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COLCHESTERS TEARES: Affecting and Afflicting CITY and COVNTRY; DROPPING From the ſad face of a new Warr, threatning to bury in her own Aſhes that wofull TOVVN.

Faithfully collected, drawn out into a moderate Relation and Debate, humbly preſented to all Free-born Engliſhmen;

By ſeverall perſons of Quality.

Who much doubted and deſired to ſee the Truth in the miſt of various relations obſcuring the ſame, but now convinced by their own eyes, doe conceive themſelves bound to give out this brief Narrative, to ſatisfie all unprepoſſeſſed civil and moderate men, and good Chriſtians, who truly love Jeſus Chriſt, their King, City, and Countrey, and ſincerely deſire the ſettlement of Peace and Truth.

Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of the Lord hath touched me,

Job 19.21.

Is it nothing to you, all ye that paſs by? Behold and ſee, if there be any ſorrow like to my ſorrow which is done unto me; wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me, in the day of his fierce anger,

Lament. 1.12.

London, Printed for John Bellamy at the three Golden Lions in Cornhill, near the Royall Exchange, 1648.


A briefe Narrative of the wofull ſtate of diſtreſſed COLCHESTER.

WEe are neitheir unwilling to looke backe upon all our former doubts and diſſatisfactions, nor willingly are wee unmindfull to look forward upon any thing that may cleare our judgements in the right underſtanding of truth, and the true ſtate and carriage of the cauſe of this wofully divided, and if God in mercy prevent not (like to bee) undone kingdome: And though with all the underſtandings God hath given us, wee have laboured to judge of things as they have lien before us in their nature, grounds and in order unto their proper ends, yet wee finde our ſelves ſo farre Chriſtians, that wee are drawne and enforced oftentimes to judge many things evill by reaſon of the miſcarriages therein, which in themſelves ſimply con­ſidered, we have judged good, and had entertained good thoughts of before.

Loving Friends, and all you freeborne Engliſhmen, Give us leave to propoſe and offer to all unprepoſſeſſed mode­rate men a few of our moſt ſerious renewed thoughts: Do we not all deſne the ſame thing? Peace, a happy peace? pacem te poſcimus omnes, and the Lord grant it. But God forbid that any of us ſhould embrace ſinfull ſecuritie in ſtead thereof, dote upon or ra­ther dreame of our owne peace one with another whilſt God is not at peace with us, and whilſt the proper foundations of peace and love, Gods truth rightly underſtood, Scripture truth is not advanced. Wee judged our government to bee good, but ſhall wee ſay it cannot bee mended? our King to bee wiſe, but ſhall wee ſay hee needs no counſell? our Lawes to be juſt, but are they perfect? our Church to bee reformed, but have wee no blemiſhes? our na­tion to be ſtrong, but are wee not divided? our Armie to be valiant, but are they invincible? our City to bee rich, but are they not proud? our countries to bee populous, but are they religious? Ah2 ſirs, if any thing bee amiſſe, ſhall no hand goe about to mend, but all to marre, ravel and make it worſe, is there none to plead with God, no balme in Gilead, no kiſſing of the Sonne leſt heee be an­gry? or are men become more implacable then God, and earth more unreconcileable then heaven? where are the ſpecious preten­ces of enemies, when their deſignes and actings Boatman-like row another way, then they looke? where is the faith of friends when there is ſo little love? where is the old Engliſh honour memora­ble in the ſubduing of forain foes, whilſt England makes a prey of it ſelf? And when is our former ancient renown again to be ſetled, when every man even in diſorderly wayes riſes againſt another, and all labouring to dig a grave for the Kingdome, and to bury poore England in her owne ſad aſhes and wofull ruines? Have we no hearts to mourne for our diſtractions, no eyes to ſee our ap­proaching deſtruction? what no heads to contrive, nor hands to helpe in a time of need? are our hearts ſo hard that they will ne­ver melt? are our eyes ſo big ſwollen, or rather blinded, that wee cannot, or which is worſe, will not ſee the flames kindled ready to ſeize on our owne houſes? hath either divine juſtice ſo blaſted, Satan bewitched, or wee perverted our owne judgements, that we ſhould now grow weary of being longer happy, and bee content to ſit downe and quietly embrace our own miſery?

Wee moderate men did judge heretofore the frame of our Church to bee very far out of order, and her conſtitution diſea­ſed, when the moſt unpoliſhed ſtones were laid neareſt to the foun­dation; the ſtrongeſt pillars and helpers of the building were ſtruck downe, the windowes bedawbed with paint to hinder, not helpe the light, the dreſſe more regarded then the complexion, and the lome on the walls more affected then the bread of life. But we judge it now too baſtardly to ſpit in her face, too Cham-like to call her whore, to mock at her nakedneſſe, and abuſe her ſons and beſt children, invade her patrimony, ſpend her portion un­thriftily, and caſt off all her firſt love.

