-People “useful” as far as they have the exercise of club-law, and, like the ass you ride on, obey your commands. But concerning these relations of your Religion, “and your right to practise it,” enough has been spoken in another place; - only you love to mix things for your advantage.

But “now” to your logic. Here is your argument: The design is to extirpate the Catholic Religion; but this is not to be done but by the massacring, banishing or otherwise destroying the Catholic Inhabitants; ergo it is designed to massacre, banish and destroy the Catholic Inhabitants. - To try this no-concluding argument, - “nothing-concluding,” but yet well enough agreeing with your learning, - I give you this dilemma; by which it will appear That, whether your Religion be true or false, this will not follow:

If your Religion be the true Religion, yet if a Nation may degenerate from the true Religion, and apostatise, as too many have “evidently” done, - (through the seducements of your Roman Church, “say we”), - then it will not follow that men must be ‘massacred, banished or otherwise destroyed,’ necessarily; no, not as to the change of the true Religion in a Nation or Country![32] Only, this argument doth wonderfully well agree with your principles and practice; you having chiefly made use of fire and sword, in all the changes in Religion that you have made in the world. “But I say,” if it be change of your Catholic Religion so-called, it will not follow: because there may be found out another means than ‘massacring, destruction and banishment’; to wit, the Word of God; which is able to convert. A means which you as little know as practise; which indeed you deprive the People of! “That means may be found”; together with humanity, good life, equal and honest dealing with men of a different opinion; - which we desire to exercise towards this poor People, if you, by your wicket counsel, make them not incapable to receive it, by putting them into blood!

And therefore, by this also “which you talk of massacring,” your false and twisted dealing may be a little discovered. Well; your words are, ‘massacre, destroy and banish.’ – Good now: give us an instance of one man since my coming into Ireland, not in arms, massacred, destroyed or banished; concerning the massacre or the destruction of whom justice hath not been done, or endeavoured to be done.[33] As for the other of banishment, I must now speak unto the People, whom you would delude, and whom this most concerns; that they may know in this also what to expect at my hands.

The question is of the destruction of life; or of that which is but little inferior to it, to wit, of banishment. “Now First”: I shall not willingly take or suffer to be taken away the life of any man not in arms, but by the trial to which the People of this Nation are subject by Law, for offences against the same. And “Secondly,” as for the banishment, it hath not hitherto been inflicted on any but such who, being in arms, might justly, upon the terms they were taken “under,” have been put to death: as “might” those who are instanced in your Declaration to be ‘sent to the Tobacco Islands.’ And therefore I do declare, that if the People be ready to run to arms by the instigation of the Clergy or otherwise, such as God by His providence shall give into my hands may expect that or worse measure from me; but not otherwise.

Thirdly, as to that of ‘the ruin of their Fortune.’ You instance the Act of Subscription[34], ‘whereby the estates of the inhabitants of this Nation are sold, so as there remaineth now no more but to put the Purchasers in possession’; and that for this cause are the Forces drawn out of England. And that you might carry the Interest far, “so as” to engage the Common sort of People with you, you farther say to them, That ‘the moderate usage “hitherto” exercised to them is to no other end but to our private advantage, and for the better support of our Army’; “we” intending at the close of our ‘conquest,’ as you term it, ‘to root out the Common-People also, and to plant the land with Colonies to be brought hither out of England.’ This, consisting of divers parts, will ask distinct answers.

And first, to the Act of Subscription. It’s true there is such an Act; - and it was a just one. For when, by your execrable Massacre and Rebellion, you had not only raised a bloody War to justify the same; and thereby occasioned the exhausting the Treasure of England in the prosecution of so just a War against you, - was it not a wise and just act in the State to raise money by escheating the Lands of those who had a hand in the Rebellion? Was it not fit to make their Estates to defray the charge, who had caused the trouble? The best therefore that lies in this argument is this, - and that only reaching to them who have been in arms, for farther it goes not: ‘You have forfeited your Estates, and it is likely they will be escheated to make satisfaction; and therefore you had better fight it out than repent or give-off now; - or “else” see what mercy you may find from the State of England. And seeing holy Church is engaged in it, we will, by one means or another, hook-in the Commons, and make them sensible that they are as much concerned as you, though they were never in arms, or came quickly off!’ – And for this cause doubtless are these two coupled together; by which your honest dealing is manifest enough.

But what? Was the English Army brought over for this purpose, as you allege? Do you think that the State of England will be at Five or Six Millions charge merely to procure Purchasers to be invested in that for which they did disburse little above a Quarter of a Million? Although there be a Justice in that also, which ought, and I trust will be seasonably performed toward them. – No, I can give you a better reason for the Army coming over than this. England hath had experience of the blessing of God in prosecuting just and righteous Causes, whatever the cost and hazard be! And if ever men were engaged in a righteous Cause in the world, this will scarce be a second to it. We are come to ask an account of the innocent blood that hath been shed; and to endeavour to bring to an account, - by the blessing and presence of the Almighty, in whom alone is our hope and strength, - all who, by appearing in arms, seek to justify the same. We come to break the power of a company of lawless Rebels, who having cast off the Authority of England, live as enemies to Human Society; whose principles, the world hath experience, are, To destroy and subjugate all men not complying with them.  We come, by the assistance of God, to hold forth and maintain the lustre and glory of English Liberty[35] in a Nation where we have an undoubted right to do it; - wherein the People of Ireland (if they listen not to such seducers as you are) may equally participate in all benefits; to use “their” liberty and fortune equally with Englishmen, if they out of arms.

