The 'Northern Gentlemen', the Parliamentary Independents, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Long Parliament

by David Scott
The 'Northern Gentlemen', the Parliamentary Independents, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Long Parliament
David Scott
The Historical Journal
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The Historical Journal, 42, 2 (~ggg),pp. 347-375 Printed in the United Kingdom 0 1999 Cambridge University Press



History of Parliament Trust

A B sT R ACT. Although sometimes seen as a bastion of royalism, the northern counties supplied some of the most militant members of the Long Parliament. Northern MPs andpeersjigured prominentb in the war party, played a key role in negotiating the Solemn League and Covenant, and comprised an important element within the anti- scot^, pro-New Model Army faction at Westminster. Anglo- Scottish relations in the Civil War period were intimately linked with the parliamentary history of the northern counties during the 1640s. This article examines the development and structure of the northern interest in the Long Parliament, and in particular its collaboration with the parliamentary Independents. Analysis of the drafting of the JVewcastlepeacepropositions and of the Commons' efforts to reduce the size of the Covenanti y forces indicates that the Independents relied heavily on evidence of abuses committed by the Scottish army in the northern counties to advance their own programme for settlement and to frustrate that of the Scots and their English allies. It is also argued that the Independents' exploitation of the northern reaction against the Scots had a profound impact upon the relations between all three Stuart monarchies.

In the last months of 1643,with the Scots poised to enter the English Civil War against the king, a new and significant political alignment was observed at Westminster. The Commons, claimed the parliamentary diarist, Sir Symonds D'Ewes, was now divided into three main factions. As well as the more or less established groupings which supported either the earl of Essex or Sir William Waller there was now a third party consisting of those members who desired that the bulk of parliament's resources might be directed towards supporting the Scots. The 'cheife leader' of this faction, according to D'Ewes, was the member for Hull, Sir Henry Vane junior, 'with whom ioyned most of the Northren [sic] gentlemen whose estates were seized by the Earle ofNe~castle'.~ Although D'Ewes is not the most reliable guide to the structure of par- liamentary politics, it is clear that many leading northern parliamentarians were initially willing to accept Scottish military assistance, if only with an eye

* I would like to thank Dr John Adamson, Dr Christopher Kyle, Mr Patrick Little, Professor Allan Macinnes, Dr John Morrill, and Dr Jason Peacey for reading and commenting upon earlier drafts of this article. I am grateful to the duke of Northumberland and Sheffield Central Library for permission to cite material in their possession.

' British Library (BL), Harleian (Harl.) MS 165 (D'Ewes diary), fa. 233.


to recovering their estates. This alliance between the Scots and the Northern


gentlemen, and its rapid deterioration into deep hostility, has attracted little attention from historians.' Indeed, the entire role of the northern parlia- mentarians during the Civil War, to say nothing of their complex and generally fraught relationship with the Scots, has been almost entirely o~erlooked.~

And yet this is not a subject of purely local dimension -a case of a transitory regional pressure group articulating a regressive localism that cut across national political divisions. The Northern gentlemen, as this article will reveal, comprised an enduring and powerful political interest in the Long Parliament, and at times played a major role in the formation of parliamentary policy, particularly in relation to the Scots. Initially divided on issues which transcended regional self-interest, this northern parliamentary caucus and its support base in the counties acquired an increasingly partisan and politically uniform complexion after 1642, forming a major component of both the so- called war party and the Independent coalition at Westminster, and in the process helping to shape and sustain party and international political rivalries into the 16.50s.


Because of the close alignment of the Northern gentlemen and the Independent coalition, any study of the former also has much to tell us about the structure, aims, and political tactics of the latter.* A notable feature of

I have used the term the 'Northern gentlemen', or the northern parliamentary interest, to refer to those MPs from the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, and Yorkshire, and to their leading allies in the counties. I have included in this group the Lincolnshire member, Sir William Armyne, who was particularly closely involved in the affairs of the counties north of the Trent. These counties endured very similar conditions during the Civil War -being occupied by the royalists from 1642 to 1644, and by the Scots for most of the next two years -and this is reflected in the congruent political paths of many of the region's parliamentarian MPs.

The only detailed study to date of the northern parliamentarians is that by Jennifer Jones, and this is largely concerned with the structure and logistics of Ferdinand0 Lord Fairfax's Yorkshire army: J. A.Jones, 'The war in the north: the northern parliamentarian army in the English Civil War, 1642-1645' (Ph.D. thesis, York Univ. Toronto, 1991). Lotte Glow has looked at the Northern gentlemen in 1643-4, but her interest is not in the northern members as such, but in what she terms a 'northern faction' which included MPs from all over the country. This northern faction, according to Glow, emerged in the aftermath of Pym's death and was one of several short- lived 'sectional interests' which to some extent retarded the development of a national war strategy: Lotte Glow, 'Pym and parliament: the methods ofmoderation', Journal of Modern Histo9 (JMH),36 (1964)~ pp. 38&7, 388-9; Lotte Glow, 'Political affiliations in the House of Commons after Pym's death', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 38 (1g65), p. 66. The focus of this present study, however, is the northern MPs as a group, not those members who supported policies which happened to advance the northern war effort, such as bringing in the Scots or the supply of Lord Fairfax's army. It seems to me more useful to regard the northern MPs as an important element within a pro-Scots alliance war party. For arguments tending to support the view that the younger Vane and the Northern gentlemen formed an integral part of the war party see Violet A. Rowe, Sir Hen9 Vane theyounger: a study inpolitical and administratiue histo9 (London, 1970), pp. 2&7, 33-4; Lawrence Kaplan, Politics and religion during the English Reuolution: the Scots and the Long Parliament, 1643-1645 (New York, 1976), pp. 13-14; William G. Palmer, 'Oliver St. John and the middle group in the Long Parliament, 1643-1645 : a reappraisal', Albion, 14 (1982)~ pp. 23-6.

This has been largely overlooked in most of the more recent work on the nature and composition of the Independent party: George Yule, The Independents in the English Ciuil War (Cambridge, 1958) ;David Underdown, 'The Independents reconsidered', Journal of British Studies

recent work on the political developments that gave rise to the Commonwealth pan-Britannic state has been the recognition that the Independent coalition, or at the very least its leadership,' was defined to a great extent by its attitudes towards the Scots, and that these attitudes reflected deeply held assumptions concerning England's position within the Stuart monarchie~.~

Studying the interaction between the northern parliamentarians and the Independents it becomes evident that hostility towards the Scots was more than simply one of the negatives that supposedly held the coalition together;' it also had a positive aspect, embracing a wider vision of England's relations not only with Scotland but with Ireland also. This article will examine how the northern reaction against the Scots in the mid-I~~OS,

by fatally undermining the Covenanters' schemes for a confederal solution to the three kingdom's troubles, made possible a re-assertion of English overlordship in rel land, and the establishment of Westminster as the main seat of power throughout the British Isles.

The emergence of the Northern gentlemen as a distinct political interest at Westminster had occurred as early as the spring of 1641. Both D'Ewes and Clarendon used the phrase the 'Northern gentlemen', or the 'Northern men', when referring to a powerful bloc of northern MPs which helped secure the abolition of the Council of the North and the trial of Strafford.' Evidently

(JBS), 3 (1964); George Yule, 'Independents and revolutionaries', JBS, 7 (1968); David Underdown, 'The Independents again', JBS, 8 (1968); Stephen Foster, 'The Presbyterian Independents exorcized: a ghost story for historians', Past and Present (P&P), 44 (1969); Blair Worden, Valerie Pearl, David Underdown, George Yule, J. H. Hexter, and Stephen Foster, 'Debate: Presbyterians, Independents and puritans', P&P, 47 (1970) ;David Underdown, Pride's Purge: politics in the puritan revolution (Oxford, 1971), pp. 6-72; Robert Ashton, The English Civil War: conservatism and revolution, 160~1649 (London, 1978), pp. 232, 23941. The only historians to have analysed the Independents' hostility to the Scots in a 'British' context are Valerie Pearl, and, more recently, John Adamson and Sarah Barber: Valerie Pearl, 'The "Royal Independents" in the English Civil War', Transactions of the Royal Historical Socieg, 5th ser., 18 (1968) ;John Adamson, 'Strafford's ghost: the British context of Viscount Lisle's lieutenancy of Ireland', in Jane H. Ohlmeyer, ed., Ireland from independence to occupation, 1641-1660 (Cambridge, 1gg5), pp. 128-59; Sarah Barber, 'Scotland and Ireland under the Commonwealth: a question of loyalty', in Steven

G. Ellis and Sarah Barber, eds., Conquest and union: fashioning a British state, 1485-1725 (London, 19951, PP. 195-22 1. Identified for the purposes of this article with the earl of Northumberland, Viscount Saye and Sele, and Philip Lord Wharton in the Lords, and Oliver St John, Sir John Evelyn of Wiltshire, Nathaniel Fiennes, and the other so-called 'Royal Independents', with the addition of Sir Henry

Vane junior and Sir Arthur Hesilrige, in the Commons. 'See the articles by Adamson and Barber cited above. ' Underdown, 'The Independents again', p. 88; Clive Holmes, 'New light on the New Model',

Historical Journal (HJ), 24 (198 I), p. 507.

Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, The histo9 ofthe rebellion (6 vols., Oxford, 1887), I, pp. 309, 315, 317,318; BL, Harl. MS 162 (D'Ewes diary), fo. 351. The phrase was still being used in 1646: Bodleian Library (Bodl. Lib.), MS Tanner 59, fo. 261.


where these two causes were concerned the Northern gentlemen worked broadly in concert with Pym and his ruling 'junto' at ~estrninster. However, they appear to have been at cross purposes with the parliamentary leadership in pressing strongly for the disbandment of the English and Scottish armies in the north, which had been draining the region of resources since the summer of 1640 A significant number of the Northern gentlemen offered to contribute generously to a scheme devised by a small proto-royalist faction in the House for raising money to pay off the Scots and thus stem the tide of reform -the continuing presence of the Scottish forces in England being used as a lever by Pym's junto to wring further concessions from the king.'

Thus the parliamentary northern interest began life as an essentially non-partisan grouping, containing both future royalists and future parlia- mentarians. But all this was to change in 1642. The outbreak of the Civil War and, more importantly, the royalist occupation of five northern counties Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, and Durham -had the effect of transforming the Northern gentlemen into one of the most uncompromisingly militant factions in the Commons. The earl of Newcastle's conquest of the north drew out of the House not only the northern royalist MPs but also those members whose commitment to protecting their estates in the region was greater than their zeal in the parliamentary cause.'' Moreover, it left at Westminster a rump of committed parliamentarians who, in their concern to rid the north of the royalists, generally aligned with the war party in favouring the vigorous prosecution of the war and, in particular, a military alliance with the Scots aimed initially at winning back the northern counties."

' Thejournal ofsir Simonds D'Ewes from the beginning ofthe Long Parliament to the opening ofthe trial of the earl of Strafford, ed. W. Notestein (New Haven, CT, 1923)~ pp. 438-9; Robert Brenner, Merchants and revolution: commercial change, political conzict, and London's overseas traders, 155e1653

(Cambridge, 19931, PP. 334-6 lo Lotte Mulligan (formerly Glow) has argued that most of those MPs with estates in royalist or 'wavering' areas opted for an aggressive stance towards the king, while most of those with estates in parliament's quarters favoured a negotiated settlement. The pattern of allegiance among northern MPs between 1642 and 1644 would certainly support this argument. After the defeat of the royalist northern forces at Marston Moor in July 1644, however, it becomes less tenable. Deep- rooted hostility towards the Scots -which the conduct of their army exacerbated -ensured that most northern MPs remained on the more radical wing of parliamentary politics throughout the I 640s :Lotte Mulligan, 'Property and parliamentary politics in the English Civil War, I 642-1 646', Historical Studies, Australia and New Galand, I 6 ( 1975). " By July 1643, the majority of members from the five northern counties had either been disabled or had ceased to attend the House and would be disabled within the year. This left only eighteen members willing or eligible to take their seats in the Commons -Sir William Allenson, John Alured, Richard Barwis, Sir Henry Bellingham, John Blakiston, Sir Henry Cholmley, Sir William Constable, Henry Darley, Ferdinand0 Lord Fairfax, Thomas Hoyle, Sir Thomas Mauleverer, Peregrine Pelham, Robert Scawen, Sir Philip Stapilton, Sir William Strickland, Sir Henry Vane the younger, John Wastell, and Sir Thomas Widdrington. Of these eighteen all but five -Bellingham, Cholmley, Scawen, Stapilton, and Widdrington -were associated with measures for the vigorous prosecution of the war or moves to bring in the Scots. Bellingham was largely absent from the House after 1642 and defected to the king at some point during 1643; Cholmley and Stapilton did not make common cause with the peace party until the late summer of 1643; Scawen seems to have withdrawn from the House between May and November 1643, emerging thereafter as one of the most active figures in the parliamentarian war effort; and

Historians have overlooked the fact that the Northern gentlemen played a key role in negotiating the Scottish alliance. It was the northern peers Lord Wharton and Lord Howard of Escrick who held preliminary talks with the Scots in the spring of 1643.12 Furthermore, all four of the MPs who were dispatched to Edinburgh in the summer to negotiate the alliance -Sir Henry Vane junior,13 Sir William Armyne,14 Henry Darley,15 and Thomas Hatcher16 -were Yorkshire or Lincolnshire MPs, and had either lost some or all of their lands to Newcastle's army or (in the case of the Lincolnshire members) feared that their estates would be next. We should also not forget D'Ewes's observations cited at the beginning of this article. Given his claim that most of the Northern gentlemen were backing the Scots by December 1643, it is hard to believe that they had not played an important part in agitating for Scottish intervention in the preceding twelve months.''

Although the northern parliamentary interest was more politically homo- geneous and partisan by mid- I 643 than it had been two years earlier, it was by no means unanimous in its support of the 'fierie spirits' at Westminster, nor indeed for the Scottish alliance. By the early months of 1643 a close-knit group of northern MPs, consisting principally of Sir John and his son Captain Hotham,'' Sir Henry Anderson,19 Sir Hugh Ch~lmle~,~~


Widdrington abandoned his seat in August 1642, returning in June 1644 as a committed member of the war party.

l2 G. F. Trevallyn Jones, Saw-Pit Wharton: thepolitical career from 1640 to r6gr ofPhil$, fourth Lord

Wharton (Sydney, 1967), pp. 75-6 l3 The best biography of Vane junior to date is Violet Rowe's: Rowe, Sir Henry Vane theyounger. l4 For Armyne's political allegiance during the Civil War see Glow, 'Pym and parliament',

390; Glow, 'Political affiliations in the House of Commons', p. 53.
Scott, 'Yorkshire's godly incendiary: the career of Henry Darley during the reign of Charles 1',in D. Wood, ed., Life and thought in the northern church, c.rroo-c.1700: essays in honour of Claire Cross (forthcoming).
F. Keeler, The Long Parliament, 16pr6pr :a biographical study ofits members, Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, 36 (Philadelphia, 1g54), p. 208; Clive Holmes, Seventeenth-century Lincolnshire (Lincoln, 1980)~ pp. 78, 109, 140, 143, 186, 204, 216, 218; Michael Patrick Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament, 2 July 1644-3 June 1647' (D. Phil. thesis,
Oxford, 19731, P. 249. l7 The part played by the Northern gentlemen, and Henry Darley in particular, in securing the Scottish alliance is discussed more fully in Scott, 'Yorkshire's godly incendiary'. Is For the Hothams' ties with Essex and their desire for a negotiated settlement with the king see John Rushworth, Historical collections ofprivatepassages of state (8 vols., London, I 72 I edn), v,p. 275; Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC), Portland MSS, I, pp. 87, 89-90, 699, 707; Mercurius Aulicus, no. 2 (8-14 Jan. 1643), p. 21 ;Mercurius Aulicus, no. 6 (5-1 1 Feb. 1643)~ pp. 71-2; BL, Additional (Add.) MS 31 I 16 (Whitaker diary), pp. 165, 186; [William Fiennes, Viscount Saye and Sele], Vindiciae veritatis, or an answer to a discourse intituled Truth it's manifest (12 Sept. 1654)~ pp. 4G7 (BL, E 81 112); State papers collected by Edward earl of Clarendon commencing 1621, ed. R. Scrope and

T. Monkhouse (6 vols., Oxford, 177W), 11, pp. 184-5.

l9 Anderson was Captain Hotham's father-in-law. Clearly in favour of a negotiated settlement between king and parliament, he defected to the royalists in 1643; HMC, 5th Report, pp. 107-8; Keeler, The Long Parliament, pp. 8&7; J. T. Cliffe, The Yorkshire gentry from the Reformation to the Civil War (London, 1969)~ p. 337.

20 Sir Hugh Cholmley was a close friend and political associate of the Hothams. He also seems



Heblethwayte," and Michael Warton," was broadly sympathetic to the peace party agenda. Two other MPs, Sir Philip StapiltonZ3 and Sir Hugh Cholmley's brother, Sir Henry Ch~lmle~,~~

were intimately linked by blood and friendship with this northern faction, and enjoyed close links with the earl of Essex (as it seems did the Hothams), who had emerged as the leader of the peace party by early 1644. It is likely, although it remains unproven, that the Hotham- Cholmley faction was hostile to Scottish intervention. The Hothams and Sir Hugh Cholmley certainly had a low opinion of the S~ots.~'

Locally, this group spearheaded opposition among the East and North Riding parliamentarians to the commander of parliament's northern forces, Ferdinand0 Lord Fairfax, and his staff of largely West Riding gentlemenz6 -a group which in turn had forged close ties with Vane junior and the parliamentary militants by the end of 1644 at the very latest." The defection of Sir Hugh Cholmley to the king in March 1643 and the arrest of the Hothams for treason against parliament the following July ended all possibility of significant northern support for the peace party or Essex at Westminster, and left Sir Henry Cholmley and Stapilton as

to have favoured a negotiated settlement, and defected to the king in March I 643:Keeler, The Long Parliament, pp. 134-5; Cliffe, The Yorkshiregenty, pp. 316-19, 322, 326, 345-6, 348-9; BL, Harl. MS 164 (D'Ewes diary), fo. 337.

