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LETTER III. Indorfed, For the honble WILLIAM LENTHALL, Efq'. Speaker of the hoble houfe of
Mr. Speaker, BESIDES the general account, I have alreadie given, by one of my fervants, whom I fent up to London yesterday, I thought fit to fend the bearer Mr. Boles, whoe may more particularlye informe you concerneinge the abundant goodness of God to this army, and the whole kingdome in the late victorie obteyned at Nafeby fielde. The whole body of their foote-taken and flaine, fuch a lift of the prifoners as could be made up in this fhort time I have fent, the horfe all quitted the fielde, and were pursued within three miles of Leicfter: theire ammunition, ordnance and carriages all taken: among which there were, two demy cannons, a whole culverin and a mortar peece, befides leffer peeces. We intend to move to Leicester as foon as we have taken order with our prifoners and wounded men. All that I defire is, that the honor of this greate and never to be forgotten mercie may be given to God, in an extraordinary day of thanksgivings; and that it may be improved to the good of his churche and his kingdome: which fhall be faithfully endeavoured by, Sir,
Y' moft humble Ser',
Harborough, June 15, 1645.
Some Irish are among the prifoners, as I am informed: I have not time to make enquiry into it. I define they may be proceeded against according to ordnance of parliament. Major general Skippen was fhot throughe his fide; but notwithstandinge he continued in the fielde with great refolucon; and when I defired him to goe off the field, he answered he would not goe fo long as a man would ftand, ftill doing his office as a valient and wife commander. Alfo Colone! Butler and Colonel Ireton, K 3 upon
failed not to reward Oliver (z) for his good
upon theire firft charge were both dangerouflie
Thefe letters give us a clear idea of this important and decifive battle, a battle which in a manner extinguished the King's hopes, and foon after brought on a total reduction of his power! Lord Clarendon fays, the King and the Kingdom were loft in it (b) :—an expreffion which denotes his lordship's idea of the immenseness of the lofs, though perhaps not much more exact than his account of the battle itself, which to fay the least of it, is very defective and erroneous, as will appear by comparing it with the authentic accounts here given.
(z) The parliament failed not to reward Oliver for his good fervices.] Milton complains of the offices, gifts and preferments bestowed and fhared among the members of parliament (c). And if we may believe a writer of thofe times, who had opportunity of being informed, (though allowances must be made for his prejudices) this was commonly and openly done, to the vexation of fuch as either could not, or would not partake with them. The paffage is remarkable, and relates properly to the fubject in hand. The leading men or bel-weathers having feemingly divided themselves, and having really divided the houfes, and captivated their refpective parties judgment, teaching them by an implicite faith, Jurare in verba magiftri, to pin their opi
Since the infertion of thefe letters, I find they were printed by order of parliament, June 16, 1645, and republished in Rushworth's collections. But as they are curious, little known, and probably now first tranfcribed from the originals, I have thought proper to give them a place in this work notwithstanding. A copy of Cromwell's letter is in the Iritish Mufeum.
fervices. But gratitude did not bind him;
nions upon their fleeves; they begin to advance their projects of monopolizing the profits, preferments, and power of the kingdom in themselves. To which purpofe, though the leaders of each party feem to maintain a hot oppofition, yet when any profit or prefer6 ment is to be reached at, it is obferved that a powerful independent especially moves for a Prefbyterian, or a leading Prefbyterian for an independent; and feldom doth one oppofe or fpeak against another, in fuch cafes, unless fomething of particular spleen or competition come between, which caufeth them to ⚫ break the common rule. By this means the grandees of each faction seldom mifs their mark, fince an In• dependent moving for a Prefbyterian, his reputation ⚫ carries the business clear with the Independent party; and the Prefbyterians will not oppofe a leading man of their own fide. By this artifice the grandees of • each fide share the commonwealth between them; ⚫ and are now become proud, domineering Rehoboams, ⚫ even over the reft of their fellow members, (contrary to the liberty of parliament, which confifts in an equality) that were formerly fawning ambitious Abfaloms. There hath been lately given away to mem⚫bers openly (befides innumerable and ineftimable pri
vate cheats mutually connived at) at least 300000l. in money, befides rich offices, employments in money • committees, fequeftrations and other advantages. And those members who have fo well ferved themfelves under colour of ferving the publick, are, for the most part, old canvasers of factions, who have fat idly and fafely in the house, watching their advantages to confound bufineffes, and fhuffle the cards to make their own game; when others that have ventured their perfons abroad, laboured in the publick work, like Ifraelites under thefe Egyptian task-masters, and loft their eftates, are left to ftarve until they can find relief in that empty bag called by fools, fides pub
lica, by wife men fides punica, and are now looked upon in the houfe fupercilioufly, like unwelcome guefts (d).'