Wee did judge the body of Religion by the greatneſſe of the ſhadowes formerly, and yet wee know, the bigger the ſhadowes grew our Sun was the lower, night the nearer, and have found the beaſt of the field the fiercer after their prey; But yet (Pan-like) wee would not whilſt wee have either grace or wit left us bee content to embrace Bulruſhes, leſt the dirt they grow in ſtick to our3 fingers; and not the body of holineſſe, but the darke ſhadowes and formes of Religion, and not the power under the bare noti­on of light bee our portion; wee have ever judged it our duty to obey our King firſt in God, and then for God, and God knowes our conſciences are the ſame they were. But no honeſt man nor wiſe ſubject can in wiſedome make him a God, nor good Chri­ſtian give him that which belongs to God; if the King act as a man, and diſcover any infirmity, hee mends the matter when hee acts as a King, for that wraps up and includes power quà King; but when hee would put forth regall power and yet mixes infir­mitie therewith, will any judicious man affirme that infirmity to bee his power?

Wee have ever judged the Lawes of the Land to the defence of our juſt liberties, and our libertie to bee ſupported by thoſe juſt and prudent foundations of the Law: But were were heretofore in ſome meaſure, and now better ſatisfied that there are Lawes of higher concernment that muſt not bee neglected, and liberties more to bee valued then thoſe pent up within the ſtraits of the creature here below; modeſt men have ſeene many pretend, ma­king conſcience of the Lawes of men, that make none of the Law of God; and thoſe that pretend conſcience in order unto Gods Law, whom no tie will hold to render them juſt towards men; wee looke then to ſee men ſquare when they are both pious and juſt, their conſciences being anſwerable to thoſe rules, and that each of thoſe rules hath according to its excellency the prioritie or prehemencie in the dictates of conſcience.

Though wee, ſome of us heretofore could not ſo fully cloſe with every branch of the nationall covenant, yet wee ever judged, and in reaſon could not deny but it was in many reſpects not onely lawfull, but very requiſite, and ſafe for any man to wrap him­ſelfe up in Covenant with God, and the rather in reſpect of thoſe two golden rules that ſeeme upon a review and ſecond thoughts had thereon, to line out a mans path to keepe him from error, and danger, viz. According to the word of God, and according to my calling; but as wee cannot on the one ſide (in our weakneſſe) apprehend how any with ſafetie can take it with reſervations, ex­plications and ment all reſervations of his own, or reſuſe it in the true grammaticall plaine ſenſe thereof, without ſtrong inclinati­ons to ſome degrees of ſuſpition, or at leaſt indifferency in Re­ligion,4 or more prudentiall reſervations, then (as wee now judge ſince God opened our eyes a little better) will well conſiſt with true zeale, and ſincere affection to God, who as hee hath volunta­rily entred Covenant with us infinitely redargues our folly in re­jecting him.

Wee have ever had loyall and religious thoughts in obeying of and praying for our King, and therefore his Majeſty might expect us in all dutie, and in all due and ſafe wayes to beg and humbly to pray his Majeſties reſtoration to thoſe rights which are properly and truely his own in all due, ſafe and honorable wayes from the hands of men, who have often beg'd mercy and favour for him at the hand of God; but we could never make it out that thoſe rights which God for the preſent hath deprived him of rather by the evill counſels and unrighteous wayes of his loyaltie-pre­tending friends, then by any undue violence of his loyall ſubjects not enemies, that thoſe rights wee ſay were ever deſigned by him to bee recovered by the infirmity of them who had loſt their power; and without authoritie, becauſe without his Commiſſi­on, or at leaſt without clearly legall Commiſſion and authority, that they ſhould take upon them to invade the undoubted, and to the King and his liege people well known both legall and regall power of his Parliament, and under colour of ſaving the King to deſtroy his people, and to lift up his Throne upon the aſhes and ruines of the Houſes habitations, and ſafeties of his Majeſties loyall ſubjects; this is that which wee humbly hope and pray that all moderate men will a little looke into, and by the ſad example of mournefull and much lamented Colcheſter take warning in time.

We profeſſe in the preſence of God, we have with both our eyes and ſerious ſecond thoughts, reviewed to the loweſt ſtone this new raiſed war, breaking out under colour of defence of his Maje­ſtie, and our own rights of petitioning. And ſome of us have told ſome of the ringleaders in this ſad cauſe, that if they would lay the ground ſo as honeſt and civill men might go upon it with them; if they would caſt their platforme, and make anſwerable declaration thereof to the moderate partie of the kingdome; if they would give us ſome aſſurance that his Majeſty would governe (if once advanced by conqueſt) by Parliamentary and not by abſolute So­veraignty, and that (ſince as it was alledged that the Army did awe Citie, Country, Councels, King and Kingdome) that there might be ſome expedient found out, as of neceſſitie there muſt be to ſatisfie5 not fight them, leſt we ſhould but fight the Sword out of one hand into another. How wee might bee ſatisfied that theſe Souldiers would lay down the Sword at his Majeſties foot, and ſubmit to his will, and his will be kept within the proper bounds of faith by protection, we ſhould, theſe things being done, freely have cloſed on that ſide.