'' Heblethwayte was returned for Malton with Sir Henry Cholmley in January 1641, and was apparently a close political associate of the Cholmleys and the Hothams. Like Anderson he defected in 1643: Keeler, The Long Parliament, pp. 20910; BL, Harl. MS 479 (Moore diary), fo. 118; BL, Add. MS 18777 (Yonge diary), fo. 20; BL, Add. MS 31 116, p. 352; CommonsJournal (CJ), 111, p. 708.

22 Warton was returned for Beverley with Sir John Hotham to both the Short and Long Parliaments. He was almost certainly the 'Mr. Wharton' who can be found acting with Hotham and Sir Hugh Cholmley in October 1642. He defected to the king in 1643: Keeler, The Long Parliament, pp. 37~80; HMC, Portland MSS, I, p. 67.

23 Stapilton was closely connected with both the Hothams and the Cholmleys and was captain of Essex's lifeguard. He does not appear to have become a consistent member of the peace party until the late summer of 1643: Keeler, The Long Parliament, pp. 348-9; Vernon F. Snow, Essex the rebel: the lqe of Robert Devereux, the third earl of Essex, 1591-1646 (Lincoln, NB, 1970)~ pp. 203, 3 I 3; Glow, ' Pym and parliament ', p. 392; Glow, 'Political affiliation in the House of Commons', pp. 58, 6-2, 63; Patricia Crawford, Denzil Holles, 15g8-1680: a stud31 of hispolitical career, Royal Historical Society Studies in History, 16 (London, 1g7g), pp. 103-4; CJ, IV, p. 4.

24 Sir Henry Cholmley was Stapilton's brother-in-law and like him one of Essex's most trusted officers. Again, there is no firm evidence that he was aligned with the peace party before the summer of 1643: Keeler, The Long Parliament, p. 134; CJ, IV, pp. 196,245,246,252,301 ;Bodl. Lib., MS Carte 103 (Wharton papers), fo. 161; BL, Harl. MS 166 (D'Ewes diary), fo. 27; PRO, SP 28/253A/1, 'Liber B', fo. 86.

25 Certaine letters sent from Sir John Hotham (Oxford, 1643), pp. 7, 9; Mercurius Aulicus, no. I 6 (16-22 Apr 1643), p. 195; Sir Hugh Cholmley, The memoirs of Sir Hugh Cholmlty, knt. and bart. (1787)> P. 65

26 It was probably Captain Hotham who was instrumental in securing the earl of Essex's appointment, late in January 1643, of a council of war to supplement Fairfax's command of the northern army :Memorials of the Civil War: correspondence of the Fairfax family (Fairfax correspondence III and IV), ed. R. Bell (2vols., London, 1849)~ 111, pp 37-8, 39.

'' Lynn Beats, 'The East Midland Association, 1642-1644', Midland Histoy, 4 (1978), PP '6970.

the lord general's only consistent adherents in the Commons from the northern counties, and even Cholmley wavered in his allegiance during the second half of 1645."

Although not entirely without a national political dimension, the squabble between the Hotham-Cholmley faction and the Fairfaxes was largely one of local rivalries. A far more significant threat to the unity of the Northern gentlemen was the Scottish alliance. At least one of the northern parliament- arians who were involved in talks with the Scots, Lord Wharton, appears to have had serious misgivings about the whole enterprise, and if the later careers of most of those who negotiated the Solemn League and Covenant are any guide, he was almost certainly not alone.2g Equally, at least one of the handful of Northern gentlemen who were aligned with the peace party, Algernon Percy, 10th earl of Northumberland (the premier northern parliamentarian peer), contemplated defecting to the king rather than countenance the bringing in of the Scots, whom he had once branded as 'that beggarly nation' -a sentiment that Wharton and many other northern parliamentarians would probably have end~rsed.~' In the event, the king's cessation with the Irish Confederates on I 5 September I 643, and the signing of the Solemn League and Covenant ten days later -thus rendering the Scottish alliance a fait accompli persuaded Northumberland to swallow his distaste of the Scots and to give them every encouragement in their anticipated liberation of the northern co~nties.~'In this he was apparently joined by almost all the Northern gentlemen, although as we shall see, their pleasure at the prospect of recovering their estates quickly turned sour as the Scots proved to be almost as disruptive and malevolent a presence in the north as Newcastle's army had been.

28 In the summer of 1645 Cholmley was involved in relaying news to Westminster of Scottish abuses in Cumberland, and was also the 'unknown knight' who passed on information to the committee of both kingdoms in January 1646 about the Scots' secret talks with the French. The Scots denounced him as an incendiary between the two kingdoms: CJ, IV, pp. 41 7,42 I-2,436,439, 442; 486; Lords Journal (LJ), VIII, pp. 123-4; BL, Add. MS 3 I I 16, pp. 515-16; Correspondence of the Scots commissioners in London, 1644-1646 (Scots commissioners), ed. Henry W. Meikle (Edinburgh, 1917)~p. 164; Memoirs of Denril, Lord Holles (Holles memoirs), in Francis Maseres, ed., Select tracts relating to the Civil Wars in England (2 vols., London, 1815)~

I, p. 220; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fo. 428; MS Nalson IV, fos. 43, 60.

Valerie Pearl, 'Oliver St. John and the "middle group" in the Long Parliament: August 1643-May 1644'~ English Historical Review (EHR), 81 (1966), p. 497; Trevallyn Jones, Saw-Pit Wharton, pp. 73-7.

30 For Northumberland's dislike of the Scots and his political tergiversations in response to the Scottish alliance see The earl of Strafforde's letters, ed. W. Knowler (2 vols., London, 1739)~ 11, pp. 185-6; BL, Harl. MS 164, fo. 188; BL, Harl. MS 165, fos. 152v, 156; Clarendon, History of the rebellion, 111, pp. 142-3, 155, 196, zoo, 249; John Adamson, 'Of armies and architecture: the employments of Robert Scawen', in Ian Gentles, John Morrill, and Blair Worden, eds., Soldiers, writers, and statesmen of the English Revolution (Cambridge, 1998). I am grateful to Dr Adamson for allowing me to read this article prior to publication.

31 The letters andjournals ofRobert Baillie (Baillie), ed. David Laing (3 vols., Edinburgh, 1841-r), 11, pp. 99, 107, 114-15, 141-2; BL, Harl. MS 165, fo. 228~.


Within a little over a year after the Scots had entered England their presence had provoked a violent reaction in several of the northern counties, particularly Westmorland and Cumberland which the Scots had occupied in the autumn of 164-4.32 Among the reasons the Scots put forward for their failure to march south in the spring of 1645 in support of the fledgling New Model Army, as parliament repeatedly requested, was the need to put down an insurrection in Westmorland and Cumberland against the Scottish forces.33 The leaders of this insurrection, claimed the Scots, had declared that they 'would not want assistance, for Northumberland Cumberland and yorkeshire & lancashire would rise with them to beat all the Scotts out of the kingd~me'.~~

Native hostility towards the Scots had been inflamed by the heavy burdens the Scottish army had imposed upon the region. According to the Scots the insurrection was the work of royalists and Catholics, but it may also have had the tacit support of some parliamentarians. And certainly by the summer of 1645 the Scots were complaining that the loudest criticisms of their army were coming from parliamentarian quarters. In the opinion of the Scots' leading apologist, David Buchanan, the northern reaction against the Covenanting forces was being masterminded not by

open and declared Enemies, but by some of those whom the Parliament trust in those Countreys with the managing of affaires; yea, by some who formerly did professe hearty Friendship unto the Scots: but the wheel of their own interest turning about, not onely have they delinquished [sic] the Scots; but also, have declared themselves point-blank opposite unto them, and this without any cause: so far prevaileth the private interest with men who seems to be best.35

Buchanan undoubtedly had a point. The Scots' leading opponents in the north by mid-1645 were indeed parliamentarians. However, it was disingenuous of him to claim that this transformation from friend into foe was 'without any cause', the product of 'private interest'. In fact there were several very good reasons why parliamentarians in the north might abandon their support for the Scots after 1644. First, it is clear that there were a number of leading northern parliamentarians who had supported Scottish intervention only in extremis; that is, when the virtual annihilation of Lord Fairfax's army at Adwalton Moor in June I 643 had rendered an alliance with the Scots the only viable option to wrest control of the north from the king and to avert an outright royalist victory.36 After the destruction of Newcastle's army at Marston Moor, therefore, and especially after the decisive parliamentarian victory at Naseby in June 1645, it was always likely that their enthusiasm for