And now, having said this to you, I have a word to them; that in this point, which concerns them in their estates and fortunes, they may know what to trust to. Such as have been formerly in arms, may, submitting themselves, have their cases presented to the State of England; - where no doubt the State will be ready to take consideration the nature and quality of their actings, and deal mercifully with them. As for those now in arms, who shall come in, and submit, and give Engagements for their future quiet and honest carriage, and submission to the State of England, I doubt not but they will find like merciful consideration; - except only the Leading Persons and principal Contrivers of this Rebellion, whom I am confident they will reserve to make examples of Justice, whatsoever hazards they incur thereby. – And as for such Private Soldiers as lay-down their arms, and shall live peaceably and honestly at their several homes, they shall be permitted so to do. – And, “in general,” for the first two sorts, “for such as have been or as now are in arms and shall submit,” I shall humbly and effectually represent their cases to the Parliament, as far as becomes the duty and place I bear. But as for those who, notwithstanding all this, persist and continue in arms, they must expect what the Providence of God, in that which is falsely called the Chance of War, will cast upon them.

For such of Nobility, Gentry and Commons of Ireland as have not been actors in this Rebellion, they shall and may expect the protection in their Goods, Liberties and Lives which the Law gives them; and in their husbandry, merchandising, manufactures and other trading whatsoever, the same. They behaving themselves as becomes honest and peaceable men; testifying their good affections, upon all occasions, to the service of the State of England, equal justice shall be done them with the English. They shall bear proportionably with them in taxes. And if the Soldiery be insolent upon them, upon complaint and proof, it shall be punished with utmost severity, and they protected equally with Englishmen.

And having said this, and purposing honestly to perform it, - if this People shall headily run on after the counsels of their Prelates and Clergy and other Leaders, I hope to be free from the misery and desolation, blood and ruin, that shall befall them; and shall rejoice to exercise utmost severity against them.

OLIVER CROMWELL

Given at Youghal, - January 1649.

 

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: THESE

Castletown, 15th Feb. 1649

Mr. Speaker, - Having refreshed our men for some short time in our Winter-quarters, and health being pretty well recovered, we thought fit to take the field; and to attempt such things as God by His providence should lead us to upon the Enemy.

Our resolution was to fall into the Enemy’s quarters two ways. The one party, being about fifteen or sixteen troops of horse and dragoons and about two-thousand foot, were ordered to go up by the way of Carrick into the County of Kilkenny under the command of Colonel Reynolds; whom Mayor-General Ireton was to follow with a reserve. I myself was to go by the way of Mallow[36], over the Blackwater, towards the County of Limerick and the County of Tipperary, with about twelve troops of horse, and three troops of dragoons, and between two and three hundred foot.

I began my march upon Tuesday the Nine-and-twentieth of January, from Youghal; and upon Thursday the One-and-thirtieth, I possessed a Castle called Kilkenny, upon the edge of the County of Limerick; where I left thirty foot. From thence I marched to a Strong-house belonging to Sir Richard Everard (called Clogheen), who is one of the Supreme Council; while I left a troop of horse and some dragoons. From thence I marched to Roghill Castle, which was possessed by some Ulster foot, and a party of the Enemy’s horse; which upon summons (I having taken the Captain of horse prisoner before) was rendered to me. These places being thus possessed gave us much command (together with some other holds we have) of the White-Knights’ and Roche’s Country; and of all the land from Mallow to the Suir-side; - especially by “help of” another Castle, called Old Castletown, “which,” since my march, “was” taken by my Lord of Broghil. Which I had sent to his Lordship to endeavour; as also a Castle of Sir Edward Fitzharris, over the Mountains in the County of Limerick; - I  having left his Lordship at Mallow, with about six or seven hundred horse and four or five hundred foot, to protect those parts, and your interest in Munster; lest while we were abroad, Inchiquin, whose forces lay about Limerick and the County of Kerry, should fall in behind us. His Lordship drew two cannon to the aforesaid Castle; which having summoned, they refused. His Lordship, having bestowed about ten shot upon it, which made their stomachs come down, - he gave all the soldiers quarter for life; and shot all the Officers, being six in number, to death. Since the taking of these Garrisons, the Irish have sent their commissioners to compound for their contribution as far as the walls of Limerick.

I marched from Roghill Castle over the Suir, with very much difficulty; and from thence to Fethard, almost in the heart of the County of Tipperary; where was a Garrison of the Enemy. The Town is most pleasantly seated; having a very good Wall with round and square bulwarks, after the old manner of fortifications. We came thither in the night, and indeed were very much distressed by tempestuous wind and rain. After a long march, we knew not well how to dispose of ourselves; but finding an old Abbey in the suburbs, and some cabins and poor houses, - we got into them, and had opportunity to send “the Garrison” a summons. They shot at my trumpet; and would not listen to him, for an hour’s space: but having some Officers in our party whom they knew, I sent them, To let them know I was there with a good part of the Army. We shot not a shot at them; but they were very angry, and fired very earnestly upon us; telling us, It was not a time of night to send a summons.  But yet in the end, the Governor was willing to send out two commissioners, - I think rather to see whether there was a force sufficient to force him, than to any other end. After almost a whole night spend in treaty, the Town was delivered to me the next morning, upon terms which we usually call honourable; which I was the willinger to give, because I had little above Two-hundred foot, and neither ladders nor guns, nor any thing to force them. That night, there being about Seventeen companies of the Ulster foot in Cashel, above five miles from thence, they quit it in some disorder; and the Sovereign and the Aldermen sent to me a petition, desiring that I would protect them. Which I have also made a quarter.