Lord Holles in very sharp terms speaks of his antagonifts, the Independent party, promoting and rewarding their friends and adherents: Which, fays he, was eafy for them, having both fword and purfe, and withall an impudence and boldness to reward all thofe who would fell their confciences. For all fuch members of the houfe, and others, were fure to be preferred, have large gifts given them out of the commonwealths money, arrears paid, offices confered upon them, countenanced and protected againft all complaints and profecutions, had they done never fo unworthy, unjuft, horrid actions, to the oppreffion of the fubject, and difhonour of the parliament. All others difcountenanced, oppofed, inquifitions fet upon them, queftioned, imprifoned upon the leaft occafion, colours of crimes many times for doing real good fervice, and no favour nor juftice for them: only that the world might fee which was the way to rife, and which to be sure to meet with contrary winds and forms, and fo make all men at leaft to hold candles to thefe vifible faints (e)."
In another place his lordfhip vindicates himself and friends from the charge of enriching themselves by dif pofing of the publick money, and retorts it on his adverfaries, fetting forth in a very particular manner what (*) Id. p. fums of money they had received under various preten132-138. ces, and what falaries they enjoyed (*). But after all these warm declamations, for both thefe writers were very warm, when they exercifed their pens on these subjects, what was there done in thefe times that has not, that will not be done at all times? Friends and favourites are countenanced and preferred, enemies are overlooked, neglected, or disappointed. Was it ever otherwife? If men perform great and eminent fervices, 'tis grateful, 'tis politic to reward them. To complain of the givers or
(d) Walker's Mystery of
Juntoes, P. 2.
for his fuccefs and influence on the army,
(e) Memoirs, p. 36.
receivers, seems not very confiftent with good fenfe and impartiality. Cromwell we have feen make a figure in the war he had ventured his life many times in the public fervice, and had brought reputation and victory back with him. Was he unworthy of notice, or did he not highly merit it? When the house of commons was far enough from being wholly at his devotion, we find it ordered, that five hundred pounds be forthwith provided and advanced,— to be bestowed on Lieutenant 'General Cromwell, as a refpect from the house. Or
dered, that all the lands of the Earl of Worcester, Lord • Herbert, and Sir John Somerfett, his fons, in the county of Southampton, be fettled upon Lieutenant Ge'neral Cromwell, and his heirs, to be accounted as part
of the two thoufand five hundred pounds per annum, formerly appointed him by this houfe: and that Mr. Samuel Browne, Mr. Sollicitor, Mr. Lifle, and Mr. Wallop, do bring in an ordinance accordingly. Ordered, that it be referred to the committee of the army, " to confider how the refidue of the two thousand five hundred pounds, land of inheritance formerly affigned Lieutenant General Cromwell by this houfe, may be
• speedily fettled upon him, and his heirs, for ever, and he put in the prefent poffeffion of it; and likewife to ⚫ confider of an entertainment for his prefent fubfiftence; (f) Journal, and to bring in an ordinance to this purpofe (f).' And Jan. 23, 1645it was moreover ordered a few days afterwards, that Mr. Lifle do bring in an ordinance for the full granting unto, and fettling upon Lieutenant General Cromwell, and his heirs, the manors of Abberton and Ichell, with the rights, members and appurtenances thereof, in the county of Southampton; being the lands of John Lord Marquis of Winchester, a delinquent, that hath been in arms against the parliament, and a Papift (g). What the event of this laft order was I cannot find; but by the following letter of Oliver St. John to Cromwell, it appears that the house of commons had liberally rewarded him for his fervices.