32 Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson XIX, fos. 266, 266v; Calendar of State Papers Domestic (CSPD) 1644-5, PP;5422-3. 33 Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson XIX,fos. 244-6v. 34 Ibid., fo. 266v. [David Buchanan], Truth its manifest, or a short and true relation of some main passages of things, wherein the Scots are particularly concerned (14 Sept. 1645),p. 41 (BL, E I I 7414). 36 For the impact which Fairfax's defeat had at Westminster see Baillie, 11, p. 81.

a Scottish military presence in the north would wane.37 However, the fundamental cause of the falling out between the Scots and the northern parliamentarians was the conduct of the Scottish army in the region. In the opinion of its English paymasters, Leven's army consistently failed to prove its worth on the battlefield. As early as November 1644, Lord Fairfax, Sir Thomas Fairfax, and other senior northern parliamentarians were complaining that the Scots were a military liability.3s In fact a major complaint of the northern parliamentarians throughout the mid-1640s was that the 'intolerable charge' of the Scottish army prevented them from supplying their own forces, 'in the increase whereof consists the liveliest hopes of our future advantage^'.^' Moreover, because the Scottish army received only a fraction of the money it had been promised by parliament, it was forced to live by plundering its northern hosts, and by the summer of 1646 stood accused of levying 'vast sessments' and of committing 'rapes, murthers, robberies' and sundry other 'oppressions and abuses '.40

Like the royalist occupation of the north from late 1642 until 1644, the quartering of the Scots' ill-disciplined army upon Yorkshire and the adjacent counties for most of the mid- 1640s had a profound impact upon the pattern of allegiance among northern parliamentarians. This is nowhere more evident than in parliament itself. In a region where religious Independents were apparently under-represented, and where there is no reason to suppose that Erastianism- another major source of anti-Scots feeling among parliamentarians -was any stronger than elsewhere in the country, hostility towards the Scots -exacerbated by the unruly conduct of the Scottish soldiery and sustained by the continuing threat (and fact) of Scottish invasion into the early I 650s -is by far the most convincing explanation for the apparent tendency of a majority of the region's MPs to make common cause with the Independent, anti-Scottish faction at Westminster. There are subtle indications that the remedy of Scottish abuses was an issue in the Yorkshire recruiter election^,^'

37 The first official complaints about the carriage of the Scottish forces in the north appear to have been those made in August 1644, a month after Marston Moor, by Sir William Armyne and Richard Barwis. The second major wave of northern complaints began in July I 645, a month after Naseby: Scots commissioners, pp. 38-9; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fo. 428.

38 CSPD 16&-5, pp. I 04-5. 39 Ibid. 40 Truth's discovery ofa black cloud in the north (3I July 1646), pp. I I, 2 I (BL, E 34619);PRO, SP 16/513, fos. I I 1-41; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fos. 238-9, 245, 261, 263-4, 265, 278.

41 Henry Darley, in recommending his friend Sir Matthew Boynton for one of the seats at Scarborough, reminded the town's voters that parliament was the only means to secure relieffrom the Scots. The election of two leading northern Independents, Thomas Chaloner and Francis Thorpe, at Richmond may also have owed something to anti-Scottish feeling. Their likely patron, Philip Lord Wharton, was an opponent of the Scots, and the town itself was situated in an area that had suffered particularly heavily as a result of the Scots' depredations: Scarborough records, 1641-1660, ed. M. Y. Ashcroft, North Yorkshire Record Office Publications, 59 (Northallerton, ~gg~),

p. 46. For Wharton's interest at Richmond see North Yorkshire Record Office, DCIRMB II/I/I (Richmond borough coucher book), unfol. (entry dated 30 Sept. 1656); Christopher Clarkson, The history of Richmond in the county of York (Richmond, 1814), p. 235; PRO, E 179/215/418 (Subsidy roll), m. I (Lord Wharton assessed at £18 for lands in Aske, near


and the same may also have been true in Cumberland, Westmorland, and Northumberland, where all the men elected as recruiters during the time of the Scottish occupation appear to have initially aligned with the Scots' enemies in the common^.^' Pride's Purge in December 1648 provides very imperfect but nevertheless striking evidence of the strength of support among northern parliamentarians for the Independents. Almost 82 per cent of the MPs representing Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, and Northumberland constituencies retained their seats, while just under 30 per cent were, according to Professor Underdown's classification, 'revolutionaries '. This compares with just 51 per cent and 15 per cent respectively for the nation's MPs as a whole.43

It is one of the major ironies of the Civil War period that substantially the same group of northern MPs which provided the backbone of support for the Scottish alliance in I 643-4 became a major force in the Independent coalition's struggle from I 645 to reverse the confederalist trend in Anglo-Scottish relations. Most of the leading figures who had been involved in talks with the Scots in 1643, or who had invited them into Cumberland and Westmorland the following year -namely Lord Wharton, Sir Henry Vane junior, Sir William Armyne, Sir Wilfred Lawson, Richard Barwis, and Henry Darley -emerged in the vanguard of opposition to the Scots from 1645.~~

Indeed, as the above statistics reveal, the northern counties can fairly be regarded as the par- liamentary Independents' principal regional power base. Just as the Pres- byterian 'faction at Westminster seems to have drawn much of its initial strength from London, Wales, and the west country,45 so the parliamentary Independents could claim the support of a prominent section of the northern parliamentarian peers and gentry. This affinity of interest between the

Richmond). For Thorpe's links with Wharton see Hull City Archives (HCA), Hull letters, L464;

J. H. Baker, The order of serjeants at law, Selden Society, supplementary ser., v (London, 1984),

p. 188.

42 The MPs in question were William Armyne, James Bellingham, George Fenwick, William Fenwick, John Fiennes, Henry Ireton, Henry Lawrence, Richard Salwey, and Richard Tolson. Two of these men -Bellingham and Tolson -were purged in December 1648 :David Underdown, 'Party management in the recruiter elections, 1645-1648', English Historical Review, 83 (1968), pp. 242-4; Uohn Musgrave], Afourth word to the wise (5May 1647), pp. I 7-18 (BL, E 39119).

43 My figures are derived from Underdown, Pride's Purge, pp. 200, 36&90. Underdown himself noted the radicalism of the northern parliamentarians, which he attributed to the strength of Catholicism in the region and to the sufferings which some of them had endured under Strafford and the Council of the North. The first explanation has some plausibility, although it hardly explains why many of the Northern gentlemen aligned with the political Independents, whose proposals for settlement of religion were, if anything, less stridently puritan than those of the Presbyterians: Underdown, Pride's Purge, pp. 228--9, 273.

44 [Edward Bowles], Manifest truth, or an inversion oftruth manifest (4 July 1646), pp. 33-4, 55 (BL, E 34311) ;BL, Harl. MS 166, fo. 222; Rowe, Sir Henry Vane theyounger, pp. 62-3,73; Trevallyn Jones, Saw-Pit Wharton, pp. go--102; Scott, 'Yorkshire's godly incendiary'.

45 Underdown, 'Party management in the recruiter elections', pp. 258-63. Sir Philip Stapilton was the only MP from the northern counties (i.e. Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, or Yorkshire) who played a leading role in the Presbyterian interest.

Northern gentlemen and the Independents was not lost on contemporaries. The Presbyterian leader, Denzell Holles, was alluding to it when he recounted how the Westminster Independents had 'thrust on some of their little Northern Beagles (as Mr. Blaxton Wohn Blakiston, MP for Newcastle-upon-Tyne], and others)' when trying to provoke a confrontation between the Scots and the New Model Army in 1646.~~

Several reasons can be advanced to explain why the northern parliamentarians were so well represented in the Independent coalition. Undoubtedly the most powerful stimulus in fostering northern enthusiasm for the Independent, anti-Scottish interest at Westminster was the carriage of the Scots' army in the region. A commitment to liberty of conscience may have been decisive in a few cases, such as that of the younger Vane, and certainly a majority of the Northern gentlemen would have been hostile to the Scots' clericalist religious notions. The fact that two of the leading parliamentary Independents -the earl of Northumberland and Lord Wharton -were northern magnates, may also have served to consolidate support for political Independency in the region. Both men came from Marcher houses which had earned their titles fighting the Scots, and it is conceivable that their nationalistic prejudice against the Scots and dislike of Scottish clericalism was informed in part by their historic connection with the border region.47 Another major factor behind the northern parliamentarian-Independent axis was the alignment of the Fairfaxes with the Scots' parliamentary enemies. Lord Fairfax and his son, Sir Thomas Fairfax, had been instrumental in winning the war for parliament in the north, and by 1645 commanded a powerful interest in Yorkshire -the county which supplied over half the region's MPs. Some of the most influential and active figures in the north by the mid-1640s were either related to the Fairfaxes, had served under them in the northern army, or owed their seats in parliament to Fairfax influence. The conduct of the Scottish army in the north may well have inclined these men towards the Independent camp, but more important in this respect was the appointment of Sir Thomas Fairfax as commander of the New Model Army. Although there is some evidence that the Fairfaxes had been less than sympathetic towards the Covenanters in the Bishops' Wars,4s they were probably not as deeply prejudiced against the Scots as Northumberland, Wharton, or those Northern gentlemen associated with the aristocratic Independent par excellence, Viscount Saye and Sele.4g With the

46 Holles memoirs, pp. 227-8.

47 For Wharton's political career see Trevallyn Jones, Saw-Pit Wharton, and the perceptive criticisms of this work in James E. Farnell, 'The aristocracy and leadership of parliament in the English Civil Wars', JMH, 54 (~gp),

pp. 85-6. For Northumberland see J. S. A. Adamson, 'The peerage in politics, 1645-49' (Ph.D. thesis, Oxford, 1986), pp. 5,35,55-6,69-71,80,97-8, 221-5, 235-41, 262-3, 269-71; Adamson, 'Of armies and architecture', pp. 40, 42-8.

