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country.- But there was yet' farther rea
vol. iji. p
• for the said service. And you are to observe and fol. (e) Thurloe,
• low such directions as you shall from time to time
'' receive from our self. Given at Whitehall the 28th 486. day of May, 1655. Signed Oliver P. (e)
Part of the instructions to the major-generals were, • To endeavour to suppress all tumults, insurrections,
rebellion or other unlawful assemblies which shall be « in the said counties; to difarm all papists, and fuch « as have been in arms against the parliament, and all • others who are dangerous to the peace of the nation;
to apprehend thieves and robbers, and prosecute them s according to law; to have a ftrict eye upon the con6 versation and carriage of all disaffected persons within " the several counties; to permit no horse-races, cock. « fightings, bear or stage.plays; to compel the idle to « labour, and provide employment and maintenance for « the poor and impotent. To these were added orders
to encourage godliness and virtue in their constant care criage and conversation, and to discourage their contra. • ries; as well as to take an exact account of what pro
ceedings had been upon the ordinance for ejecting of () Mercu. kyu's Politi: ignorant, insufficient and scandalous ministers and cus, No. • schoolmasters (f). Moreover, all perfons who had 289, p. borne arms against the parliament, or that lived disa 3855.
• solutely, or without a calling, or at a high rate, hav• ing no visible estate answerable thereunto, were to • give bond with two furecies in such sums as the major• generals should think fit (with respect to their quali• ies) for their own peaceable demeanor; for revea.ing « any plots or conspiracies that came to their knowledge; • and for their personally appearing at such time and « place as the major general or his deputy Thould ap• point, and as often as they should direct ; and also
• that they should not change their places of abode with w en 'out giving notice, and declaring to the major-general 288.p.
or his deputy the place to which they were about to · 5829. semove (8). It is very evident from these inftruc
fon to complain. He made use of pack'd
tions that the major-generals had the country very much in their power; and it appears that they made use of it in the manner which the Protector intended. The cavaliers were forced to dance attendance; to submit to decimations; to have their houses searched, and their persons imprisoned. But nothing can convey so good an idea of their actions as their own accounts, which are to be found in Thurloe's papers, one or two of which I will insert. Major-general Worley in a letter to secretary Thurloe, dated Stafford, December 8, 1655, writes as follows: Yesterday we had a meeting • at this town; and I have made a good progress in our
business. We have assessed divers, and the rest must • expect it with all speed, I doubt not but before the 6 five and twentyth of this instant. I hope we shall • pay our county troope out of what we have done ( already, and provide you a considerable sum for other • uses. We have sent out warrants to give notice to • the whole county, and our day of meeting, when ( we shall fit upon the ordinance for ejecting of scanda
lous ministers. We have disarmed the disaffected in ! this county. Wee Thall now fall of snapping some of
our old blades, that will not let us be quiet. There • is so few in that ordinance for scandal, that they have
much adoe both here and in other countries to get a
coram. I commend that to you from the commis« fioners upon their desire; and alsoe in their name to • believe, that what is in their power shall not be want<ing to effect what they have received from his, high6 nels and council.- P. S. Wee understand that • Mr. Halfoe is taken at London : if soe, he may, I be• lieve, discover divers of our Lancashire and Cheshire « gentlemen. Wee have found an estate of Penridock,
that was executed, and have ordered it to be requer
tered; for I have taken orders for the takeing of fecu• rity for all disaffected persons in that country. I hope • shortly to give you a good account of the rest of the
juries on some occasions, and displaced
6 countyes (b).'-Difrowe, another of thefe gentlemen, (b) Thur. writes as follows to the protector, in a letter, dated Sarunt, loe, vol. iv. p. 300.