From thence I marched towards Callan; hearing that Colonel Reynolds was there, with the Party before mentioned. When I came thither, I found he had fallen upon the Enemy’s horse, and routed them (being about a hundred), with his forlorn; “he” took my Lord of Ossory’s Captain-Lieutenant, and another Lieutenant of horse, prisoners; - and one of those who betrayed our Garrison of Enniscorthy; whom we hanged. The Enemy had possessed three Castles in the Town; one of them belonging to one Butler, very considerable; the other two had about a hundred or hundred-and-twenty men in them, - which “latter” he attempted; and they, refusing conditions seasonably offered, were put all to the sword. Indeed some of your soldiers did attempt very notably in this service: - I do not hear there were six of ours lost. Butler’s Castle was delivered under conditions, for all to march away, leaving their arms behind them. Wherein I have placed a company of foot and a troop of horse, under the command of my Lord Colvil; the place being six miles from Kilkenny. From hence Colonel Reynolds was sent with his regiment to remove a garrison of the Enemy’s from Knocktofer (being the way of our communication to Ross); which accordingly he did.

We marched back with the rest of the body to Fethard and Cashel: where we are now quartered, - having good plenty both of horse meat and man’s meat for a time; and being indeed, we may say, even almost in the heart and bowels of the Enemy; ready to attempt what God shall next direct. And blessed be His name only for this good success; and for this “also,” That we do not find our men are at all considerably sick upon this expedition, though indeed it hath been very blustering weather. –

I had almost forgot one business: The Major-General was very desirous to gain a Pass over the Suir; where indeed we had none but by boat, or when the weather served. Wherefore, on Saturday in the evening, he marched with a party of horse and foot to Ardfinnan; where was a Bridge, and at the foot of it a strong Castle. Which he, about four o’clock the next morning, attempted; - killed about thirteen of the Enemy’s out-guard; lost but two men, and eight or ten wounded: the Enemy yielded the place to him, and we are possessed of it, - being a very considerable Pass, and the nearest to our Pass at Cappoquin over the Blackwater, whither we can bring guns, ammunition, or other things from Youghal by water, and “then” over this Pass to the Army. The County of Tipperary have submitted to 1,500l. a-month contribution, although they have six or seven of the Enemy’s Garrisons yet upon them.

Sir, I desire the charge of England as to this War may be abated as much as may be, and as we know you do desire, out of your care to the Commonwealth. But if you expect your work to be done, if the marching Army be not constantly paid, and the course taken that hath been humbly represented, - indeed it will not be for the thrift of England, as far as England is concerned in the speedy reduction of Ireland. The money we raise upon the Counties maintains the Garrison forces; and hardly that. If the active force be not maintained, and all contingencies defrayed, how can you expect but to have lingering business of it? Surely we desire not to spend a shilling of your treasury, wherein our consciences do not prompt of war; and shall hasten, by God’s assistance and grace, to the end of our work, as the labourer doth to be at his rest. This makes us bold to be earnest with you for necessary supplies:- that of money is one. And there be some other things, - which indeed I do not think for your service to speak of publicly, which I shall humbly represent to the Council of State, - wherewith I desire we may be accommodated.

Sir, the Lord, who doth all these things, gives hopes of a speedy issue to this business; and, I am persuaded, will graciously appear in it. And truly there is no fear of the strength and combination of enemies round about, nor of slanderous tongues at home. God hath hitherto fenced you against all those, to wonder and amazement; they are tokens of your prosperity and success: - only it will be good for you, and us that serve you, to fear the Lord; to fear unbelief, self-seeking, confidence in an arm of flesh, and opinion of any instruments that they are other than as dry bones. That God be merciful in these things, and bless  you, is the humble prayer of, Sir, your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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TO THE GOVERNOR, AND MAYOR AND ALDERMEN, OF THE CITY OF KILKENNY: THESE

“Before Kilkenny,” 22d March 1649

Gentlemen,- My coming hither is to endeavour, if God so please to bless me, the reduction of the City of Kilkenny to their obedience to the State of England; - from which, by an unheard-of Massacre of the innocent English, you have endeavoured to rend yourselves. And as God hath begun to judge you with His sore plagues, so will He follow you until He hath destroyed you, if you repent not. Your Cause hath been judged already in England upon them who did abet your evils[37]: what may the Principals then expect?

By this free dealing, you see I entice you not to a compliance. You may have terms “such as” may save you in your lives, liberties and estates, according to what may be fitting for me to grant and you to receive. If you choose for the worst, blame yourselves. In confidence of the gracious blessing and presence of God with His own Cause, which by many testimonies this is, - I shall hope for a good issue upon my endeavours. Expecting a return from you, I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE GOVERNOR OF KILKENNY

“Before Kilkenny,” 25th March 1650

Sir, - If you had been as clear as I was in my last[38], I might perhaps have understood you so as to give you some farther answer; but, you expressing nothing particularly what you have to expect-against in mine, I have nothing more to return save this, That for some reasons I cannot let your Trumpeter suddenly come back, but have sent you this by a Drummer of my own. I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE GOVERNOR OF KILKENNY

“Before Kilkenny,” 26th March 1650

Sir,- Except the conditions were much bettered, and we in a worse posture and capacity to reduce you than before the last Letters I sent you, - I cannot imagine whence those high Demands of yours arise. I hope in God, before it be long you may have occasion to think other thoughts; to which I leave you.