48 See David Scott, '"Hannibal at our gates" :loyalists and fifth-columnists during the Bishops' Wars: the case of Yorkshire', Historical Research (HR), 70 (1gg7), pp. 289-90.

49 J. S. A. Adamson, 'The Vindiciae veritatis and the political creed ofviscount Saye and Sele', HR, 60 (1987); Karen Ordahl Kupperman, 'Definitions of liberty on the eve of civil war: Lord Saye and Sele, Lord Brooke, and the American puritan colonies', HJ, 32 (1989). Saye was closely


appointment of Sir Thomas Fairfax as commander of the New Model, however, the political fortunes of the Fairfax interest became inextricably linked with the fate of the New Model and its backers at Westminster, namely Saye, Northumberland, and the Independents. Should the New Model be defeated in the field (and the only force capable of inflicting such a defeat after Langport in July 1645 was the Scots) or disbanded as the Presbyterians and Scots desired, it would have dealt a heavy blow to the standing and influence of the Fairfax interest both regionally and in parliament. A significant section of Yorkshire's political community, therefore, were committed to a national, politically partisan view of the struggle against the Scots; a struggle which, as Henry Darley reminded the voters at Scarborough in October I 645, could only be successfully prosecuted at We~tminster.~'

Discussion of the Fairfax interest raises the question of the extent of political interaction between the region's parliamentarians and leading figures in central politics. That the parliamentary Independents seem to have been more interested in using the northern reaction against the Scots as a stick with which to beat the Presbyterians, than as a mandate to relieve the northern counties, is hard to deny. But to argue that this was simply a case of a Westminster faction exploiting local grievances (and those voicing them) for its own 'national' ends is surely to suggest a false dichotomy between central and regional politics. Admittedly, many of the northern parliamentarians who complained to the Commons about the Scots were doubtless concerned primarily with the well-being of their region rather than bolstering the parliamentary Independents. Yet the two causes were to some extent inseparable, and it would certainly be naive to suppose that leading northern parliamentarians were unaware of the furore which reports of Scottish atrocities provoked at Westminster. A significant proportion of those active on the parliamentary committees at York -from which most of these reports were relayed to parliament -were themselves MPs or had friends and relatives in the common^.^^ That they were entirely unaware of developments in parliament seems unlikely. Furthermore, the principal parliamentary agents in the north by 1645 -the commissioners to the northern armies, Sir William Armyne, Henry Darley, and Richard Barwis -were intimately acquainted with the views of the Independent grandees and possessed a wide network of northern friends and allies through which such views could be di~seminated.~'

connected with the Yorkshire MPs and religious Independents, Henry Darley and Sir Matthew Boynton: Scott, 'Yorkshire's godly incendiary'. 60 Scarborough records, 1641-1660, ed. Ashcroft, p. 46.

The letters to parliament from the Northen Association committee at York and the Yorkshire county committee in 1645 and 1646 are largely to be found in Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59 and 60, and MS Nalson IV, v, and VI. For more exact references see below.

62 For the commissioners' activities in the north in I 645 and their close links with Saye and other leading Independents, see Scott, 'Yorkshire's godly incendiary'. Lord Wharton also liaised very closely with the northern committees: Bodl. Lib., MS Carte 103, fo. 165v; MS Rawlinson letters

Certainly the Scots suspected that the northern whistle-blowers on their army knew full well, and approved of, the use to which their complaints were put at We~tminster.~~ the exploitation by an

It is in analysing this phenomenon anti-Scottish faction at Westminster of the Covenanting army's failings in the north -that the remainder of this article will be devoted.

Northern grievances against the Scots army were most loudly articulated by the Northern Association committee at York and the Yorkshire county committee.54 These committees had first locked horns with the Scots late in the summer of 1645, when they had relayed information from Cumberland concerning the misconduct of the Scottish army.55 The Scots had hit back by accusing the committees at York of helping to spread 'many vile aspersions and grosse calumnies 'against their army.56 After the Scots had abandoned the siege of Hereford in September 1645 and resumed their quarters in the northern counties, the committees at York wrote the first in a long series of letters to the Commons bemoaning the 'infinite oppressions and extortions' of the Scottish army and pleading that it be removed from the regione5' Coming against a background of conspicuous military under-achievement by the Scots, this northern outcry galvanized the Scots' enemies at Westminster, and resulted in a series of Commons' resolutions in October condemning the conduct of the Scottish forces, demanding the return of the northern garrisons they held, and threatening to withhold all supply unless they marched immediately to the siege of Newark." Both the Scots and their allies at Westminster were concerned at the uncompromising tenor of these votes, which were widely regarded as marking a significant downturn in Anglo-Scottish relations and led several commentators to fear that open conflict between the two kingdoms was imminent.5g

104 (Lord Wharton's correspondence), fo. 17; Trevallyn Jones, Saw-Pit Wharton, p. 95; [Musgrave], A fourth word to the wise, p. 3. 53 See below. 54 The Northern Association committee at York was chaired by Francis Pierrepont, a close

friend of the Fairfaxes: Scarborough records, 1641-1660, ed. Ashcroft, p. 43.

55 Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fo. 428; Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson IV, fos. 35, 60, 108.

56 Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson xrx, fos. 265, 290; MS Nalson IV, fo. 60.

57 LJ, vn, pp. 639-40, 642-3; Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson IV, fos. 187, 212-13, 214, 244, 261, 282, 309; MS Nalson v, fos. 16, 2 I, 99; MS Nalson VI, fo. I 4; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fos. 75, I 95, 216, 218, 266, 294, 351, 366, 389, 473; MS Tanner 60, fos. 330, 415, 556. Although there were allegedly 'daylie outcryes' against the Scots from the northern counties by the spring of I 645, there is no evidence that any complaint was made by the region's parliamentary committees until July: Baillie, 11, pp. 267, 507; Dr Williams's Library (DWL), MS 24.50 (journal of Thomas Juxon), fo. 40; Faifax correspondence, 111, pp. 209-12.

CJ, IV, pp. 303, 305; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16, p. 471 ;Scots commissioners, p. 128. 59 Baillie, 11, p. 322; LJ, VII, pp. 646,648; BL, Add. MS 37344 (Whitelocke's annals), fo. 18; BL, Harl. MS 166, fo. 269v; CSPD 1645-7, p. 189; The diplomatic correspondence of Jean de Montereul, ed.


The exploitation of reports concerning the Scots army's oppressions was arguably the Independents' most effective tactic in achieving their acknowledged predominance in the Commons by the autumn of 1645; a position which they used to undermine still further the Scots' military and political power-base, and with it their confederalist terms for settlemente60 Baillie wrote in October that 'Some very few guides all now at their pleasure, only through the default of our armie . . . [which] they exaggerat. '61 He was convinced that 'the bodie of the Parliament, City, and Countrey, are for the Presbyterie, and love us, and hate the Sectaries; but are all overwitted and overpowered by a few, whom the service and activeness of our army would und~e'.~~

SO loud was the chorus of northern complaints against the Covenanting forces, and so successfully exploited by the Independents, that it led to the first calls for the ditching of the Scottish alliance alt~gether.'~ Early in October 1645 the Scots commissioners informed the commanders of the Covenanting forces that 'All such as wish the Kingdomes embroyled in new quarrells and controversies make great use of your continuance in those parts [the north] for advancing their own ends and designes. '64 Their meaning became clearer a few days later when they wrote to the committee of estates at Edinburgh concerning an Independent 'designe to be rid of our army and to have it returned home to Scotland, thereby to weaken our interest that they may the more easily obtaine their owne desires in matters of religion and of peace or ~arre'.~~

They warned the estates that if the army remained in the north 'it wilbe impossible to prevent a breach betweene the king dome^'.^^ The London diarist, Thomas Juxon, also noted that there was heated debate in October 1645 about sending home the Scottish army: 'They say: If they retourne then the Independ[en]t p[ar]ty will swager: If not, [the north] must indure there plunderinges which are insupportable. The Northen Countys are very sensible of them: and extreamly enraiged. '"

The autumn of 1645 was a difficult time for the Scots. The misconduct of their army apparently lost them many friends at Westminster and effectively cancelled out any political advantage accruing from Leslie's defeat of Montrose at Philiphaugh in September. In addition, it seems to have inspired a scheme among leading northern MPs to strengthen their grip, and that of their factional allies, upon parliament's northern army -quite possibly in the hope it could then be employed to preserve the region against the Scots. The first sign that northern MPs were thinking along these lines emerges from the

J. G. Fotheringham, Scottish History Society, 29 and 30 (2 vols., Edinburgh, 18g%g), I, pp. 32-3, 36; Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament', pp. 245, 247.

Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament', pp. 27, 174, 242-5, 276% " Baillie, 11, p. 319. 62 Ibid., p. 320. 63 CSPD 1645-7, p. 183; Baillie, 11, pp. 319-20. 64 BL, Add. MS 37978 (Correspondence of the Scots commissioners, 1644-6), fo. 26. 65 Scots commissioners, p. 129. 66 Ibid. 67 DWL, MS 24.50, fo. 47~.

deliberations of the Commons Northern Association committee in September. This body, the Westminster counterpart to the Northern Association com- mittee at York, was established in the spring of 1645as parliament's principal agency for the management of the war in the north.6s Chaired by Lord Fairfax's son-in-law, the MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, Sir Thomas Widdrington, it was open to all MPs from the northern counties, but seems to have been dominated by the friends, kinsmen, and clients of the Fairfa~es.~' On I October, in response to a request from the Northern Association commissioners at York for a mechanism to appoint 'general officers' within the Association forces," Widdrington reported a proposal for transferring the responsibility for appointing and cashiering officers from the committee for military affairs of the Northern Association -an unwieldy body made up of all the northern MPs and a group of non-MPs7' -to a Westminster committee which the Independents and friends of the New Model Army could expect to dominate.72 The Presbyterians, however, were determined to frustrate any attempt to hand control of the Northern Association to the Fairfaxes and the parliamentary Independents, and following a division on the issue in which two of the Scots' foremost allies, Sir Philip Stapilton and Sir Christopher Wray,


Widdrington's proposal was rejected.73 But the matter did not rest there. Within six months of this vote, further revelations of Scottish plundering in the north prompted renewed efforts by Widdrington's committee to gain control of parliament's northern army -a campaign which eventually led to calls for Sir Thomas Fairfax and the New Model to be sent northwards to confront the Scots directly.

68 CJ, IV, pp. 9, I 10, 157, 166-7. The committee appears to have met on a regular basis in the duchy court at Westminster. Widdrington was the official chairman, although meetings are also known to have been chaired by John Lisle and Francis Thorpe -both friends of the Independents: Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 60, fos. 575-6v; CJ, IV, p. 138 ;VI, p. 42 I.

6g We know the attendance of only one session of the Commons' Northern Association committee: PRO, SP 281251 (Yorkshire county committee papers), unfol.; C3, VI, p. 421. Well over half of the members who attended this session were part of, or closely associated with, the Fairfax interest: A. Woolrych, 'Yorkshire's treaty of neutrality', History Today, 6 (1956), p. 701 ; CJ, 111, p. 586a; BL, Add. MS 18979 (Fairfax correspondence), fo. 240; BL, Add. MS 28082 (Establishments, muster rolls, etc., relating to the army), fo. 80; The Fairfax correspondence: memoirs of the reign of Charles the First (Fairfax correspondence, I and II), ed. George W. Johnson (2 vols., London 1848), 11, pp. 205, 207; Underdown, 'Party management in the recruiter elections', p, 246; Jones, 'The war in the north', pp. 388-9; The Hull letters, ed. T. Tindall Wildridge (Hull, 1886), p. 61.

70 Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson IV, fo. 43~; CJ, IV, p. 258. Acts and ordinances ofthe Interregnum, r6q2-1660,ed. C. H. Firth and R. S. Rait (3 vols., London, IgII), I, pp. 71C+ll.

'' CJ, IV, p. 295; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16, p. 469. According to D'Ewes, Widdrington, and his allies in the House, led by Sir Arthur Hesilrige and another northern Independent, John Blakiston, were seeking to invest the power of nominating officers not in a committee, but in Lord Fairfax. However, D'Ewes's interpretation of Widdrington's proposals is contradicted by Whitaker and the CommonsJournal: BL, Harl. MS 166, fo. 267 See also Glow, 'Political affiliations in the House of Commons', p. 63. 73 CJ, IV, p. 296.


The passing of the October 1645 resolutions was merely the first of numerous occasions on which the Independents used evidence of Scottish offences in the north to obtain a majority for measures which had the net effect of undermining the Scots' military and political position. One of the best examples of recourse to this tactic can be seen in January and February 1646, when the Commons employed their northern correspondence to bolster the anti-Scots faction in the Lords (which enjoyed only a slender majority by early 1646) in an attempt to reduce the size of the Scottish army in England.74 On 24 January a letter was read from the Northern Association committee at York informing the Commons that reformadoes in the Scots' horse quartered at Tickhill, near Sheffield, had 'offered several abuses to the inhabitants and exacted great sums of money from them'.75 The Commons' case against the Scots, which was prepared by a small group of leading Independents (including the northern MPs Richard Barwis and Francis Thorpe) and centred on a demand for a reduction in the Scottish supernumerary horse, was presented to the Lords in late January and early Febr~ary.~' Pressure from the Commons paid off on 2 February when the Lords voted narrowly in favour of a Commons' order for reducing the Scottish horse77 -eleven Presbyterian peers, including the earl of Essex, entering their dissent^.^' The 2 February vote represented a significant victory for the parliamentary Independents, for although the Commons had a financial motive in seeking to reduce the size of the Scottish army, the issue also had a partisan dimension, as the strong opposition to the vote among Essex's party in the Lords clearly indicates. Any measure that weakened and discredited the Scots had a similar impact upon the political influence of the Presbyterian interest, which looked to Leven's and Callander's forces to underwrite its terms for settlement with the king. In the struggle over the shape of any future settlement, evidence of the Scots' oppressions in the north was of vital importance to the Independents in their effort to damage the credibility and influence of the pro-Scottish interest. The effectiveness of this evidence as a political weapon was demonstrated once again on I 3 February, following tied votes in the Lords on the two previous days as to whether to communicate the votes for reducing the Scottish horse to the Scots commissioners.79 The Commons sent the veteran anti-Scots MP, Sir John Evelyn, to desire the Lords' concurrence in the votes, 'the rather because ... the troubles about Tickhill and Sheffield [were] occasioned, as is conceived, by those supernumerary horse'." Fully briefed on the Scots' miscarriages in the north, Evelyn was able to inform the Lords that the town of Sheffield had been forced to take up arms in its own defence." In light of this revelation support for the Scots' position evidently

74 Ibid., pp. 397, 399, 402-3,436; LJ, VIII,pp. 89-90, 134-7; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16,pp. 503-4.

75 CJ, IV,p. 41 7; L J, VIII,pp. I 35-6.

76 CSf,IV, pp. 399, 402, 417, 438, 439; LJ, VIII, PP. 134-7, 163. 77 L.7, WII, P. 139.

78 Ibid., pp. 139, 143. 78 Ibid., pp. 157, 162. CJ, IV, P. 439.

LJ, VIII,p. 163.

crumbled and the Lords acquiesced in the Commons' order to communicate the votes to the Scots commissioner^.^^

Throughout the first half of 1646, while the Scots endeavoured to reach a settlement with the king, the Independents were able to retain their ascendancy in the Commons and maintain pressure on their adversaries partly by capitalizing on fresh revelations of the Scots' misconduct in the north.s3 Much of the material gathered against the Scots was presented to the House in a report by Sir Arthur Hesilrige on 20 March 1646 from the committee of both

kingdom^.'^ The task of digesting this material into a form suitable for debate was then assigned to a committee under the chairmanship of one of Lord Fairfax's men-of-business, Thomas St~ckdale.'~

Stockdale's committee, which became known, appropriately enough, as the 'northern committee', was to assume considerable importance over the spring and early summer of 1646, when it was used by the anti-Scottish interest as a means of regaining the political initiative it had lost in May as a result of the king's flight to the Scots' army and the attainment of a majority in the Lords by Essex's party.s6 With its efforts to gain custody of the king stymied by the Scots' allies in the Lords, the Commons took the next best step on I g May and voted that the kingdom had no further use for Leven's army." Fittingly, this resolution came directly after the reading of another letter from the Yorkshire committees demanding the removal of the Scots, provoking Baillie to complain that 'Every circumstance is written dayly from the north to our unfriends [the parliamentary Independents]. Although Essex and the pro-Scots peers refused to agree to such a resolution, the Commons could still try to put pressure on them, as it had done the previous winter, by parading evidence of the Scots ' misdemeanours in the north. And this is precisely what it did. Between 29 May and g June, first William Pierrepont and Hesilrige from the committee of both kingdoms, and Stockdale from the northern committee, delivered a series of reports to the House narrating the kingdom's grievances against the Old quarrels were raked up; the Scots' refusal to surrender the northern garrisons, their abuses at Tickhill and failure to punish the 'greatest offenders' -the list was almost endless. Late in May the northern committees pitched in with yet more complaints about the Scots' behaviour, which were promptly referred to Stockdale's committee.90 The committee's proceedings have survived, and it can be seen from Stockdale's marginal notes that he relied on Thomas

Ibid., p. 164 s3 CJ, IV, pp. 393, 403, 481, 524, 551, 560, 567, 570, 593, 632; Crawford, Denzil Holies, PP. 129-31. 84 CJ, IV, p. 481. " Ibid.