· Dec. 18, 1655.— I have received your letter, in refe
rence to the lord Seymour, and bave perused his 6 to your highness; wherein I find no more than any • Cavalier in the west of England Iball pretend for him« felf. I must confefs I Thould be glad of a real
change; but I humbly conceive, without fome publicque • declaration to the world by him of the alteration of • his fpirit and principles, and of his real engagement • to the present government, it will but open a door,
and give occasion to the enemy to cry out of our par• tiality; especially if favour and respect thall be shewn • to him, and denied to others, that will doe as much, « if not more, than he hath done. If his fpirit be fuch < as he can cordially close with the people of God, (as
capt. Burgess seems to hold forth) he will not be aThamed to disown that interest, wherein he formerly
engaged; and for satisfaction of friends manifeft his • integrity to the publick. However, for the present, (the commissioners understanding your highness's plea
fure, feem willing to let him alone, untill they be 4 ascertained, whether there be any difference betwixt « him and his former practices. Yesterday we pro
ceeded upon taxing 7 or 8 of this county, amongst whom was Sir James Thynn, who was at the first a
little averse, and did plead as much innocency as my < lord Seymour hath done ; but, at last, having no re& fuge, was constrained to comply; and I think of those $ 8, which we have already dealt withall, the sum will « amount to 6 or 700 l. per annum. There are four 4 more to appear this morning; and then I intend for • Blandford, to attend the Dorsetshire gentlemen, and s'fo to Marlborough, where there are 20 more to be < summoned. In my last, I gave Mr. Secretary a lift
of fome names for Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and « Dorfeit, to be sheriffs; and have presented your high
ness with 3 for Wilts, the two former being of the <last parliament, and signing the recognition. For
Gloucester I must crave leave till I come upon the,:the 5 place (i).' But fining the Cavaliers was not the vol. iv. po fole business of the major-generals: other employ-324. ment they had, as we find in another letter from Disbrowe to the protector, dated Wells, Jan. 7, 1655.
I had not tyme by my last to give your highness S an account of all my proceeds, therefore shall take • the boldness at present to acquaint your highneffe, that « at Bristol intimation was given me by some honeft < people, that sundry of the aldermen and justices were • enemies to the publique interest, retayninge their . old malignant principles, discountenancinge the « godly, and upholding the loose and prophane · which indeed is a disease predominatinge in most « corporations. Now I judged it my duty to declare « against such, whereloever I find them, but resolved to çdo it with as little noyfe as I could ; and in order & thereunto I made my repair to Mr. Mayor, and ac. quainted him, that such of his bretherene I under« ftood were foe and foe; and desired him from me to • advise them tacitly to resigne, otherwise I should be
neceffitated to make them publique examples. Where• upon Mr. Mayor engaged to deale faithfully with « them, and, as I understand, they have taken my ad
vice, which will make way for honefter men. There 6 were also articles of delinquency proved against nine s of the magistrates of Tewksbury, and particularly a'gainst Hill their towne clarke : I have also dismissed
them, and four of the common councell of Gloucester, " for adheringe to the Scotts King's interest (k). One does
396 and63a. instance more of the behaviour of these major-generals will give the reader a tolerable good view of them. It is contained in a letter from major-general Haynes to Thurloe, dated Bury, August 15, 1655. 'I am • going into Norfolke to morrow, where we fall make (* the most use of it; (a letter from his highness) and * I hope it will quickcn them in their endeavours upon
the election-day at hand, in which they have been ' much discouraged by the potencie of the adverse par
judges for refusing (uuu) to follow his di
o ty. Yett all the strength can be gott is endeavoured
to crowde in my lord-deputy (Fleetwood) amongft " them, that the honest people may have some one in e parliament to address themselves to. I am doing my « most to avoid the election of John Hubbert of Nor6 wich, and Mr. Ph. Woodhouse, against whom you have
something already by you from major Harvy, which vol. v. p.
so it's hoped, if they should carry it here, will not pafs
6 with you (1).' These proceedings of the majorgenerals, founded on no law, but the will of the protector, rendered them generally odious, and raised a mighty clamour against them in the kingdom. A parliament being called they were spoken against, even by court dependants, and soon afterwards abolished by Cromwell, as unacceptable and burthensome to the people. From henceforth we read of no more decimations.
(UUU) He pack'd'juries on occasion, and displaced judges for refusing to follow his directions. ] Here are my proofs. When judge Hale was on a circuit, he i understood that the protector had ordered a jury to • be returned for a tryal in which he was more than « ordinarily concerned : upon this information he ex• amined the sheriff about it, who knew nothing of it; • for he said he referred all such things to the under• sheriff, and having next asked the under-theriff con
cerning it, he found the jury had been returned by « order from Cromwell; upon which he thewed the fta
cute that all juries ought to be returned by the sheriff « or his lawful officer, and this not being done accord.. ing to law, he dismissed the jury, and would not try o the cause: upon which the protector was highly dis< pleased with him, and at his return from the circuit, " he told him in anger, he was not fit to be a judge, to
( which all the answer he made was, That it was very (m) Hale’:
. bife, p. 43. ' true (m)'