But when to our great amazement the ringleaders of that great deſigne confeſſed themſelves uncertaine in their grounds, doubt­full in the perſons they acted, diſavowed the end clearely by the greateſt of them deſigned conqueſt: and when wee begun by the perſons acting, and thoſe that were for them the moſt active in this new war, to goe higher to look into their deſignes, we cleerly ſaw the too rigid, angry and undone ſpirits of the Kings old Soul­diers reaching further then we profeſſe our hopes could follow in the purſuance of this kingdomes peace thereby. And when we ſaw their heat and haſt to be doing, prevent their wiſedomes and coun­ſels; their parties (though conſiderable) appeare ſo diſorderly by reaſon of their haſt, their diſorder not backt with anſwerable va­lour, and their want of valour produce no other effect but ruine to themſelves, and ſorrow to the poor Country, hoping ſome eaſe and relief by them who have bin hitherto Egypts ſtaffe, a ſtaffe of Reed to his Majeſty, and his poor undone partie, when wee ſay their ſincerity produced no better a cauſe, their cauſe was ac­companied with no more courage, and their courage failed them to engage their enemies ſometimes upon equall termes, ſometimes upon great odds on their ſide; wee have an old proverbe, one true man will beat three theeves, we will not apply to offend any, but labouring our own, and ſatisfaction giving to moderate men; we profeſſe, we could not ſee (being ſtanders by) but they had been right in their cauſe, courage and good conſciences, they being brave bred Engliſh men, but that they might with more valour and ſuc­ceſſe by the bleſſing of God have ſomewhere engaged their ene­mies. And yet,

How came 4. or 5000. in Wales to rout 10. or 11. or 12000? How came 2. or 300. about Bury in Suffolk to drive out of that ſtrongly Barricadoed towne 4. or 500? How came as they ſaid 20000. in Kent to bee routed, ſtormed and beaten by 3. or 4000? How came Langdale to refuſe ingagement with Lambert in the North, and draw away? How were Pomfret forragers ſnapt, the partie at Houn ſloe Heath and St. Needs taken in part, and the reſt6 diſperſed; and that which wee mainly drive at, how was that nu­merous heape of men of 7. or 8000. themſelves ſaid driven into Colcheſter by 4. or 5000? for that number we beleeve at the utter­moſt was the Generals Army at that time. Nay, and to admiration, how came that ſtrong partie of 1000. men beſides horſe iſſuing the other day out of Colcheſter upon Sir Thomas Barnardiſtons regi­ment to be beaten in againe by a ſmall partie of green Souldiers, but about 200. men, and they as well as all the reſt taken in great diſorder too? We profeſſe we cannot but ſee ſomething to our ad­miration in theſe things. And though we have been ſo farre men as weakly to ſtand in doubt, and much to queſtion rather then re­ſolve our ſelves what to doe or ſay almoſt hitherto, yet wee are ſo farre Chriſtians (though we will not judge cauſes by the events infallibly, or deſignes alwayes by their ſucceſſes) that we profeſſe our ſelves bound in conſcience to publiſh to others a brief Narra­tive hereof what wee have ſeen and found working convictions upon us.

We ſhall firſt give you the narration of things ſeen, and then of that which credible reports from eye-witneſſes and eare-witneſſes comming out of the towne doe teſtifie, wherein wee muſt humbly crave leave in the deteſtation of ſuch horrid things as our Engliſh Nation abhorrs to heare, and in hope it may make them bluſh that hadands therein, and others to beware of beleeving any thing but what they have from thoſe that are moderate in opinions, yet as much miſliking baſeneſſe as any other, wee crave leave therefore to ſhow our ſelves offended becauſe we have been too moderate, we feare, and indifferent formerly, and have been too much given to be carried away with deceits and deluſions put upon us by that lying ſpirit which now runs through the kingdome, and no greater rea­ſon makes us to abhor more then becauſe we would not be of the number of thoſe that beleeve lies, and will receive no truth, but that which is agreeable to their deſires or opinions; many in­ſtances whereof ſome of us had in our travaile North and South very lately, where ſometimes if any of that angry party that wee were to ſubmit to, beleeve formerly did report any againſt our ſight or knowledg, we muſt neither beleeve our own eares, nor our eyes before their relations without offence. And this wee pro­feſſe in Gods preſence wee found too true in many places, but moſt of all, to our griefe wee ſpeak it, we found this moſt in the City, and the good Lord pardon and pity it in our neer and deare7 friends. And this gave us the greateſt ſatisfaction we have received, and humbly offer to you as followeth.