I shall not so much as treat with you on these Propositions. You desire some articles for honour’s sake; which out of honesty, I do deny: - viz. that of marching in the equipage you mention, “muskets loaded, matches burning, etc.” I tell you, my business is to reduce you from arms, and the country to quietness and due subjection; to put an end to the War, and not to lengthen it; - wishing, if it may stand with the will of God, this People may live as happily as they did before the bloody Massacre, and better too. If you and the company with you be of those who resolve to continue to hinder this, we know Who is able to reach you, and I believe, will.

For the Inhabitants of the Town, of whom you seem to have a care, you know your retreat[39] to be better than theirs; and therefore it’s not impoliticly done to speak for them, and to engage them to keep us as long from you as they can. If they be willing to expose themselves to ruin for you, you are much beholding unto them.

As for your ‘Clergymen’ as you call them, in case you agree for a surrender, they shall march away safely, with their goods and what belongs to them: but if they fall otherwise into my hands, I believe they know what to expect from me. – If upon what I proposed formerly, with this addition concerning them, you expect things to be cleared, I am content to have Commissioners for that purpose. I rest, Sir, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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TO THE MAYOR OF KILKENNY

“Before Kilkenny,” 26th March 1650.

Sir,- Though I could have wished you and the Citizens had been more sensible of your own interests and concernments, - yet since you are minded to involve it so much with that of soldiers, I am glad to understand you, which will be some direction to me what to think and what to do. I rest, your Friend,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE MAYOR OF KILKENNY

“Before Kilkenny,” 26th March 1650

Sir, - Those whom God hath brought to a sense of His hand upon them, and to amend, submitting themselves thereto and to the Power to which He hath subjected them, I cannot but pity and tender: and so far as that effect appears in you and your fellow-citizens, I shall be ready, without capitulation, to do more and better for you and them upon that ground, than upon the high Demands of your Governor, or his capitulations for you.

I suppose he hath acquainted you with what I briefly offered yesterday, in relation to yourself and the Inhabitants; - otherwise he hath the more to answer for to God and man. And notwithstanding the advantages (as to the commanding and entering the Town) which God hath given us since that offer, more than we were possessed of before, - yet I am still willing, upon your surrender, to make good the same to the City, and that with advantage.

Now in regard of that temper which appears amongst you by your Letters, - though I shall not engage for more upon the Governor’s demands for you, whose power I conceive is now greater to prejudice and endanger the City than to protect it; “nevertheless,” to save it from plunder and pillage, I “have” promised the Soldiery that, if we should take it by storm, the Inhabitants shall give them a reasonable Gratuity in money, in lieu of pillages; and so made it death for any man to plunder. Which I shall still keep them to, by God’s help, although we should be put to make an entry by force, - unless I shall find the Inhabitants engaging still with the Governor and “his” Soldiery to make resistance. You may see also the way I chose for reducing the place was such as tend most to save the Inhabitants from pillage, and from perishing promiscuously the innocent with the guilty: - to wit, by attempting places which being possessed might bring it to a surrender, rather than to enter the City itself by force.

If what is here expressed may beget resolution in you which would occasion your safety and be consistent with the end of my coming hither, I shall be glad; and rest, your friend,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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TO THE GOVERNOR OF KILKENNY

“Before Kilkenny,” 26th March 1650

Sir,- That no extremity may happen for want of a right understanding, I am content that Commissioners on each side do meet, in the Leaguer at the South side of the City; authorised to treat and conclude. For which purpose, if you shall speedily send me the names and qualities of the Commissioners you will send out, I shall appoint the like number on my part, authorised as aforesaid, to meet with them; and shall send-in a Safe-conduct for the coming out and return of yours. As for Hostages, I conceive it needless and dilatory. I expect that the Treaty begin by 8 of the clock this evening, and end by 12; during which time only will I grant a Cessation. Expecting your speedy answer, I rest, your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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TO THE GOVERNOR OF KILKENNY

“Before Kilkenny,” 27th March 1650

 

Sir, - The Reason of the so late coming of my answer was because my Trumpeter was refused to be received at the North end of the Town; and where he was admitted, was kept long upon the Guard.

I have sent you a Safe-conduct for the Four Commissioners named by you; and if they be such as are unwilling to take my word, I shall not, to humour them, agree to Hostages. I am willing to a Treaty for four hours, provided it be begun by 12 of the clock this morning: but for a Cessation, the time last appointed for it being past, I shall not agree unto “it,” to hinder my own proceedings. Your servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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TO THE COMMISSIONERS AT DUBLIN: THESE

Carrick-on-Suir,” 1st April 1650

Gentlemen, - Being desired by the Countess of Cork that nothing may be done by way of disposal of such part of Cork House as it holden of the Dean in Dublin (in case my Lord of Cork’s interest be determined therein); and that my Lord of Cork may have the refusal thereof before any other, in regard his Father has been at great charge in building thereof, and that respect the other part would not be so convenient for any other:

Which motion I conceive to be very reasonable. And therefore I desire you not to dispose of any part of the said House to any person whatsoever, until you hear farther from me; my Lady having undertaken, in a short time, as soon as she can come at the sight of her writings “so as” to be satisfied what interest my Lord of Cork hath yet to come therein, my Lord will renew his term in the said House, or give full resolution therein. I rest, your loving friend,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL, ESQUIRE, SPEAKER OF THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: THESE

Carrick, 2d April 1650

Mr. Speaker, - I think the last Letter I troubled you with, was about the taking of Cahir, since which time there were taken, by beating-up their quarters, two Colonels, a Lieutenant-Colonel, Major, and divers Captains, all of horse: Colonel Johnson[40] Lieutenant-Colonel Laughern, and Major Simes, were shot to death, as having served under the Parliament, but now taken up arms with the Enemy.

