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THE DECLARATION Of His Excellency The Lord General FAIRFAX, AND HIS General Councel OF OFFICERS, Shewing the Grounds of the Armies Advance towards the City OF LONDON.

BY the Appointment of His Excellency the Lord Fairfax, Lord General, and His General Councel of Officers, held at Windſor, Nov. 30. 1648.


London, Printed by John Field for John Partridge, Novemb. 1. 1648.


The Declaration of His Excellency the Lord General Fairfax, and His Gene­ral Councel of Officers, ſhewing the Grounds of the Armies advance to­wards the City of London.

BEing full of ſad Apprehenſions concerning the danger and evil of the Treaty with the King, and of any Accommodation with Him, or Reſtitution of Him thereupon, We did by our late Remonſtrance, upon the Reaſons and Grounds therein expreſſed, make our Applica­tion thereby unto the preſent Houſe of Commons, that the dangerous evil of that way might be avoided, and the Peace of the Kingdom ſetled upon more righteous, ſafe and hopeful Grounds, viz. a more equal diſpenſing of Juſtice and Mercy in relation to things done or ſuffered in the late Wars, and the eſtabliſhing of the future Govern­ment of this Kingdom upon a ſafe Succeſſion and equal Conſtitution of Parliaments, and that (for the ending of preſent, and avoiding of future Differences) to be Ratified by an Agreement and Subſcription the people thereunto.

This courſe we took, out of our tender care and earneſt deſire, That all ways of Extremity might be avoided, and that thoſe matters of higheſt concernment to the publique Intereſt of this Nation, might be purſued and provided for (if poſſible) by thoſe whoſe proper Work and Truſt in was. And herein we were willing to hope, That the per­ſons ſo truſted, or the majority of them, might poſſibly have been either driven into that deſtructive way by forcible Impulſions, or lapſed thereinto through ſome Inconſideration, or Miſapprehenſions4 and conceived Jealouſies: And therefore we did carefully decline the inſiſting upon any thing that might continue or renue any former Jea­louſies or Animoſities, and kept onely to ſuch things as were of neceſ­ſity or advantage to the common Cauſe, and of common and equal concernment to thoſe that have engaged in it: Which things we preſſed in the way of Reaſon and Perſwaſion onely, that they might be duly and timely conſidered. But to our grief we finde, in ſtead of any Satisfaction or a reaſonable Anſwer thereto, they are wholly rejected, without any conſideration of what ever Reaſon or Ju­ſtice might be in the things ſet forth or propounded therein; for what leſs can be underſtood, when the things propounded were main­ly for the avoidance of evils appearing in the Treaty with the King: And yet they put off the conſideration of them, till there ſhould be no place left for any conſideration at all: Firſt, laying it aſide till Monday laſt, by which time the Treaty (as then ſuppoſed) would have been concluded; but that failing, and two days more being added to the Treaty, the conſideration of our Remonſtrance, on the day appointed, was waved and laid aſide; the Treaty, the mean while, going on in the former way and terms, and like to be concluded the very next day.

Now, though we are far from that preſumption, that the things ſhould therefore be anſwered or conſidered, becauſe propounded by us, ſave for the Reaſon, Juſtice, or publique concernment therein; yet, having no Anſwer, or any thing ſhewed to us the contrary, we cannot but upon the grounds Remonſtrated (and many more which might be added) remain confident in our former Apprehenſions con­cerning them. And ſeeing the prevailing part of thoſe, to whom we did apply, to have, as it were, their eyes wilfully ſhut, and ears ſtopt, againſt any thing of Light or Reaſon offered to them, we finde no place left for our former charitable or hopeful Apprehenſions, concerning their error in ſuch evil ways; but remaining fully aſſured of the danger and deſtructiveneſs thereof, as to all thoſe publique ends for which they were intruſted, and alſo of the juſt advantage and neceſſity which lye in the things we have propounded and inſiſt on, we now ſee nothing left, to which their engaging and perſiſting in ſuch ways, and rejection of theſe better things propounded, can rationally be attri­buted leſs then a treacherous or corrupt neglect of, and Apoſtacy from the publique Truſt repoſed in them; although we could wiſh from our ſouls, we might yet finde the contrary. Nevertheleſs, we do not in theſe things aſſume a ſtanding Power of Judgement (as of Right or5 Truſt) to conclude others thereby, acknowledging that to lye moſt properly in thoſe whom the people duly chooſe and truſt to Judge for them: But conſidering that ſuch power, where it is, is committed but in Truſt, and that neither this, nor any other people, did ever give up their natural capacities of common Sence or Reaſon, as to the ends and fun­damentals of that Truſt, and that as to the breach of ſuch Truſt, there is no higher formal power of man in being to Appeal unto for Judge­ment, in ſuch caſe (as all others concerned in ſuch breaches of Truſt will) ſo as we cannot but exerciſe that Common Judgement which in our Natural Capacity is left to us: And though in ſmaller failers of ſuch Truſt, which might be born, without hazard of Deſtructi­on to that Intereſt, and thoſe People, for which eſpecially the Truſt is, or where the Truſtees were of an indifferent equal con­ſtitution, in reference to the whole, or where we had an orderly and open way left for a juſt ſucceſſion of another formal and pro­per Judicature to be appealed unto in due time; we ſhould not op­poſe or hold forth our private Judgements to the leaſt diſturbance of that orderly and peaceable courſe of Judgement ſo eſtabliſht; yet in our preſent caſe we are ſo fully convinced of the greatneſs and de­ſtructiveneſs of thoſe evils we have declared againſt, and of the nece­ſity and eſſentiallity of thoſe better things we have deſired and pro­pounded, and how inconſiſtent it is with the publique Truſt, and fun­damental ends of it, ſtill to purſue the one, and reject the other, as that we dare with confidence appeal therein to the common Judgements of indifferent and uncorrupted men, and to the more righteous Judge­ment of God above all.