What ſpecious pretentences, guilded ſhowes, and faire varniſhes this now ſad tragedy had laid over it to colour the ſame, wee need not relate, what promiſes & ſtrong ingagements of Protection du­ring their abode at Colcheſter, what hopes they gave of paſſing ſpee­dily away without moleſting or wronging any man, wee ſhall not trouble you to relate, calling God and their owne conſcien­ces to witneſſe, who approved their entrance and laboured there­in; But alas, alas, wee tremble to mention or think of that which was preſently acted by thoſe unkind gueſts amongſt their then ſeeming joyfull friends; ſoon was it brought about to make the perſons, houſes, families and eſtates a prey of ſome five or ſix who did viſibly oppoſe their entrance, (for ſo few God knowes were ſenſible of this new felt danger, and ſo generall was that wofull error, which all were ſurpriſed by in that ſtrait): And then they muſt needs make enemies, roundheads, rogues, and what not, of any other that was too civill for their company, or too rich to goe unplundered; It was not a matter of any great difficultie to bring on the Townſmen to act in this common calamitie, who were before ſo generally corrupted in their judgements, and ready to act that way of their owne accords. What ſad hearts and de­jected countenances, and bitter ſighes may wee imagine ſome god­ly Miniſter, gracious women and humble hearted trembling Chri­ſtians expreſſed their griefe by in this heavy and dolorous day of affliction now laid upon them! yet this now poore place for ſeven yeers laſt paſt in others wants having abounded, and it is to bee feared grown rich, lifted up, and too much forgetting her ſaid con­dition, the Lord humble their hearts and bring them to theirates, and affect all us with it, who have through the goodneſſe of our God eſcaped this heavy rod; they many of them ſtaid ſome for husbands, ſome for wives, ſome for children, ſome for parents, ſome for maſters, ſome for trades, eſtates, and other intereſts, and relations; untill the Lord brought the ſword nearer, firſt by cut­ting off that paſſage towards the Suffolke quarters, who tooke the bridge and the Eaſt gate ſtreet with a partie who kept the Church over againſt the Hith: then the Suffolk Forces on one ſide en­tred the Hith, Towne, and Church, and my Lord Generalls For­ces on the other, and ſtriking downe towards that ſtreet leading from the Towne to the Hith took all to Eaſt-gate, then they en­tred8 Sir John Lucas his houſe couraigiouſly, beat out Gorings For­ces, and the next day in the Evening, the Lord Generalls men to admiration of us ſtanders by with very little loſſe and much Gal­lantry took that ſtrong place, called the Gate houſe, with the Fort and Church, & ſo my Lord Gorings party was driven and coopt up in the high Town, and preſently began that fearefull ſight and and woefull ſpectacle of firing all round the walls, the ſtreets on both ſides being by my Lord Gorings party ſet on fire, and from the time of the taking the Gate houſe all that night for about a mile in length continued burning and flaming, that ſome of us being a mile diſtance had light almoſt to read a letter ſo far, and a terri­ble red duskie bloody Cloud ſeemed to hang over the Towne all night, and ſo furious was the fire by reaſon ſuch ſtately and good­ly buildings were burnt thereby; that many times the flaſhes moun­ted aloft, far above houſe, Churches, or any buildings, and conti­nued with ſuch horror, cracklings heard a mile or two from the town, & with ſuch lamentable out-cries of men, women and chil­dren, that it is beyond expreſſion to relate, how much more to mo­derate men ſtanding by, it was more then mercileſſe cruelty to act.

And not herewith contented the next night after ſet fire on the Northſtreet needleſſely, which ſo inraged the Auxiliaries of Suffolke, as well as the firing had angered the Trained men, That any ingenuous may eaſily judge that they have ſo far taken the firing of their neighbors houſes to heart that if ever they come to try them, it is very likely they in the Towne have ſo hardned their hearts againſt them, that they will find them no more green Souldiers then they found the Traind men greene ſouldiers upon their ſad ſalley at the Turnpike, and are like to find as little favour from them, as they found at their hands whoſe houſes they fired and turned them and theirs (without ſo much as letting them have time to take their goods and wares) a begging to the wide world. And on Wedneſday night after, which was the fift night, ſeve­rall good houſes were turned into aſhes with the goods therein; In all which, three things ſeeme to trumpet forth their cruelty, and by theſe flames doe offer light whereby the dim ſight of all men that will ſee may behold the grizly face of wofull deſolati­on, looking aſſuredly into thoſe houſes where ſtrugglings of two Armies doe happen: Firſt, their burning needleſly, where as there is a greater queſtion, whether for a mans own defence, a man may burn at all; by a mans defence hee eſcapes but the e­vill of puniſhment, but by burning and without conſideration9 giving, is the evill of ſinne, to burn, and ſo more to be avoided then the former. Secondly, their not giving warning before they burne uſually, unleſſe they can get ſome thing of the Maſters of the houſes to ſave them, and then preſently to ſet fire to them, and runne into the Town, and cry out that the round heads fire the Town, and we think that he that is the Maſter of cruelty is the very father of lies. Thirdly, they have entred Covenant with ſeverall in Eaſt-ſtreet not to fire, and taken money, ſome ſay 14. l. ſome 15. and ſome 40. l. into their hands, and then preſently have fired the ſame houſes themſelves, and lay the fault upon the round­heads, nay they were demanded whether they would fire or no, and did promiſe if ſo, to diſcover it, and were offended that the man ſhould aske any more when they had promiſed him warning thereof, and yet did fire it preſently without warning, notwith­ſtanding. They come out and plunder every day, as farr as they dare, thoſe people who ſtay in their houſes, in hope to prevent fire­ing, they force many to ſweare that they have no more mo­ny or elſe they will kill them within, &c. Nay they ſeized on one Mr. Hughes, took his money, and ſwore God dam me, the rogue hath more mony, and ſwore againe, that if hee would not ſweare by the ſame oath God dam me that hee had no more money, that hee would preſently kill him, and ſo Mr. Hughes denying in a trembling troubled ſtate, ſtill would not ſweare, the Souldier drew his ſword, and Mr. Hughes went mad thereupon. They come out of the town, fain themſelves Roundheads, get what will be had by fair or foul means, take perſons or goods, that may be ſerviceable to them, and fire the reſt, and theſe things & many more of this na­ture, are acted daily before the eys of hundreds, againſt hundreds of families to the undoing and the diſinhabiting of above ſix hundred Families, in the ſuburbs of that woefull Town, for ſo many were given in to bee ruinated, at the leaſt, beſides many thouſands in the Suburbs and Country diſ-inabled, yea and in the City damnified and having Eſtates there, are almoſt undone, by loſſe already ſuſtained in that place; and the Lord knowes when the fire of his wrath and their burnings ſhal ceaſe too; As for thoſe outrages com­mitted in the Town, we have them but by credible report, yet be­cauſe divers agree in the reports we think fit to name them, but on­ly thus; the Inhabitants are much ſtraightned in their proviſions, as it may be a two penny or three penny loaf in a family of courſe bread per diem, and if any complaine for want, they are checkt, and told that they muſt not complaine until horſe fleſh be worth10 nine pence or ten pence the pound, & reply was made by one, hea­ring awoman complain for food for her ſelf and her child, God dam me, That child would make a great deal of good meat well boyld.

