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In answer to which, the King in two messages, the first of January 17, the other of January 24, remonstrates to them how ill a ground these allegations were for them to refuse to come to a treaty of peace with him, since their disloyalty in taking up arms against their lawful Sovereign compelled him to take such courses for the vindicating and defending his person and rights as were no way grateful to him, it being his greatest desire to put a period to these unhappy differences, and the effusion of any more Christian blood ; and for the commission to the Earl of Clanrickard, he endeavoured to give them satisfaction by his message of January 29, wherein he declares that the Earl having, without his Majesty's knowledge, or the order and consent of the Lord Lieutenant and Council in Ireland, made conditions with the com. missioners of the Roman Catholics, very much to the derogation of his honour, and the prejudice of the Protestant religion, he was so far from owning what was transacted by the said Earl in this kind, that he had not the least notice of the Earl's treating with those commissioners, much less of his concluding those articles with them, so prejudicial to religion and his Majesty's honour, till such time as he had advertise. ment of his being arrested and restrained for his presumption ; his commission being only for raising what forces he could there, and conducting them over hither for his Majesty's service. It is not denied but that the Marquis of Ormond had a commission granted him to treat about a peace with the Irish ; but it was as much for the ease and relief of the Protestant subjects, as for any other respects, they having been harrassed with continual war, and but sparingly supplied with those aids which they had been so liberally promised. :
Thus did the King labour to remove all objections that might give them any occasion to cavil against him, and thereby obstruct their coming to a treaty of peace with him ; and notwithstanding his former messages were wholly neglected and unanswered, he sent them another, January 29, still pressing his former desires, yet all came to nothing the Parliament's commissioners when they came to treat, being bound up so strictly to the rigour of their demands, though the King offered to come to the Houses in person, upon assurance of bis safety, and to advise with thein for the good and safety of the kingdom, provided all that have adhered to his Majesty may have liberty to go to their own homes in safety, and their sequestrations to be taken off, upon which condition the King was willing to disband all his soldiers, dismantle his garrisons, and pass an act of oblivion and free pardon to all. But these things being not consented to, the hopes of reconciliation vanished.
The town of Monmouth was now taken by the Parliament's forces, and soon after Dartmouth town and castle were yielded to Sir Thomas Fairfax. In the town were 12 guns, and proportionable ammunition ; in the castle 120 ordnance mounted, and two men of war before it were taken : shortly after a French vessel, not knowing the town was taken, struck into Dartmouth with a packet of letters from the Queen, which being seized, discovered the whole negociation of the King with France. Then Hopton is routed at Tonnington; and Saltash and Mount Edgcomb are reduced, and Prince Charles finding the pursuit so hot, embarked for Scilly: all things succeeded so happily with Fairfax, that after several successes, the Lord Hopton desired a cesa sation ; but Fairfax summons him to lay down arms, upon which ensued a treaty at Trefilian Bridge, Fairfax quartering at Truro, and the Lord Hopton further westward, where at length, March 13, these articles were agreed upon : That the Lord Hopton should disband his army in the west, and himself should have fifty of his own, and fifty of Fairfax's horse for his convoy to Oxford; all strangers to have passes to go beyond seas, and carry with them what is their own, without horses or arms; all English offieers to go home to their habis tations, or if they will, beyond sea ; each Colonel to have his horse, and two men and horses to wait on them; each Captain one man and horse; the troopers twenty shillings a piece, and to go where they please. But Hopton hearing of the effects of the propositions of peace, changed his course from Oxford, and sailed into France. After the disbanding these forces, all the King's garrisons and forts in Cornwall. yielded, except Pendennis Castle, and St. Michael's Mount; and Fairfax returned to the siege at Exeter.
The King's forces in the mean time had not been idle, but moved up and down in flying parties to their best advantage. The King, the Duke of York, Prince Rupert, and Prince Maurice were at Oxford, closely surrounded by the Parliament's forces, their horses being about Farrington, expecting the Lord Ashly with his foot to join with them ; but he was met by Sir William Brereton, and Colonel Morgan, at Stow in the Wold, upon the edge of Gloucester, where he was totally defeated, and himself taken prisoner, 1500 horse and foot, with his baggage, ammunition, and some of the King's letters. But in Scotland the King's affairs succeeded better this year, where the Earl of Montross prospered incredibly, defeating the covenanters in several battles ; yet his prosperity was short lived, for the Highlanders, Irish, and others leaving him, David Lesley, whom the covenanters had privately sent for out of England, came upon him with 6000 men,
most horse, and put him to flight ; and the
next year the King'having intrusted himself with the Scots army in England, sent an herald to Montross with command to lay down arms and disband, and to pass over into France, till his Majesty's further pleasure, which orders he readily obeyed ; and by this means the covenanters were at leisure to put some of their capital enemies to death, and to quarrel with the Parliament about some differences at that time arising.
The next year 1646,- The Commons begin with disabling all Members absent with the King, from ever sitting in the House, and empower the Speaker to give Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown for new Elections in their places; the Prince of Wales being in Scilly, the Parliament invite them to come to them, but be would not venture; after which some overtures were made for a peace, but all came to nothing; the King had formerly offered to come to the Parliament, in order to a personal treaty, which not being relished by the Parliament, divers severe orders are issued out against the King's party; and now the war is almost brought to a period, for the King's forces being beaten out of the field, and the garrisons surrender apace, Dennington Castle, St. Michael's Mount, Ruthen Castle, Woodstock, and others yield to the Parliament; Exeter after a long siege is delivered to Fairfax upon articles, and soon after Bamstable also, and now General Fairfax resolves to march for Oxford, which put the King upon
thoughts of providing
for his own safety and
therefore on April 13th
he cameout of Oxford
in disguise with Mr.