Baillie, 11, p. 370; Adamson, 'The peerage in politics, 1645-164g', pp. 114-15, 131~1, 143-4.

" Csf, IV, p. 551.

" Ibid.; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fo. 195; The Hull letters, ed. Wildridge, pp. 142-3; Baillie, 11, P 372. CJ, IV, pp. 558-9, 560, 567, 570; BL, Add. MS 31116, pp. 542, 545, 546; Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson xx,fos. 394-5, 3967, 398, 399-402, CJ, IV, p. 559; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16, p. 543; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fos. 216, 218, 266.

364 DAVID SCOTT Chaloner and other northern MPs to furnish him with examples of Scottish brutality.g1 On 6 June Stockdale's committee recommended that a declaration be issued for 'undeceiving' the people concerning Tickhill, in answer to a letter printed in the name of Lieutenant-General Leslie 'wherein he endeavours to possess the people.. . that these complaints are all base calumnies and lies'.'' Apparently the Independents were seeking to use the material sent by the northern committees as a means of mobilizing public opinion against their enemies in parliament; in much the same way that Essex and his party had encouraged the petitioning campaign of the common council and the London Presbyterian ministry over the spring in order to pressure the Commons into accepting their terms for settlement with the kingeg3 It was possibly as part of an Independent propaganda counter-offensive that the first full-scale refu- tation of Buchanan's Truth its manifest, Edward Bowles's Manifest truths, was published in the summer of 1646.'~ The Scots, as we have seen, tended to put the worst possible construction on the activities of the northern committees. It was almost certainly in response to claims by the Scots that the committees were deliberately stirring up opinion against their army that the Commons voted on 20 March 1646 that the committees had done 'nothing but their duties in receiving and representing to the House the complaints of the people exhibited to them'.95 This argument that the northern committees were sending anti-Scottish material to West- minster merely out of duty -cut little ice with the Scots. They were well aware that many northern parliamentarians, from MPs to county committeemen, were their declared enemies by the autumn of 1645, and that the cause of this enmity went deeper than mere resentment at the carriage of the Scottish army in the regiomg8 The Scots and their English allies were certainly inclined to regard the barrage of northern complaints against Leven's army as more than simply an outpouring of localist concern. Rather, they suspected that the northern committees' activities were part of a concerted campaign, orches- trated at Westminster, to create a breach between the two kingdoms."

Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson XIX, fos. 396, 396v, 409-IOV.

'' CJ, IV, p. 567. The northern committee was also employed 'to confute or bear down' the Scots' estimate of the arrears they were owed by parliament: The diary of John Harington, M.P., 164653,ed. Margaret F. Stieg, Somerset Record Society, 74 (Old Woking, 1g77), p. 33; CJ, IV,

p. 650.

93 In the spring of I 646 the Commons (without the Lords' approval) ordered the printing of the answer of both Houses to the Scots commissioners drawn up the previous December, which dwelt at some length on the Scots' military failings in the north: LJ, VIII, pp. 34-6; The answer ofthe Lords and Commons . . . to several papers of the commissioners of Scotland (14 Apr. I 646), BL, E 333114.

94 [Bowles],Manifest truths, or an inversion oftruths manifest (4 July I 646), BL, E 3431 I. For Bowles, who was a close friend of the Fairfaxes and minister to the English commissioners with the Scots army, see Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson111, fo. 315; Anne Laurence, Parliamentaryarmy chaplains, 164~1651, Royal Historical Society Studies in History, 59 (London, ~ggo), p. 101. " CJ, IV, p. 481.

'' See [Buchanan], Truth its manifest; Scott, 'Yorkshire's godly incendiary'.

" BL, Add. MS 37978, fo. 34; Scots commissioners, pp. 70, 128; Holles memoirs, pp. 217-19; [Buchanan], Truth its manifest, pp. 41, 82; [Buchanan], An explanation of some truths, pp. 32, 48, 50; A collection of divers papers presented unto the Houses of Parliament by the commissioners of Scotland since May


Propositions' on at least twenty-seven occasions,101 and was named to numerous ad hoe committees to draft and enact the propositions for dispatch to the king.lo2 Parliament's decision to revise its peace terms to the king has been seen as the manifestation of a prevailing will at Westminster towards a 'middle way' -the simultaneous pursuit of peace proposals and military initiatives in an effort to maintain unity between the 'contending proponents' of peace and war.lo3 But if the pursuit of this middle way provided the impetus for drafting the Newcastle Propositions, the content and tenor of the propositions themselves was far from moderate or eirenic. As initially drafted by Widdrington's committee, the propositions leaned heavily towards the views and prejudices of the Independents.lo4 Indeed, the Scots saw the Newcastle Propositions as being largely the work of a small but powerful clique of Independents, whose aim was to deprive them of any say in English and Irish affairs.lo5

Although their Anglocentricity was toned down slightly in the summer of I 646, the propositions in their original form were deeply inimical to the plans for confederal union so cherished by the Scots.lo6 What particularly alarmed the Scots was the proposal to exclude them from any interest in the disposal of the English militia.lo7 Although they maintained that unity in religion was the 'prime and cheifest' of their desires,los the limited military union enshrined in the Uxbridge Proposals (which represented the high water mark of Anglo-

lo' CJ, IV,PP. 246,252,306,310,316,318,325,332,334,338,340,347,349,350,362,364,369,

371, 372, 375, 378, 380, 383, 393, 394; BL, Add. MS 31116,PP. 472, 473, 476, 477, 478, 479, 481, 483-4, 486, 487, 493-4, 497, 502, 503. Widdrington also made numerous reports on the propositions and was appointed manager of six conferences on the matter: CJ, IV,pp. 31 I, 332,

354, 356, 358, 359-62, 363, 364, 372, 378, 380, 394, 395, 425, 431, 475; BL, Add. MS 31116, PP. 48% 489, 490, 49'.

lo' CJ, IV,pp. 359, 423, 428, 478, 491. Widdrington was a member of the committee which drafted the 17th proposition -relating to the control of the English and Irish militia -which so worried the Scots: CJ, IV,p. 359;Scots commissioners, pp. I 58,I 70.

lo3 Mark A. Kishlansky, The rise ofthe New Model Army (Cambridge, 1979),pp 18-19,

lo4 Underdown, Pride's Purge, p. 74.

lo5 Baillie, 11,PP. 31~21,

323, 336, 337-8, 344-5, 348, 352, 367, 379. lo6 Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament', pp. 282-8; David Stevenson, 'The early Covenanters and the federal union of Britain', in Roger A. Mason, ed., Scotland and England, 12861815 (Edinburgh, 1987),pp. 174-5;John Morrill, 'The English, the Scots and the British', in Patrick S. Hodge, ed., Scotland and the Union, Hume Papers on Public Policy, 2 (Edinburgh, 1994),pp. 8-1; John Morrill, 'Three kingdoms and one commonwealth? The enigma of mid-seventeenth century Britain and Ireland', in Alexander Grant and Keith J. Stringer, eds., Uniting the kingdom? The making of British history (London, 1gg5),pp. 178-82. lo' House of Lords Record Office (HLRO), Main Papers, 27Apr. 1646,fos. 4v-5;LJ, VIII,

pp. 218-19;Acts oftheparliament of Scotland, ed. T. Thomson and C. Innes (Edinburgh, 1814-75), VI, pt I,pp. 576-7;Baillie, 11,pp. 337-8, 348, 352, 367; Scots commissioners, pp. 158, 170. Montereul believed that the Independents had purposely made the militia proposition unacceptable to the Scots in order to provoke them into rejecting the propositions and thus make it appear that they were opposed to a settlement. This charge was echoed by Colonel Joseph Bampfield: Correspondence ofJean de Montereul, ed. Fotheringham, I,pp. 124-5;Colonel Joseph Bampjield's apology, eds John Loftis and Paul H. Hardacre (Lewisburg, 1993),pp. 48-9, 51.

lo8 Acts oftheparliament ofscotland, VI,pt I,p. 577;Rushworth, Historical collections, VI,p. 253.