Firſt, Much filthineſſe might be named of women, attempted ſome, forced others, ſhreeking, crying, flying, and ſometime ſcape­ing; ſending their husbands out forcibly, and fall on their wives in their abſence: Secondly, all perſons and ſorts, ſeem to be tainted till it come to their Miniſters, one of them breaking three or four locks to come by a woman, and ſhee no way to eſcape but by ſhri­king and crying out, nay Sir Charles Lucas himſelf had in­ſnar'd a woman, if my Lord Goring had not come in, and cald up­on him to goe to one of the Forts, as a fitter place for him then there, for ſaid hee your Gunner is proved falſe, he went away, and the woman came away, fled over the wall, told her neighbour this ſtory, and that if this providence had not happily fallen in, ſhee could not have eſcaped his hands, but with diſhoneſty or death: the moſt memorable is the anſwer of a gentlewoman, who if ſhee did not yeeld had a Piſtoll ſet to her breaſt, yes ſaies ſhee, I ſhall cheer­fully imbrace your Piſtoll and my death, but not you. Third­ly, as for violence in their temporall rights, their gueſts are Maſters and Maſters of Families in all they have are their ſlaves, and are at their diſpoſing, ſo that if any ſtir, preſently a word and a ſlaſh, nay inhumanely a maid ſeeing ſome injury offered to the perſon and goods of her Miſtris, in defending her Miſtris, hath her fingers ty­ed, light matches put to them, and burnt her fingers to the ſtumps, All which and more if we tooke delight in this element, are daily acted, beſide thoſe heavy trialls laid on women with child, and o­thers newly brought a bed, they and their children and all they have driven into ſome field or backſides, or ſtreets, where they ly o­pen to bullets to daſh them & theirs in peeces every moment. How ſad a ſpectacle it is to ſee goodly buildings, well furniſhed houſes, and whole ſtreets to be nothing but ruinous heapes of aſhes, and both poore and rich now brought almoſt to the ſame wofull ſtate, to ſee fick people ſcarce able to ſtand upon their legges, and wo­men, ſome preſently upon their delivery, ſome ready to be deliver­ed, Infants in their Mothers lappes, and ſome hanging on their Mothers breaſts, all turned out of harbour, and left helpleſſe to lye on the cold ground; to ſee poore and rich men late of good qua­lity now equall to the meaneſt, toyling and ſweating in carrying ſome mean bed or other away, or ſome inconſiderable houſhold11 ſtuffe out of the burning, all of them with wailing, weeping, gaſtly countenances, and meager thin faces, ſhifting and flying in di­ſtraction of mind they ſcarce know whither, to heare the lamenta­ble cries of people, comming from the Towne, old, young, women, children, poore and rich, lying before, and crying unto the Gene­ralls guards to paſſe, and bewailing their folly in entertaining ſuch gueſts, as now will bee ſure to provide for themſelves, and leave the Town, People, eſpecially (if there be the face of Religion, or civility on them) to ſhift for themſelves; we profeſſe we have heard ſome ſouldiers in their returnes from the Guards, rejoycing to bee out of the mournfull ditty of people, deſiring to paſſe the Guards, but not permitted, becauſe then the ſouldiers would eaſily drive away the Inhabitants from their owne houſes, and ſupport themſelves the longer by that proviſion which is left.

