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The King to Sir Edward Nicholas.
Nicholas, since I saw you, I receaued but one letter from you, wo" was of the 5th of May; & this is but the 3" that Ihaue written unto you, hauing sent a duplicatt of my last about 9 dayes agoe. For direc'cons, I shall in substance repeate what I last sent you, wo" is that, because you are to expect noe releef, Igiue you leaue to treate for good condic’ons. Let those of Exeter be your guide, woo I beliue wilbe graunted you, hauing a particular care that my sonne and two nephues haue permission to com to me whersoeuer I shalbe: as lykewais that the freedome ofy" University be preserued, & that all my seruants, who ar willing, may come to me with the few goods . that I haue there. I omitt news att this tyme, because it will doe little good to you, & troble me; soe comanding you to asseur all my frends, that no change of place shall (make) me alter my affectio to them ; I rest
Your most asseured frend,
I aduise excepted persons to agree for Exeter conditions, & for noe better.
When my goods ar sent, forget not all the bookes w” I left in my bedchamber.
Indorsed, 29 Junii, 1646. R. 11", read to ye Lle: ye next day. The Ring gives leave to treate.
the most part blotted or run through with the pen, but are decyphered and filled up by Nicholas.
WOL IV. N
The King to Sir Edward Nicholas.
NEW CASTELL, 24 June, 1646. Nicholas,
I haue receaued yours of the 6: & 9: of this monthe wo" requyres no other answer but thanke you for your intelligence & to comend you for your resolution; only I thinke you needed not to burne my cypher; but howsoeuer lett me heare from you as often as you can, & asseure all my frends that I am constant to all them who will not forsake themselfes, of wo"I know you ar none, so that I am
Your most asseured constant frend,
24° Junii, 1646. The K. to me.
The King to Sir Edward Nicholas.
NEW CASTELL, 16 Aug.
Nicholas, I, receaued yours by the last post, whereby I understand what course you intend to take, wo"I approue of, yet I thinke it not necessay
* The King's anxiety about his Cabinet is not surprising, when it is remembered what use had formerly been made of letters seized by the Parliamentary forces.
258 : 133 : 280 : 366 : selfes there 365 : 280 : 251: 84 : 282 : 7:281: 122 : 431 : 216 : 383 : 251 : 56 : 67 : 46 : 75 : 70 : 59 : 112 : 57: 78 : 281 : 81: 360: 361 : 319 : 27 : 148 : 58 :
Com'end me to all my Frends, & asseure them of my constancy; and I asseure you that I haue sent where you argoeing, being confident that you will be very well receaued there, so I rest
Your most asseured frend, CHARLEs R. This inclosed is for 14:47: he 68 ; 21:35: 6:
16° Aug. 1646. The King to me."
In the handwriting of Sir Edward Nicholas.
The Reasons why his Ma" thought good to send his Proposition of y"... of December, 1645, to London, were, for that
His Ma" hath noe Army att all, nor any forces but what are in his garrisons.
Noe meanes or monny either to satisfy or keepe together his officers, or to supply or pay his garrisons, but the contribuc'ons of the country, wo" being wasted by y'souldiors of both sides, & extremly dis. affected, are reddy every day to rise ag' his Ma" garrisons, as being not able any longer to undergoe
* This part of the correspondence is important, as it took place about the period when the Scottish army were engaged in the negotiations for the surrender of the King to the English Parliament. In a Glasgow publication of Original Letters (1766) there is one from a Scottish Commissioner, who observes, “many of the King's greatest friends think his obstinacy judicial, as if in God's justice he were destroying himself.” This letter was written on the 7th of August, 1646, at the time when Charles refused to agree to the Scottish propositions.
the heavy pressures wo" yo necessitys of his Ma" souldiors & y” absence of his Ma" Governm' dayly put upon them. That his Ma" having lost Bristoll, hath no meanes to be supplyed from forraigne parts w” armes or munition, or materials for making of either, of wo" he begins alreddy to be in want. There is noe meanes toraiseany considerableforces for an army ag' y' next Spring : for that all Wales was lost p"sently after yo losse of Bristoll, and since that, Munmouth & Hereford. Chester is in imminent danger to be likewise lost: Newark & Belvoir Castle" are besieged & in danger. In y” west there are about 5 or 6000 horse & foote, but there are there soe great divisions amongst the cheif officers, and the Councell that attend yo Prince, as for want of condvct these forces are disunited, and y" country soe disaffected to them by reason of the soldiors rapine and oppression, as y' country rises against them whensoever they come into any place not in a body, and the country is soe wasted, as it cannot feede them when they lye together in a body. Besides, the Cornishe will not be drawne further than Devonsh". Exeter is soe close besieged, as very little or noe p'visions can passe into it, & it is not supplyed for many monthes. . . . . . . is possessed by S' Tho. fairfax forces, & the King hath in Devon now noe poste but Dartmouth, & there are likewise forces marched thither to blocke it upp. The Seige of Plymouth is soe weekly prosecuted for want of force as they have lately releeued themselves and burnt some of our quarter neere it. So Tho. Fairfax & Crumwell haue lately sent into these p’tes neere 1500 of their best horse, wo" shewes that they are much too strong for his Ma" forces in those partes. These Western horse are drawing towards Oxon & are to ioyne wo other forces woo are to come from London under Coll: Ringingborrow, & all that can 1 The Earl of Rutland had sided with the Parliament, but Belvoir was garrisoned by the King's forces.
be spared from Coventry, Warwick, Gloucester, & Northampton, & out of Buckinghamshire (w" it is beleeued will in all make noe less than 8000 foote and 4000 horse & dragoons) & are designd p"sently to block upp Oxon att a distance. Denington Castle is blockt upp by forces that lye in Newberry & the Country thereabouts. This being his Ma" p"sent condition in England, and there being noe peace concluded in Ireland, nor any considerable forces possibly to be drawne from that Kingdome in any tyme to assist his Ma": The Mar: of Muntrosse being still in y” highlands, or noe neerer than Glascoe, & in what condition his Ma" is not certeynly assured, soe as there is little hope of tymely ayde from him: From Fra. or Holland there was nothing but faire & fruitless p’misses, they having not in all this tyme afforded his Ma" any considerable assistance, nor soe much as publickly declared ag' those att London: Upon these considerations his Ma" resolved to send to London y” . . . . P'positions, wo" being as low as he can goe w” p"serving of his conscience and hon he doubts not but God will give a blessing to y' his intentions; And that if his s” doe not harken to y” reason he offers, his Allies will consider how farre his interest may worke theirs.
Indorsed, Reasons why his Mao sent his Proposic’ons to London, dated Deco, 1646.
The King to the Speaker of the House of Peers. C HolMBY [Hold ENBY], 6 Martij, 1646-7. . R.
It being now 17 dayes since I wrote to you from hence, & not yet receiuing any answer to what I then desired, I cannot but now again renew the same unto you; and indeed concerning any thing but the necessary duty of a Christian, I would not at this time trouble you with any of my desires. But my being attended by some of my Chaplains,"
* This letter was written about two months after the King had been given up to the Parliament, and three months pre