And as the incompetency of this Parliament, in its preſent conſtitu­tion to give an abſolute and concluſive Judgement for the whole (eſpe­cially to be the ſole Judges of their own performance, or breach of Truſt) doth make the juſter way for ſuch an Appeal, ſo indeed we ſee no other way left for remedy, in regard the preſent unlimitted continuance of this Parliament doth exclude the orderly ſucceſſion of any other more equal formal Judicature of men, to which we might hope in due time other ways to appeal.

Thus then we apprehend our ſelves in the preſent caſe, both neceſſi­tated to, and juſtified in an Appeal from this Parliament, in the preſent conſtitution as it ſtands, unto the extraordinary Judgement of God and good people; and yet in the proſecution of this Appeal as we ſhall drive it on, but to the ſpeedy obtaining of a more orderly and equal6 Judicature of men, in a juſt Repreſentative, according to our Remon­ſtrance (wherein to acquieſce) ſo in the preſent procuring of Juſtice with the peoples caſe and quiet, and in the ſetling of the Kingdom up­on a due, ſafe and hopeful ſucceſſion of Parliaments: It is our hearts deſire, and ſhall be our endeavor, that ſo much, both of the matter and form of the preſent Parliamentary Authority may be preſerved, as can be ſafe, or will be uſeful to theſe ends, until a juſt and full Conſtitu­tion thereof, both for matter and form (ſuitable to the publique ends it ſerves for) can be introduced.

And therefore firſt, It ſhould be our great rejoycing (if God ſaw it good) that the majority of the preſent Houſe of Commons were become ſenſible of the evil and deſtructiveneſs of their late way, and would reſolvedly and vigorouſly apply themſelves to the ſpeedy exe­cution of Juſtice, with the righting and eaſing of the oppreſſed people, and to a juſt and ſafe ſettlement of the Kingdom upon ſuch foundati­ons as have been propounded by us and others for that purpoſe, and would for the ſpeedier and ſurer proſecution of theſe things, exclude from Communication in their Councels, all ſuch corrupt and Apoſta­tized Members as have appeared hitherto, but to obſtruct and hinder ſuch matter of Juſtice, Safety, and publique-Intereſt, and to pervert their Councels a contrary way, and have therein ſo ſhamefully both falſified and forfeited their Truſt.

But however (if God ſhall not ſee it good to vouchſafe that mer­cy to them and the Kingdom) we ſhall, ſecondly, deſire, That ſo many of them as God hath kept upright, and ſhall touch with a juſt ſence of thoſe things, would by Proteſtation, or otherwiſe, acquit them­ſelves from ſuch breach of Truſt, and approve their faithfulneſs, by withdrawing from thoſe that perſiſt in the guilt thereof, and would apply themſelves to ſuch a poſture, whereby they may ſpeedily and ef­fectually proſecute thoſe neceſſary and publique ends, without ſuch Interruptions, Diverſions, or Depravations of their Councels from the reſt, to their endleſs trouble, oppreſſion and hazard of the Kingdom as Formerly, and for ſo many of them, whoſe hearts God ſhal ſtir up thus to do; we ſhall therein, in this caſe of extremity, look upon them as perſons having materially the chief Truſt of the kingdom remaining in them, and though not a formal ſtanding power to be continued in them, or drawn into ordinary Preſidents; yet the beſt and moſt rightful that can be had, as the preſent ſtate and exigence of Affairs now ſtand; And we ſhall accordingly own them, adhere to them,7 and be guided by them in their faithful proſecution of that Truſt, in order unto, and until the introducing of a more full and formal power in a juſt Repreſentative to be ſpeedy endeavored.