Hudson a Minister and
Mr. John Ashburnham
whose servant he per
onated,and got to the
ScotsArmy before New
ark, May 6th. whereupon divers Nobiemen, as if they had been deserted by the King yielding to Fairfax: but Sir Thomas Glenham the Governor still held out the City, and upon being summoned, desired to send to the King about it, which being refused, after a treaty of some weeks it was delivered up to Fairfax, on very honourable terms; Prince Rupert Prince Maurice and divers others transporting themselves beyond the
In the City were found 70 barrels of powder, 38 pieces of ordinance, whereof 26 brass, and great provisions of victual. The Duke
of York was carried to St. James's, where he met with his stster the Princess Henrietta Maria, who had been sent thither from the surrender of Exeter, but was shortly after conveyed over into France by her governess the Lady Dalkeith.
Oxford being taken, it was in vain for the lesser garrisons to stand out, and thereupon news comes daily of the surrenders of Banbury, Borstall, Carnarvon, Ludlow, Lithfield, Worcester, Wallingford, Gothridg, Pendennis Castle, and Ragland Castle; the Scots also were at last persuaded to set down before Newark, and the besieged make frequent sallies on their enemies, killing and taking many; but the King being come to the Scottish camp, sends in his desires to Govenor Bellasis to deliver up the town to the English, in obedience whereunto it was upon honourable conditions surrendered to Colonel Poyns, in May 1646. The seals being sent from Oxford to Westminster, were according to the vote of the two houses broken in the house of Lords in The presence of the Commons; the war in England being now after much bloodshed brought to some end, the Parliament were at leisure to dispute with the Scots concerning their keeping the King;, who fearing least Fairfax should fall upon them, and compel them to deliver him up, retreated farther northward to Newcastle; the Parliament sent a second invitation to the Prince of Wales to come to London, with promise of honour and safety, but he did not think fit to venture; Sept. the 14th the Earl of Essex died of an apoplexy, and the Parliament in respect to his former services yoted 3000 pounds to be given towards his funeral, which was performed with great pomp; soon after General Fairfax marches to London, being met by the city trained bands, and had the public thanks of both Houses, and a congratulation from the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Recorder of the City.
The King sends from Newcastle to the Parliament about a treaty, and the House of Commons vote, that the King's person be demanded of the Scots, and that the whole of the army return home upon receipt of part of their arrears, the rest to be sent after them, and a committee be appointed to treat with the Scotch commissioners, about drawing up propositions to be sent to the King, wherein much time was spent in wrangling, whilst the English deny the Scots to have any right in the disposal of their King of England, and the Scots as stifly alledged, he was their King as much as of the English, and they had as good right to dispose of the King in England as the English could challenge in Scotland; but at last they agreed upon 16 general propositions, which were presented to the King at Newcastle, July 27, 1646, by the Earls of Suffolk and Pembroke, Sir Walter Earl, Sir John Hipsley, Mr.
Goodwin, and Mr. Robinson, who were limited to ten days. The King returned answer, that their propositions imported so great an alteration of Government both in Church and State, derogated so much from bis prerogative, and imposed such hard conditions upon him in reference to his friends and adherents, and likewise that their commissioners were so bound up from any capacity either of giving reasons for their demands they brought, or giving ear to such desires as His Majesty should propound, that it was impossible for him with any satisfaction to his conscience to give such an answer to their propositions as that thereby a well grounded peace might ensue; and withal he urges his desire of coming to London there to treat personally; but this desire bowever reasonable, they refuse, nor would permit the French King to interpose by his Ambassador.
The Scot's general assembly send a remonstrance to the King, desiring him to settle matters in England according to the covenant, and Chancellor Lowdon told him plainly, that there was no other means for him to close with his two houses, and that unless he did it, if he lost England, he should not be permitted to come and reign in Scotland; but all this could not prevail, and therefore the Scots who had hitherto so sharply disputed about the disposal of his person, are content with the receipt of two hundred thousand pounds to depart home, and leave the King in the power of Parliament, who voted him to Holmby house, and sent their Commissioners the Earls of Pembroke, Denbigh, Lord Montague, Sir James Harrington, Sir John Holyland, Sir Walter Earl, Sir John Cook, Mr. Crew, and M. G. Brown, to receive him from the Scots at Newcastle, to whom February the 8th 1646, he was accordingly delivered, and leaving Newcastle in the possession of the English, they marched homeward. February the 8th. The King sad and sorrowful sets forward with the Commissioners for Holmby attended with 900 horse, and after a fortnight came to his journey's end, being met by the way by General Fairfax, and many of his officers.
The Parliament now freed from opposition, break out among themselves, dividing into several parties under the title of Presbyterians and Independants, and March 19, a vote was passed for disbanding part of the army, and dismantling many garrisons, which much discontented the army, who knowing their own power, drew near to London and Westminster, and frame a petition, whereat the City being startled, they likewise draw up their petition and pray, that the Parliament would command that the army be forthwith removed, and after with