Hearing that Castlehaven and Lieut.-General Ferral were about Kilkenny, with their Army lying there quartered, and about Carlow and Leighlin Bridge; and hearing also that Colonel Hewson, with a good Party from Dublin, was come as far as Ballysonan, and had taken it, - we thought fit to send an express to him, To march up towards us for a conjunction. And because we doubted the sufficiency of his Party to march with that security that were to be wished, Colonel Shilbourn was ordered to go with some troops of horse out of the County of Wexford, which was his station, to meet him. And because the Enemy was possessed of the fittest places upon the Barrow for our conjunction, we sent a Party of seven or eight hundred horse and dragoons and about five-hundred foot, to attempt upon Castlehaven in the rear, if he should have endeavoured to defend the places against Colonel Hewson.

Our Party, being a light nimble Party, was at the Barrow-side before Colonel Hewson could be heard of; and possessed a House, by the Graigue; they marched towards Leighlin, and faced Castlehaven at a pretty distance; but he showed no forwardness to engage. Our Party not being able to hear of Colonel Hewson, came back as far as Thomastown, a small walled Town, and a pass upon the Nore, between Kilkenny and Ross. Which our men attempting to take, the Enemy made no great resistance; but, by the advantage of the bridge, quitted the Town, and fled to a Castle about half a mile distant off, which they had formerly possessed. That night the President of Munster and myself came up to the Party. We summoned the Castle; and, after two days, it was surrendered to us; the Enemy their arms, drums, colours and ammunition behind them, and engaging never to bear arms against the Parliament of England.

We lay still after this about two or three days. The President went back to Fethard, to bring up some great guns, with a purpose to attempt upon the Granny[41], and some Castles thereabouts, for the better blocking-up of Waterford; and to cause to advance up to us some more of our foot. In the end we had advertisement that Colonel Hewson was come to Leighlin; where was a very strong Castle and pass over the Barrow. I sent him word that he should attempt it; which he did; and, after some dispute, reduced it. By which means we have a good pass over the Barrow, and intercourse between Munster and Leinster. I sent Colonel Hewson word that he should march up to me; and we, advancing likewise with our Party, met “him,” – near by Gowran; a populous Town, where the Enemy had a very strong Castle, under the Command of Colonel Hammond, a Kentishman, who was a principal actor in the Kentish Insurrection, and did manage the Lord Capel’s business at his Trial. I sent him a civil invitation to deliver up the Castle unto me; to which he returned a very resolute answer, and full of height. We planted our artillery; and before he had made a breach considerable, the Enemy beat a parley for a treaty; which I, having offered so fairly to him, refused; but sent him in positive conditions, That the soldiers should have their lives, and the Commission Officers to be disposed of as should be thought fit; which in the end was submitted to. The next day, the Colonel, the Major, and the rest of the Commission Officers were shot to death; all but one, who, being a very earnest instrument to have the Castle delivered, was pardoned. In the same Castle also we took a Popish Priest, who was Chaplain to the Catholics in this regiment; who was caused to be hanged. I trouble you with this the rather, because this regiment was the Lord of Ormond’s own regiment. In this Castle was good store of provisions for the Army.

After the taking of this Castle, it was agreed amongst us to march to the City of Kilkenny. Which we did upon Friday the 22d of March: and coming with our body within a mile of the Town, we advanced with some horse very near unto it; and that evening I sent Sir Walter Butler and the Corporation a Letter. We took the best view we could where to plant our batteries; and upon Monday the 25th, our batteries, consisting of three guns, began to play. After near a hundred shot, we made a breach, as we hoped stormable. Our men were drawn out ready for the attempt; and Colonel Ewer “was” ordered, with about one-thousand foot, to endeavour to possess the Irish Town, much about the time of our storming; - which he accordingly did, with the loss of not above three or four men. Our men upon the signal fell upon the breach: which indeed was not performed with the usual courage nor success; for they were beaten off, with the loss of one Captain, and about twenty or thirty men killed and wounded. The Enemy had made two retrenchments or counterworks, which they had strongly palisadoed; and both of them did so command our breach, that indeed it was a mercy to use we did not farther contend for an entrance there; it being probable that, if we had, it would have cost us very dear.

Having possessed the Irish Town; and there being another Walled Town on the other side of the River, eight companies of foot were sent over the River to possess that. Which accordingly was effected, and not above the like number lost that were in possessing the Irish Town. The Officer that commanded this party in chief attempted to pass over the Bridge into the City, and to fire the Gate; which indeed was done with good resolutions; - but, lying too open to the Enemy’s shot, he had forty or fifty men killed and wounded; which was a sore blow to us. We made our preparations for a second battery; which was well near perfected: “but” the Enemy, seeing himself thus begirt, sent for a Treaty; and had it; and, in some hours, agreed to deliver up the Castle exceeding well fortified by the industry of the Enemy; being also very capacious: so that if we had taken the Town, we must have had a new work for the Castle, which might have cost much blood and time. So that, we hope, the Lord hath provided better for us; and we look at it as a gracious mercy that we have the place for you upon these terms.

