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There can be no doubt that, after the second Battle of Newbury, Cromwell was in one of his paroxysms.
Of his vehemence against Manchester at that time, and of Manchester's recriminations on him, one may read at large in Rushworth and elsewhere. The brief account of Baillie, who had not yet left London, and was in the centre of the whole affair, will be sufficient here. “ Lieutenant-general Cromwell,” writes Baillie, Dec. 1, “has publicly, in the House of Commons, " accused my Lord of Manchester of the neglect of fighting “ at Newbury. That neglect indeed was great ; for, as we
now are made sure, the King's army was in that posture " that they took themselves for lost all-utterly. Yet the fault “ is most injustly charged on Manchester : it was common to “ all the general officers then present, and to Cromwell him“ self as much as to any other. Always iny Lord Manchester " has cleared himself abundantly in the House of Lords, and « there has recriminate Cromwell as one who has avowed his “ desire to abolish the nobility of England ; who has spoken
contumeliously of the Scots' intention in coming to Eng“ land to establish their Church-government, in which Crom“ well said he would draw his sword against them; also
against the Assembly of Divines; and has threatened to “ make a party of Sectaries, to extort by force, both from
King and Parliament, what conditions they thought meet. “ This fire was long under the emmers; now it's broken “out, we trust, in a good time. It's like, for the interest “ of our nation, we must reason of that darling “ of the Sectaries [i.e. bring Cromwell to a reckoning], " and, in obtaining his removal from the army-which
himself by his over-rashness has procured—to break the
power of that potent faction. This is our present diffi“cile enterprise : we had need of your prayers."? In this account Baillie mixes up the proceedings in the Commons on the 25th of November when Cromwell exhibited his charge against Manchester, and in the Lords a few days after when Manchester gave in his defence and countercharge, with
1 Rushworth, V. 732—736; Carlyle's Cromwell (ed. 1857), I. 159, 160, 2 Baillie, II. 243-245.
current gossip, apparently true enough, of Cromwell and his awful sayings in private. Evidently Baillie thought Cromwell had ruined himself. Even the hero of Marston Moor could not beard all respectable England in this way, and it should not be the fault of the Scottish Commissioners if he did not find himself shelved! Little did Baillie know with what great things, beyond all Scottish power of resistance or machination, Cromwell's fury was pregnant.
While Baillie was writing the passage above quoted, the Scottish Commissioners, along with the Lord-general Essex, and some of Essex's chief adherents, including Denzil Holles and Sir Philip Stapleton, were consulting how they might trip Cromwell up. At a conference late one night at Essex-house, to which Whitlocke and Maynard were invited, the Scottish Chancellor Loudoun moved the business warily in a speech which Whitlocke mischievously tries to report in its native Scotch—“You ken vary weele that Lieutenant-general Cromwell is no friend of ours," &c.; “You ken vary weele the accord 'twixt the twa kingdoms,” &c. Loudoun wanted to know, especially from the two lawyers, whether the Scottish plan of procedure in such cases would have any chance in England, in other words whether Cromwell could be prosecuted as an incendiary; for “you may ken that by our law in Scotland we clepe him an incendiary whay kindleth coals of contention and raiseth differences in the State to the public damage.” Whitlocke and Maynard satisfied his lordship that the thing was possible in law, but suggested the extreme difficulty there would be in proof, represented Cromwell's great influence in the Parliament and the country, and in fact discouraged the notion altogether. Holles, Stapleton, and others were still eager for proceeding, but the Scots were impressed and thought delay would be prudent. And so, Whitlocke tells us, the Presbyterian intriguers parted at two in the morning, and he had reason to believe that Cromwell knew all that had passed before many hours were over, and that this precipitated what followed. On Wednesday the 9th of December, at all events, the
i Whitlocke's Memorials (edit. Oxford, 1853), 1. 343 el seq.