The Lord make their hearts ſenſible of that ſmart, whoſe hands are ſo fild with cruelty to others; for God knowes, the worſt we wiſh to thoſe that are our adverſaries, if not implacable foes to Jeſus Chriſt, is, that God would change their mindes, humble their hearts, and ſave their ſoules from (the certain iſſue of this their rage) wrath to come: The Lord alſo bring the hearts of that people in and about the Towne, to a true ſight of the cauſe wherefore this great wrath is come upon them; we judge not, but remember 2 Chr. 36.16. that amidſt the many other provocations, that the immediate cauſe of Jeruſalems ruine, was mocking the Meſſengers of God, deſpiſing his words, and miſuſing his Pro­phets, till there was no remedy: And the good Lord worke all theſe ſad providences upon all our hearts, who are the grieved and wofull ſpectators of the miſeries they feel, and we fear, becauſe we doe deſerve as well as they: And now O you in the Towne, whoſe deſigns we had great expectation of, and whoſe manifeſtors rendred you formerly to us the moderate party of the King­dome, formerly under a farre other notion then thoſe flames and deſolations diſcover now; give us leave to beſpeake you, and give us to underſtand, what was the cauſe of your flying into a walled Towne, when (if your cauſe, courage, and conſciences had been right, as we then hoped) you might have fought it out with the choiſe of the advantage of your own ground, and being then as many as your enemies, have truſted God the juſt Iudge of heaven and earth for ſucceſſe? why did you ſuffer your ſelves to be coopt up by thoſe you ſeem (in your anſwers unto) ſo much to contemn,12 and never but once in almoſt two moneths to looke out upon your beſiegers, and then by a great party upon terms of advantage taken, make a poore flouriſh, run in again with loſſe and ſhame, from an unprovided party, not paſt a quarter ſo many as your ſelves? why doe you uſe that poor Town ſo hardly, and your ene­mies ſo gently, as if you would now tell us your cauſe or courage were not ſo good as before, or elſe only intended to be firſt reven­ged of your ſad friends in Colcheſter for entertaining you, and then bury the Towne it ſelfe in the ſame grave that you have dig'd for the Suburbs. Ah ſirs! why did you kindle thoſe flames which have (as a Limbeck ſet up in ſad Colcheſter) drarned the eves of all the moderate party of the Kingdome, by this depnkindnſſ. Perhaps you wil ſay your owne deſire inforc't it; wht? w••…you inforc't before ever you had tryed your own ſtrength? who would have had a hand in that which the child that is yet unborne ſhall curſe the hand that acted it to all poſterity? or if your feare did enforce you to make ſuch a diſtance 'twixt your walls and the remaining houſes; how did you overcome your feares to ſteal cut to burne and ruine houſes and perſons, three or foure dayes after the great burning was by Gods mercy to our admiration quenched, as if you tooke delight to exerciſe your cruelty on the houſes of them you had firſt undone without ne­ceſſity? Ah unkind friends, whom we are grieved to complaine againſt, and yet enforced to be angry with for ſuch bitterneſſe and unnaturall dealings, we had hope that you would (like thoſe old Miniſters of our ſick State) firſt have brought a neceſſity upon your ſelves for want of courage, and then made that neceſſity to uſher in your great diſcurteſie to your beſt friends; how can you look us (moderate men, well affected to you heretofore) in the face, when you have made us bluſh and hide our heads as we hear theſe things? how can we ſpeake or dee for you, who have undone your ſelves and us in undoing your beſt friends? why did you and wee complain here to fore againſt the Armies violence, when your deeds juſtifie them, and ſtrengthen their hands to take revenge on all that have ſided with you? if the eye of the moderate part of the King­dome lookt on them as enemies, can they looke on you now as friends? if an odium in the Kingdome and City was grown upon the Army, doth not this courſe take it off of them and ſet it upon you? if they had done more evill then this, and leſſe ſervice then you have done for the King and Kingdomes deliverance, they might13 expect heavens juſt guerdon in due time; but what good can be in theſecruelties or deſolations, or what wages can be the crowne thereof in the iſſue? they were low in the kingdoms eye, 'tis true, but you tel the Kingdom now, and let them ſee in theſe flames a neceſſi­ty of their ſervice, if they will not make you their maſters: Many of them are blamed (perhaps much blamable) for their opinions in points of religion, but are your judgements ſound whilſt theſe ſpots are found in your preſent converſation? Some were offended for ſome of them arrogating to themſelves to be our ſaviors, & do not you thinke more will be angry with you for being our deſtroyers?