Whilst these affairs were transacting, a Lieutenant-Colonel, three Majors, eight Captains, being English, Welsh and Scotch, with others, possessed of Cantwell Castle[42], - a very strong Castle, situated in a bog, well furnished with provisions of corn, - were ordered by Sir Walter Butler to come to strengthen the Garrison of Kilkenny. But they sent two Officers to me, to offer me the place, and their service, - that they might have passes to go beyond sea to serve foreign states, with some money to bear their charges: the last whereof “likewise” I consented to; they promising to do nothing to the prejudice of the Parliament of England. Colonel Abbot also attempted Ennisnag: where were gotten a company of rogues which “had” revolted from Colonel Jones. The Soldiers capitulated for life, and their two Officers were hanged for revolting. Adjutant-General Sadler was commanded with two guns to attempt some Castles in the County of Tipperary and Kilkenny; which being reduced “would” exceedingly tend to the blocking-up of two considerable Towns. He summoned Pulkerry, a Garrison under Clonmel; battered it; they refusing to come out, stormed it; put thirty or forty of them to the sword, and the rest remaining obstinate were fired in the Castle. He took Ballopoin; the Enemy marching away, leaving their arms behind them. He took also the Granny and Donkill, two very considerable places to Waterford, upon the same terms. – We have advanced our quarters towards the Enemy, a considerable way above Kilkenny; where we hope, by the gaining of ground, to get subsistence; and still to grow upon the Enemy, as the Lord shall bless us.

Sir, I may not be wanting to tell you, and renew it again, That our hardships are not a few; that I think in my conscience, if moneys be not supplied, we shall not be able to carry on your work: - I would not say this to you, if I did not reckon it my duty so to do. But if it be supplied, and that speedily, I hope, through the good hand of the Lord, it will not be long before England will be at the end of this charge; - for the saving of which, I beseech you help as soon as you can! Sir, our horse have not had one month’s pay of five. We strain what we can that the foot may be paid, or else they would starve. Those Towns that are to be reduced, especially one or two of them, if we should proceed by the rules of other states, would cost you more money than this Army hath had since we came over. I hope, through the blessing of God, they will come cheaper to you: but how we should be able to proceed in our attempts without reasonable supply, is humbly submitted and represented to you. I think I need not say, that a speedy period put to this work will break the expectation of all your enemies. And seeing the Lord is not wanting to you, I most humbly beg it, that you would not be wanting to yourselves.

In the last place, it cannot be thought but the taking of these places, and keeping but what is necessary of them, must needs swallow-up our Foot: and I may humbly repeat it again, That I do not know of much above Two-thousand of your Five-thousand recruits come to us. – Having given you this account concerning your affairs, I am now obliged to give you an account concerning myself, which I shall do with all clearness and honesty.

I have received divers private intimations of your pleasure to have me come in person to wait upon you in England; as also copies of Votes of the Parliament to that purpose. But considering the way they came to me was but “by” private intimations, and the Votes did refer to a Letter to be signed by the Speaker, - I thought it would have been too much forwardness in me to have left my charge here, until the said Letter came; it being not fit for me to prophesy whether the Letter would be an absolute command, or having limitations with a liberty left by the Parliament to me, to consider in what way to yield my obedience. Your Letter came to my hands upon Friday the 22d of March, the same day that I came before the City of Kilkenny, and when I was near the same. And I understood by Dr. Cartwright, who delivered it to me, that reason of cross winds, and the want of shipping in the West of England where he was, hindered him from coming with it sooner; it bearing the date the 8th of January, and not coming to my hands until the 22d of March.

The Letter supposed your Army in Winter-quarters, and the time of the year not suitable for present action; making this as the reason of your command. And your Forces have been in action ever since the 29th of January; and your Letter, which was to be the rule of my obedience, coming to my hands after our having been so long in action, - with respect had to the reasons you were pleased to use therein, “I knew not what to do.” And having received a Letter signed by yourself, of the 26th of February, which mentions not a word of the continuance of your pleasure concerning my coming over, I did humbly conceive it much consisting with my duty, humbly to beg a positive signification what your will is; professing (as before the Lord) that I am most ready to obey your commands herein with all alacrity; rejoicing only to be about that work which I am called to by those whom God hath set over me, which I acknowledge you to be; and fearing only in obeying you, to disobey you.

I most humbly and earnestly beseech you to judge for me, Whether your Letter doth not naturally allow me the liberty of begging a more clear expression of your command and pleasure. Which, when vouchsafed unto me, will find most ready and cheerful obedience from, Sir, your most humble servant,

OLIVER CROMWELL

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FOR MY VERY LOVING BROTHER RICHARD MAYOR, ESQUIRE, AT HURSLEY IN HAMPSHIRE: THESE

Carrick, 2d April 1650

Dear Brother, - For me to write unto you the state of our affairs here were more indeed than I have leisure well to do; and therefore I hope you do not expect it from me; seeing when I write to the Parliament I usually am, as becomes me, very particular with them; and usually from thence the knowledge thereof is spread.