Commons having met in grand committee on the condition of the kingdom through the continuance of the war, there was for a time a dead silence, as if something extraordinary was expected, and then Cromwell rose and made a short speech. It was very solemn, and even calm, but so hazy and general that the practical drift of it could not possibly have been guessed but for the sequel. Alınost the last words of the speech were, “I hope we have such true English hearts, and zealous “affections towards the general weal of our mother-country, “as no members of either House will scruple to deny them“ selves, and their own private interests, for the public good." The words, vague enough in themselves, are memorable as having christened by anticipation the measure for which Cromwell, as he uttered them, was boring the way. For, after one or two more had spoken in the same general strain, Mr. Zouch Tate, inember for Northampton, did the duty assigned him, and opened the bag which contained the cat. He made a distinct motion, which, when it had been seconded by young Vane, and debated by others (Cromwell again saying a few words, and luminous enough this time), issued in this resolution, "That no member of either House of Parlia“ment shall during the war enjoy or execute any office or "command, military or civil; and that an ordinance be "brought in to that effect." This was on the 9th of December; and on the 19th of that month the ordinance itself, having gone through all its stages, passed the Commons. All London was astounded. “The House of Commons," writes Baillie,
. Dec. 26,“ in one hour has ended all the quarrels which was “ betwixt Manchester and Cromwell, all the obloquies against the General, the grumblings against the proceedings of many “members of their House. They have taken all office from "all members of both Houses. This, done on a sudden, in "one session, with great unanimity, is still more and more ad“mired by some, as a most wise, necessary, and heroic action; " by others as the most rash, hazardous, and unjust action " that ever Parliament did. Much may be said on both “ hands, but as yet it seems a dream, and the bottom of it is “not understood.” To the House of Lords the Sclf-denying
Ordinance was by no means palatable. They demurred, conferred with the Commons about it, and at last (Jan. 15) rejected it. Their chief ground of rejection being that they did not know what was to be the shape of the Army to be officered on the new principle, the Commons immediately produced their scheme in that matter. The existing armies were to be weeded, consolidated, and recruited into one really effective army of 21,000 men (of which 6,000 should be horse in ten regiments, 1,000 should be dragoons in ten single companies, and 14,000 should be foot in regiments of not less than 1,200 each), the whole to cost 44,955l. per month, to be raised by assessment throughout the kingdom. This army, it was farther resolved by the Commons (Jan. 21), should be commanded in chief by the trusty and popular Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had done so well in the North, and, under him, by the trusty and popular Major-general Skippon, whose character for bull-headed bravery even the disaster in Cornwall had only more fully brought out. On the 28th of January the New Model complete passed the Commons. The Lords hesitated about some parts of it, and were especially anxious for a provision in it incapacitating all froin being officers or soldiers in the new army who should not have taken the Covenant: there were conferences on this point, and a kind of compromise on it by the Commons; and on the 15th of February the Ordinance for New Modelling of the Army was finally passed. The Self-denying Ordinance was then re-introduced in a changed form, and it passed the Lords, April 3, 1645. It ordained that all members of either House who had since November 20, 1640, been appointed to any offices, military or civil, should, at the end of forty days from the passing of the Ordinance, vacate these offices, but that all other officers in commission on the 20th of March, 1644-5, should continue in the posts they then held.
1 I find, from the Commons Journals, that there was a division on the ques. tion whether Fairfax should be
appointed commander-in-chief of the New Model—the state of the vote being Yeas 101 against Noes 69, or a majority of 32 for the appointment. The Tellers for the majority were the younger Vane and Cromwell; for the minority, Denzil Holles and Sir Philip Stapleton. There
was a subsequent division, Feb. 7, on the question whether Fairfax's choice of officers under him should be subject to Parliamentary revision. Cromwell was one of the Tellers for the N0ce-i.e. he wanted Fairfax to have full powers. The other side, however, beat this time by a majority of 82 against 63. After all it was arranged satisfactorily between Fairfax und Parliameut.
Thus the year 1645 (beginning, in English reckoning, March 25) opened with new prospects. Essex, Manchester, Waller, and all the officers under them, retired into ordinary life, with thanks and honours—Essex, indeed, with a great pension; and the fighting for Parliament was thenceforward to be done mainly by a re-modelled Army, commanded by Fairfax, Skippon, and officers under them, whose faces were unknown in Parliament, and whose business was to be to fight only and teach the art of fighting.
It was high time! For another long bout of negotiations with the King, begun as early as Nov. 20, 1644, and issuing in a formal Treaty of great ceremony, called “The Treaty of Uxbridge,” had ended, as usual, in no result. Feb. 22, it had been broken off after such a waste of speeches and arguments on paper that the account of the Treaty occupies ten pages in Clarendon and fifty-six folio pages in Rushworth. It was clear that the year 1645 was to be a year of continued war."
PARLIAMENTARY VENGEANCES : DEATH OF LAUD.
Ere we pass out of the rich general history of this year 1644, the year of Marston Moor, we must take note of a few vengeances and deaths with which it was wound up. The long-deferred trial of poor Laud, begun March 12, 1643-4, after he had been more than three years a prisoner in the Tower, and they might have left him there in quiet, had straggled on through the whole of 1644. The interest in it had run, like a red thread, through the miscellany of other events. The temper of the people had been made fiercer by the length of the war, and there was a desire for the old man's blood. The Presbyterian ministers of the Assembly, I find, fostered this desire. In that very sermon of Herbert Palmer's
i For this story of the Self-denying Ordinance and the New Modelling of the Army authorities are--Rushworth, VI. 1--16; Baillie, II. 247; Carlyle's Cromwell (ed. 1857), I. 160--163. "The
Uxbridge Treaty is narrated in Clarendon's Hist. (one-volume ed. 1843), pp. 520 -530, and in Rushworth, V. 787– 842.