Now yet further to take away all jealouſies in relation to our ſelves, which might withhold or diſcourſe any honeſt Members from this courage, as we have the witneſs of God in our hearts, that in theſe pro­ceedings we do not ſeek, but even reſolve we will not take advantages to our ſelves, either in point of Profit or Power; and that if God did open unto us a way, wherein with honeſty and faithfulneſs to the publique Intereſt, and good people engaged for us, we might preſently be diſcharged, ſo as we might not in our preſent Employments look on, and be acceſſory to, yea ſupporters of the Parliament, in the pre­ſent corrupt, oppreſſive and deſtructive proceedings, we ſhould with rejoycing, and without more ado, embrace ſuch a diſcharge, rather then interpoſe in theſe things to our own vaſt trouble and hazard; ſo if we could but obtain a rational aſſurance for the effectual proſecu­tion of theſe things, we ſhall give any proportionable aſſurance on our parts, concerning our laying down of Arms, when, and as we ſhould be required: But for the preſent, as the caſe ſtands, we apprehend our ſelves obliged in duty to God, this Kingdom, and good men there­in, to improve our utmoſt abilities in all honeſt ways, for the avoid­ing of theſe great evils we have Remonſtrated, and for proſecution of the good things we have propounded; and alſo that ſuch perſons who were the Inviters of the late Invaſion from Scotland, the In­ſigters and Incouragers of the late Inſurrections within this King­dom, and (thoſe forcible ways••••ng) have ſtill purſued the ſame wicked Deſigns by treacherous and corrupt Councels, may be brought to publique Juſtice, according to their ſeveral demerits. For all theſe ends we are now drawing up with the Army to London, there to fol­low Providence as God ſhall clear our way.


For the Right Honorable, The Lord Major, Aldermen, and Common-Councel of the City of LONDON.

My Lord and Gentlemen,

BEing upon an immediate Advance with the Army towards London, we thought good hereby to give you notice thereof. For the ground and neceſſity leading us hereunto, we refer you to our late Remonstrance, and to our later Declaration concerning the ſame: We have onely this further to adde, That as we are far from the least thought of Plunder or other wrong to your City, or any the places ad­joyning (which we hope your former experiences of us will give you cauſe enough to credit us in) ſo for the better prevention of any diſ­order in the Soldiery, or of any abuſe or inconvenience to the inha­bitants in the Quartering of the Soldiery at private Houſes, We earnestly Deſire, That you would take a preſent courſe for the ſupply of Money to pay theſe Forces, while we ſhall be neceſſitated to stay there; upon which we aſſure you, we ſhall ſo diſpoſe of them into great and void Houſes about the City as much as may be poſſible, as that few or none of the Inhabitants ſhall be troubled with Quartering of any Soldiers at all: And for this purpoſe, We deſire that Forty thou­ſand pounds may be forthwith provided upon the ſecurity of your Arrears, to be ready to be paid out to the Forces to morrow night if poſſible: And we ſhall be ready to receive from you any intimations for the further prevention of hurt or inconvenience to the City in this buſineſs. I remain,

Your most aſſured Friend and Servant, T. FAIRFAX.

About this transcription

TextThe declaration of His Excellency the Lord General Fairfax, and his General Councel of officers, shewing the grounds of the Armies advance towards the City of London. By the appointment of His Excellency the Lord Fairfax, Lord General, and his General Councel of officers, held at Windsor, Nov. 30. 1648. Signed, John Rushvvorth, Secr'
AuthorEngland and Wales. Army. Council..
Extent Approx. 15 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 5 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online text creation partnership.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A82103)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 162462)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 76:E474[13])

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Bibliographic informationThe declaration of His Excellency the Lord General Fairfax, and his General Councel of officers, shewing the grounds of the Armies advance towards the City of London. By the appointment of His Excellency the Lord Fairfax, Lord General, and his General Councel of officers, held at Windsor, Nov. 30. 1648. Signed, John Rushvvorth, Secr' England and Wales. Army. Council., Fairfax, Thomas Fairfax, Baron, 1612-1671.. 8 p. Printed by John Field for John Partridge,London :Novemb. 1. 1648.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Dec:"; 'Novemb.' in imprint has been crossed out.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- Politics and government -- 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.
  • London (England) -- History -- 17th century -- Early works to 1800.

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  • DLPS A82103
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