Only this let me say, which is the best intelligence to Friends that are truly Christian: The lord is pleased still to vouchsafe us His presence, and to prosper His own work in our hands, - which to us is the more eminent because truly we are a company of poor weak worthless creatures. Truly our work is neither from our own brains nor from our courage and strength: but we follow the Lord who goeth before, and gather what he scattereth, that so all may appear to be from Him.

The taking of the City of Kilkenny hath been one of our last works; which indeed I believe hath been a great discomposing of the Enemy,  -  it’s so much in their bowels. We have taken many considerable places lately, without much loss. What can we say to these things! If God be for us, who can be against us? Who can fight against the Lord and prosper? Who can resist His will? The Lord keep us in His love.

I desire your prayers; your Family is often in mine. I rejoice to hear how it hath pleased the Lord to deal with my Daughter[43]. The Lord bless her, and sanctify all His dispensations to them and us. I have committed my Son to you; I pray counsel him. Some Letters I have lately had from him have a good savour: the Lord treasure up grace there, that out of that treasury he may bring forth great things.

Sir, I desire my very entire affection may be presented to my dear Sister, my Cousin Ann and the rest of my Cousins, - and to idle Dick Norton when you see him. Sir, I rest, your most loving brother,

OLIVER CROMWELL

 

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FOR MY BELOVED SON RICHARD CROMWELL, ESQUIRE, AT HURSLEY IN HAMPSHIRE: THESE

Carrick, 2d April 1650

Dick Cromwell, - I take your Letters kindly: I like expressions when they come plainly from the heart, and are not strained nor affected.

I am persuaded it’s the Lord’s mercy to place you where you are: I wish you may own it and be thankful, fulfilling all relations to the glory of God. Seek the Lord and His face continually: - let this be the business of your life and strength, and let all things be subservient and in order to this! You cannot find nor behold the face of God but in Christ; therefore labour to know God in Christ; which the Scripture makes to be the sum of all, even Life Eternal. Because the true knowledge is not literal or speculative; “no,” but inward; transforming the mind to it. It’s uniting to, and participating of, the Divine Nature (Second Peter, i. 4): “That by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” It’s such a knowledge as Paul speaks of (Philippians, iii.8-10): “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For whom I have suffered the loss of all things; and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, - not having mine own righteousness which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith; - that I may know Him, and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings; being made conformable until His Death.”[44] How little of this knowledge is among us! My weak prayers shall be for you.

Take heed of an unactive vain spirit! Recreate yourself with Sir Walter Raleigh’s History: it’s a Body of History; and will add much more to your understanding than fragments of Story. – Intend[45] to understand the Estate I have settled: it’s your concernment to know it all, and how it stands. I have heretofore suffered much by too much trusting others. I know my brother Mayor will be helpful to you in all this.

You will think, perhaps, I need not advise you To love your Wife! The Lord teach you how to do it; - or else it will be done ill-favouredly. Though Marriage be no instituted Sacrament, yet where the undefiled bed is, and love, this union aptly resembles “that of” Christ and His Church. If you can truly love your Wife, what “love” doth Christ bear to His Church and every poor soul therein, - who “gave Himself” for it and to it! - - Commend me to your Wife; tell her I entirely love her, and rejoice in the goodness of the Lord to her. I wish her everyway fruitful. I thank her for her loving Letter.

I have presented my love to my Sister and Cousin Ann etc. in my Letter to my Brother Mayor. I would not have him alter his affairs because of my debt. My purse is as his: my present thoughts are but To lodge such a sum for my two little Girls; - it’s in his and as well as anywhere. I shall not be wanting to accommodate him to his mind; I would not have him solicitous. – Dick, the Lord bless you every way. I rest, your loving Father,

OLIVER CROMWELL[46]

 


[1] Mrs Mayor.

[2] Miss Mayor, afterwards Mrs Dunch of Pusey.

[3] The round numbers of this account have, as is usual, come over greatly exaggerated.

[4] Services useful to all men.

[5] Friday is 31st; this error as to the day of the month continues through the Letter.

[6] River Darrah; - a branch of what is now called the Avoca; well known to musical persons.

[7] Wallop is Member (‘recruiter’) for Andover; a King’s Judge; Member of the Council of State; now and afterwards a conspicuous rigorous republican man. He has advanced money, long since, we suppose, for the Public Service in Ireland; and obtained in payment this ‘Fair House,’ and Superiority of Enniscorthy; properties the value or no-value of which will much depend on the Lord Lieutenant’s success at present. – Wallop’s representative, a Peer of the Realm, is still owner there, and it has proved.

[8] Michael Jones.

[9] 6th October.

[10] The Townsfolk.

[11] Not forced to storm them.

[12] That desert to us from Lord Inchiquin, the Ormond Chief in Munster.

[13] He of the King’s Death-Warrant.

[14] Lord Broghil. The somewhat romantic story of Cromwell’s first visit to him, and chivalrous conquest of him, at his lodgings in London, ‘in the dusk of the evening,’ is in Collins’s Peerage (London, 1741), iv. 253; and in many other Books;- copied from Morrice’s Life of Orrery.

[15] Braggarts, great guns. Trevor had given Venables, as above hinted, a dangerous camisado in the north lately; and was not far from ruining him, had the end corresponded with the beginning[..] To which Cromwell alludes by and by, in this Letter. Lord Inchiquin, a man of Royalist-Presbyterian tendencies, has fought long, on various sides. The name Armstrong is not yet much of  a ‘ranter’; but a new Sir Thomas will become famous under Titus Oates. – Ludlow gives a curious account of this same running-fight on the sea-beach of Arklow.