How ſhould you think, and what fools we think now were we to imagine, that they ſhould by Almighty God bee uſed for our King and Kingdomes ſalvation, that could ſcarce many of them to our knowledge (until under your command) keep themſelves from the gallowes? and that they ſhould ſet the people free, who were well known to be more willing to prey upon, then to pray for, or act for the people of Englands freedome? What honour did our prudent King ſee you could doe him, who hath not given you ſo much as Commiſſion to act by? what honour could you add to his crowne, by putting fire ſtones in ſtead of pearls thereinto, and in­forcing as wee now ſee loyall ſubjects, to take it away for a time from his uſe, leſt it ſhould be proſtrate to your violence? what ſtrength can be contributed to us by your infirmities? or what ſta­bility be added to our Religion, his throne or our tottering ſtate, by ſuch wretched, ignoble, and weake props, as we now feare the hand of heaven never cut out for that end? We profeſſe our ſelves ſo fill'd with aſtoniſhment, that we find it true, durum eſſe ſatyram non ſeribere; and amongſt other things we much admire at foure things. Firſt, That Cholcheſter ſhould entertaine a party whilſt purſued by an enemy, bring war to their dores, and might have ea­ſily been ſeen neither able to defend themſelves againſt their friends nor enemies. Secondly, That the Kings party ſhould be ſo weake as to think, that becauſe the Parliaments Army, as ſome judg'd, lookt to be their Maſters, therefore they would give themſelves up into their hands to become profeſt ſlaves. Thirdly, That Presbyterians and Independents ſhould indanger to loſe the ſubſtance of Religi­on for the ſhadow of a name, and in making out a platforme of government, upon which the devil hath mounted ſo many Ordi­nances of men, or rather engines of the devil (diviſions we mean) as threaten not only the battery, but the demoliſhment alſo of the14 ſtrongeſt holds of truth and true love, which Jeſus Chriſt by grace hath fortified the hearts of beleevers his ſaints by. Fourthly, That the City, who muſt needs aime at two things chiefly, the ad­vancement of their honor, peace, and ſafety, and the ending of theſe broiles 'twixt King and people, by parly rather then victory, leſt he that conquers finding his adverſaries purſe empty, ſhould at laſt make himſelfe amends out of their treaſures; that they ſhould not as much labour to preſerve Gods intereſts as their own, to pre­ſerve the Parliament as the King, and to avoid tumults amongſt themſelves, rather then to take ſides one againſt another, thereby to make the flame of the Kingdome, to ſeize on the metropolis of the Kingdome, which God prevent for his mercies ſake.

The Church it's clear miſt it, when her Fathers turned Tyrants and robd her children of their bread, and her Nurſes became ſtep-dames to rule in the Fathers houſe at their pleaſure, and turn the beſt & quieteſt children out of his doors; and now God hath taken away their power, and ceaſed their hatred, are not our infirmities, and the childrens want of love found as dangerous prognoſticks of Gods diſhonor, and our ruine now as before?

The King miſt it, he denyes not in many things, which he was ill adviſed unto by former bad Miniſters of State, who when que­ſtioned, had nothing to flie to but the Kings power, to cover thoſe infirmities of theirs, a thing therefore inexcuſeable, becauſe it hath ſo mixed infirmity with power, that ever ſince that, which proper­ly was and is power, is made ſubject to bee queſtioned to bee infir­mity; and are all Miniſters of State now better principled? or all that are better principled rightly in order to pious and prudent ends, rightly acted now? The Parliament miſt it wee think, when they ſuffered too much of the old frame in Church and Common­wealth to be pulled down at once, before a new Platform (far eaſier then (we think) to have been contrived then now) was provided; and ſhall any be ſo bad Members now as to conclude, becauſe they did not then what they could, being miſtaken in the mixture of time for the fitneſſe thereof, that therefore they will never do us any good, as ſome (ſtriving to fell the bough of the ſubjects privi­ledge, whereon they themſelves doe alſo ſtand) doe affirme, and ſo weakly conclude, becauſe the Parliament did not then that good which they have perhaps unduely hoped, therefore they will ſtrive to undoe it, and themſelves againſt that which they in ho­neſty have covenanted ſhould ſee performed. The Army ſay15 ſome miſt it in bringing on the ſword to enterfeer with the Coun­ſells of the Kingdome; but have they not as conſcientiouſly ſub­mitted, are they not not now in midſt of many diſcouragements diligently imployed? and if their necks where on the block for that fault, if it be concluded to be a fault, ſhal all their former good ſervices be forgotten, and that never be remitted? the City was in fault (many affirme) at firſt, and now at laſt, for ſtriving both times by tumults to diſturb the Kingdomes Councells; and in ſo full a body 'tis no wonder if there be many bad humors, if once ſtirred, dangerous tumults and ſwellings. But have they been alwaies well uſed, hath not the Kingdome needed their purſes and been ſupply­ed? come come; he that hath money muſt have friends, or elſe our friends may be to ſeek when we have need of them and mony too; away away, we ſay, with all theſe particular accuſations and excep­tions one againſt another, and all thoſe apologies, defences, and juſtifications of our ſelves. We muſt live together, O let us love one another, let the ſtrong bear with the weake, and the weake not de­ſpiſe the ſtrong; let the aged inſtruct the young, and the young ho­nor the aged; the poor give reſpect to the rich, and the rich love & relieve the poor; the Miniſter more care for the ſlock then the fleece; and the labourer not be denied his, nor reverence due for his work ſake; let Gentlemen keep hoſpitality for their poor neighbors, and poor neighbors give them that honor that may incourage them to dwel amongſt them; let all ſtrive to give incouragement to the huſ­bandmans labor who provides bread, to the ſhepheards vigilance who provides clothing, the Scamans hazzards who brings in wealth, the Tradeſ­mans induſtry who improves our commodities, the Merchants care who ſeeds our treaſures, and in a word, to every mans ſerviceableneſſe to the whole body politique: Let the Countrey maintain the Parliaments priviledges, the Parlia­ment defend the Countreys liberties; let both and all ſupport the honour of the King, and the King ſtrive to ſecure and defend them both, and all both King and people lift up the great intereſt of Kingdomes, the Goſpell ſervants and Or­dinances of Jeſus Chriſt: Let every one in his place indeavour to doe his owne duty, every man ſweep his own dore, and throw the firſt ſtone at his brother who can find himſelf innocent we have al of us many infimities the Lord cover them, all of us wandring from the way, let us pitty one another, help one another, ad­viſe one another, comfort one another, and pray one for another. And

Let that man ſuſpect he carries within his breaſt a heart of ſtone, that he hath no Engliſh blood within his veins, and that he hath not remaining ſo much as the common affections of a Chriſtian, but hath loſt all his bowels, who hath no compaſſion, compunction, and affliction of ſoul, for the mourn­full, diſconſolate, deſolate ſtate of miſtaken, miſled, miſuſed, dolorous, dying and undone Colcheſter.


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TextColchesters teares: affecting and afflicting city and country; dropping from the sad face of a new warr, threatning to bury in her own ashes that wofull tovvn. Faithfully collected, drawn out into a moderate relation and debate, humbly presented to all free-born Englishmen; by severall persons of quality. Who much doubted and desired to see the truth in the mist of various relations obscuring the same, but now convinced by their own eyes, doe conceive themselves bound to give out this brief narrative, to satisfie all unprepossessed civil and moderate men, and good Christians, who truly love Jesus Christ, their King, city, and countrey, and sincerely desire the settlement of peace and truth.
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Bibliographic informationColchesters teares: affecting and afflicting city and country; dropping from the sad face of a new warr, threatning to bury in her own ashes that wofull tovvn. Faithfully collected, drawn out into a moderate relation and debate, humbly presented to all free-born Englishmen; by severall persons of quality. Who much doubted and desired to see the truth in the mist of various relations obscuring the same, but now convinced by their own eyes, doe conceive themselves bound to give out this brief narrative, to satisfie all unprepossessed civil and moderate men, and good Christians, who truly love Jesus Christ, their King, city, and countrey, and sincerely desire the settlement of peace and truth. [1], 15 p. Printed for John Bellamy at the three Golden Lions in Cornhill, near the Royall Exchange,London :1648.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "July 31".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Colchester (England) -- History -- Siege, 1648 -- Early works to 1800.

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Created by converting TCP files to TEI P5 using tcp2tei.xsl, TEI @ Oxford.

Editorial principles

EEBO-TCP is a partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Oxford and the publisher ProQuest to create accurately transcribed and encoded texts based on the image sets published by ProQuest via their Early English Books Online (EEBO) database ( The general aim of EEBO-TCP is to encode one copy (usually the first edition) of every monographic English-language title published between 1473 and 1700 available in EEBO.

EEBO-TCP aimed to produce large quantities of textual data within the usual project restraints of time and funding, and therefore chose to create diplomatic transcriptions (as opposed to critical editions) with light-touch, mainly structural encoding based on the Text Encoding Initiative (

The EEBO-TCP project was divided into two phases. The 25,363 texts created during Phase 1 of the project have been released into the public domain as of 1 January 2015. Anyone can now take and use these texts for their own purposes, but we respectfully request that due credit and attribution is given to their original source.

Users should be aware of the process of creating the TCP texts, and therefore of any assumptions that can be made about the data.

Text selection was based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). If an author (or for an anonymous work, the title) appears in NCBEL, then their works are eligible for inclusion. Selection was intended to range over a wide variety of subject areas, to reflect the true nature of the print record of the period. In general, first editions of a works in English were prioritized, although there are a number of works in other languages, notably Latin and Welsh, included and sometimes a second or later edition of a work was chosen if there was a compelling reason to do so.

Image sets were sent to external keying companies for transcription and basic encoding. Quality assurance was then carried out by editorial teams in Oxford and Michigan. 5% (or 5 pages, whichever is the greater) of each text was proofread for accuracy and those which did not meet QA standards were returned to the keyers to be redone. After proofreading, the encoding was enhanced and/or corrected and characters marked as illegible were corrected where possible up to a limit of 100 instances per text. Any remaining illegibles were encoded as <gap>s. Understanding these processes should make clear that, while the overall quality of TCP data is very good, some errors will remain and some readable characters will be marked as illegible. Users should bear in mind that in all likelihood such instances will never have been looked at by a TCP editor.

The texts were encoded and linked to page images in accordance with level 4 of the TEI in Libraries guidelines.

Copies of the texts have been issued variously as SGML (TCP schema; ASCII text with mnemonic sdata character entities); displayable XML (TCP schema; characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or text strings within braces); or lossless XML (TEI P5, characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or TEI g elements).

Keying and markup guidelines are available at the Text Creation Partnership web site.

Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A80064
  • STC Wing C5018
  • STC Thomason E455_16
  • STC ESTC R205022
  • EEBO-CITATION 99864467
  • PROQUEST 99864467
  • VID 116696

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.