[16]. Beckonings of Providence.

[17] A ford over the River.

[18] ‘they’ and ‘them’ mean we and us: the swift-rushing sentence here alters its personality from first person to third, and so goes on.

[19] Having only ‘a very little ammunition’ and small use of guns.

[20] ‘Young Jephson’, I suppose, is the son of Jephson, Member for Stockbridge, Hants; one of those whom Pride purged away; - not without reason, as is here seen.

[21] Michael Jones: Ludlow (i.304) is a little misinformed.

[22] Original has ‘most bad remaining’: ‘these nine years’ means, ever since the Parliament first met.

[23] ‘And behold, one of the Children of Israel came, and brought until his brethren a Midianitish woman; in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the Congregation of the Children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation,’ – by reason of those very sins. ‘And when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the Priest, saw it, he rose up from among the Congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; and he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stayed from the Children of Israel.’ (Numbers, xxv. 6-8)

[24] of ‘safety,’ profit etc.

[25] Shadow of condescension, implied in this, strikes his Excellency: which he hastens to retract.

[26] Paris City A.D. 1789 – 95!

[27] The Lord Lieutenant is very impatient with ‘this last’; flies at it first.

[28] Means ‘ingenuousness’, as usual.

[29] A phrase in their Pamphlet.

[30] Is now addressing the People; has unconsciously turned away from the Priests, and put them into the third person.

[31] Unimportant they, to the vigour or decline of it.

[32] A subtle ‘dilemma,’ and very Oliverian; seems to eat itself like a Serpent-of-eternity, and be very circular reasoning; yet grounds itself, if examined, upon sharp just insight, and has real logical validity. ‘Call your Religion true, men have changed from it without being massacred; admit it to be false, will you say they need massacring? Whatever Religion you may have, I think you have not much Logic to spare!-

[33] ‘Concerning the two first of which,’ in orig. the italics, in this passage, are mine; and can be removed so soon as Macgeohegan, Carte, Clarendon and Company, have got to be well understood.

[34] At the first breaking-out of the Irish Rebellion into an Irish Massacre, the King’s Exchequer being void, and the case like a case of conflagration, an Act was passed, engaging the Public Faith, That whoever would ‘subscribe’ money towards suppressing the said Rebellion in Ireland, and detestable and horrible Massacre of Protestants there, should, with liberal interest, be repaid from the forfeited Estates of the Rebels, - so soon as they were got. This is the ‘Act of Subscription’ spoken of here. His Majesty said: ‘How will that answer? It is like selling the bear’s skin before you have caught your bear.’ A bargain, nevertheless, which hundreds and thousands entered into, with free purse and overflowing heart; ‘above a Quarter of a Million’ raised by it; generous emotion, and tragic terror and pity, lending sanction to doubtful profit-and-loss. A very wise and just Act of Parliament, the Lord Lieutenant thinks; which did also fulfil its engagements by and by.

[35] ‘Liberty,’ here, which much astonishes our Irish friends, is very far from meaning what in most modern dialects it now does. ‘Liberty,’ with this Lord Lieutenant, means ‘rigorous settled Obedience to Laws that are just.’ Which it is very noble indeed to settle, ‘and hold forth and maintain’ against all men. Laws grounded on the eternal Fact of Things, as set forth at any Clonmacnoise, Kilkenny, or other Supreme Centre-of-Jargon, there or elsewhere, that has been or that can be!

[36] ‘Muyallo’ he writes, and ‘Mayallo’.

[37] Connor Lord Macguire (State Trials, iv 654-754, 7th Feb. 1644-5), he and others have had public trial, doom and death, long since, for that: by the Law of England, well ascertained, known, and acted on, this long while, it is death to have been concerned in that.

[38] Second Letter, now lost.

[39] means of surety and withdrawal.

[40] The other Colonel, Randall Claydon, was tried and condemned with the others; but pardoned.

[41] Now a ruin near Waterford; he spells it ‘Granno’.

[42] ‘Cantwell,’ still known among the peasantry by that name, is now called Sandford’s Court; close upon Kilkenny: ‘Donkill’ seems to be Donhill, a ruined Strength not far from Waterford. Of Pulkerry and Ballopoin, in this paragraph, I can hear no tidings.

[43] In a hopeful way, I conclude! Richard’s first child, according to Noble’s registers, was not born till 3d November 1652 (Noble, i. 189); a boy, who died within three weeks. Nobel’s registers, as we shall soon see, are very defective.

[44] These sentences, - well known to Oliver; familiar to him in their phraseology, and in their sense too; and never to be finally forgotten by their earnest-hearted of the Sons of Men, - and not quoted in the Original, but merely indicated.

[45] Old word for ‘endeavour’.

[46] Memoirs of the Protector Oliver Cromwell, by Oliver Cromwell, Esquire, a Descendant of the Family (London 1822), i. 369. An incorrect, dull, insignificant Book; contains this Letter, and one or two others, ‘in possession of the Cromwell Family.’ – Another Descendant, Thomas Cromwell Esquire’s Oliver Cromwell and his Times (London, 1821), is of a vaporous, gesticulative, dull-aërial, still more insignificant character; and contains nothing that is not common elsewhere.