Scottish confederalism) was as vital for their future security as the need for a 'Covenanted uniformitie' between the kingdoms.lo9 Parliament defended the decision to exclude the Scots from control of the English militia on the rather flimsy grounds that the best way to maintain a good correspondence between the two kingdoms was to keep their counsels, particularly on military matters, 'distinct, without intermi~ture'."~ The Scots' concern at this 'separatist' approach was heightened by what they regarded as another unwelcome departure from the Uxbridge Proposals -the permanent exclusion of the king from control of the militia."' This, they argued, would constitute 'an alteration of the fundamental1 Governem[en] t', and would entrench upon the king's 'iust power & greatnes'.'12 Excluding Charles from control of the militia, and giving the two parliaments complete power over their own militia, would, the Scots insisted, break a vital link in the chain between the kingdoms.'13 The Scots saw the king's executive power over the three kingdoms' militias, exercised with the joint consent of the English and Scottish parliaments, as a bulwark against the ambitions of an unscrupulous monarch, but also, by implication, of an English parliament dominated by their enemies.'14 It was this fear which prompted them to suggest the addition of propositions requiring the king and the Prince of Wales to spend at least one year in every three in Scotland, and ensuring that at least a third of all places of trust about the king and queen be occupied by S~ots."~AS David Stevenson has argued, such demands probably reflected a realization among leading Covenanters that if Scotland's interests were to be protected a 'renegotiated union between the two kingdoms might have to be based more on the king and his councils than on the links between parliaments '.'la

The Scots' view ofwiddrington and his committee's handiwork was summed up on I 6 March I 646, when they complained to parliament that 'we cannot but observe, that the most material1 Additions, Omissions, and Alterations.. . betwixt these and the [Uxbridge] Propositions formerly agreed upon doe trench upon the joynt Interests of both Kingdomes, and tending to the lewsing of the Bands, and weakening of the Sinews, of our happy Union'."' The English, or rather, the Independents', position was forcibly articulated by Viscount Saye:

lo' Charles L. Hamilton, 'Anglo-Scottish militia negotiations, March-April 1646', Scottish Historical Review, 42 (1963), pp. 8&8.

11' Hamilton, 'Anglo-Scottish militia negotiations', p. 88.

11' HLRO, Main Papers, 27 Apr. 1646, fos. 4v, 27, 27v; Rushworth, Historical collections, VI, pp. 255-6; LJ, VIII, p. 219. HLRO, Main Papers, 27 Apr. 1646, fo. 27v; Rushworth, Historical collections, VI, p. 256; Acts of theparliament of Scotland, VI, pt I, pp. 57&7.

HLRO, Main Papers, 27 Apr. 1646, fos. 27v, 29~. 114 Ibid., fos. 2&9.

Ibid., fo. 5; Rushworth, Historical collections, VI, p. 257. The Scottish parliament wanted a third of all offices and places of trust in Ireland as well as England reserved for Scots: Acts of the parliament of Scotland, VI, pt I, p. 577. 116 Stevenson, 'The early Covenanters', pp. 173-4. See also, Morrill, 'The English, the Scots and the British', p. 81 'I7 L3, VIII, p. 217.


to think to lay bounds, and put shakles one upon another, for their [the Scots'] own advantages, or to take upon them to be Judges, what is fit to be asked of the King, or fit for him to grant to either [kingdom], and hereby to put themselves into the place of Arbitrators between the King and either Kingdom.. . all this can have no other issue, but certain breaches and quarrels between the Kingdoms ...and yet ignorantly, or wilfully (for some ends) these things have been most insisted upon, by these men who would be thought most zealous for Union, and against any breach between the Kingdoms, though every wise man knoweth that the pressing and insisting upon these things must needs end in breaches and differences, except they hope we will leave to be English men and become their underlings.l18

For the Scots, perhaps the most worrying aspect of this re-assertion of English 's~perioritie',~~~

and perhaps the most overlooked by modern historians, was the Newcastle Propositions' denial of any Scottish interest in the prosecution of the war in Ireland.lZ0 The Scots' demand for a say in the management of the war, and thus in a share of the spoils that would fall to the victors, rested on three planks; the presence of Monro's army in Ulster (the largest Protestant force in the kingdom) ;their several treaties with England for the ratification and supply of Scottish military intervention in Ireland; and the terms of the Uxbridge Proposals by which the war in Ireland was to be managed by the joint advice and a joint committee of both kingdoms.lZ1 On I December 1645, however, the Commons passed propositions for placing control of the war solely in parliament's hands and for the nomination of a chief governor.122 By this omission of all reference to joint endeavours with respect to Ireland, the propositions implicitly reduced the status of Monro's army to that of a mere mercenary force at the disposal of the English ~ar1iament.l~~

This fact was later made explicit by the propositions' failure to recognize the treaty signed by committees ofboth kingdoms at Edinburgh on 28 November 1643, and ratified by parliamentary ordinances of g March and I I April 1644,'~~

recognizingMonro as commander-in-chief, under Leven, of all the British forces in Ireland

'la [Saye], Vindiciae veritatis, p. I 7.

'Ig Oliver St John, Saye's close political ally, was upbraided by some of his fellow MPs in 1641 for asserting 'the old superioritie claimed by the crowne of England over the crowne of Scotland' : BL, Harl. MS 163 (D'Ewes diary), fo. 334.

lZ0 The Scots concern on this issue is evident in the Scottish parliament's instructions to its commissioners in London early in 1646: Acts of theparliament of Scotland, VI,pt I, pp. 577-8. See also Several letters from the parliament and generalassembly of the kirk of Scotland to the Houses of Parliament (13 July 1646), p. 7 (BL, E 344112) ;[D. Buchanan], Somepapers of the commissioners of Scotland given in lately to the Houses of Parliament, concerning thepropositions ofpeace (I I Apr. 1646), p. 3 (BL, E 33311). Although Dr Morrill has perceptively observed that the Newcastle Propositions 'appear to have incorporated Ireland into an enhanced English state', the only historian to have given this aspect of the propositions the attention it deserves is Dr Stevenson: John Morrill, 'Three kingdoms and one commonwealth?', p. 182; D. Stevenson, Scottish Covenanters and Irish Confederates: Scottish-Irish relations in the mid-seventeenth centuv (Belfast, 1981), pp. 2 1-1 I.

lZ1 LJ, VIII, p. 2 18; HLRO, Main Papers, 27 Apr. 1646, fo. 15v; Constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution, ed. Samuel Rawson Gardiner (3rd edn, Oxford, 1go6), pp. 278, 283.

lZ2 CJ, IV,P. 359. lZ3 HLRO, Main Papers, 27 Apr. 1646, fo. 15v.

lZ4 L J, VI,pp. 463-4, 51 2; CJ, 111, p. 456.

and appointing joint committees to manage the war.lZ5 To the Scots' consternation the propositions effectively 'disown'd That to be a formal treaty between the Two Kingdoms, but only a Temporary Concession of the [English] Committee', thereby calling into question the basis of Scottish military and political involvement throughout the British 1~les.l~~

The revision of parliament's peace terms by Widdrington's committee during October and November 1645 seems to have been the catalyst for a major rethinking of the conduct of the Irish war.127 The propositions' rejection of a joint Anglo-Scottish approach to the reconquest of Ireland cleared the ground for, and may even have precipitated, moves in parliament to appoint an English replacement for Leven and Monro for what was envisaged as an exclusively English campaign to suppress the Irish rebels. The outlines of this new policy towards Ireland can be clearly discerned in the first draft of the propositions presented to the House on I December 1645. But there could be no final ratification of the propositions or implementation of the new Irish policy they heralded while the legislation for a joint Anglo-Scottish approach to Ireland was still in place; and therefore on 15 and 25 December 1645 the Commons voted to repeal the ordinances of g March and I I April 1644.12' With these obstacles to an exclusively English reconquest of Ireland removed, the Commons, on 5 January 1646, 'proceeded in consideration of the treaty which we had with the Scots concerning Ireland', and after a 'very long debate' voted to commit the government of the kingdom to a single person.129 That person, nominated as chief governor of Ireland on 2 ;January, and soon after upgraded to the office of lord lieutenant-general, was Viscount Lisle, the nephew of Widdrington's patron, the earl of North~mber1and.l~~

Lisle was intimately associated with Northumberland and the anti-Scottish, Independent interest at Westminster, and his appointment as lord lieutenant was interpreted by the Scots as part of a design by their enemies at Westminster to gain the military and political whip hand in England and Ireland.131 The drafting of the Newcastle Propositions by Widdrington and his allies and concurrent moves to establish Viscount Lisle as lord lieutenant of Ireland can thus be seen as part of the same political process -an attempt by a highly Anglocentric Westminster faction to redraw the political map of the British Isles to its own advantage.

LJ, VIII, p. 217; BL, Add. MS 37978, fo 59; Scots commissioners, p. 170.

HLRO, Main Papers, 27 Apr. 1646, fos. 12-18v: 'The treaty made at Edenburgh the 28th of No[vemb]er 1643. Conteyning reasons why it is a treaty'; LJ, VIII, pp. 217-18; Rushworth, Historical collectiow, VI, p. 256; LJ, VIII, p. 218.

12' CJ, IV, pp 352, 368-9, 381, 388, 395, 396, 397; LJ, VIII, pp. 64-5; HMC, Portland MSS, I,

p. 326; Adamson, 'Strafford's ghost', pp. I 28-59; Robert Armstrong, 'Protestant Ireland and the

English parliament, 1641-1647' (Ph.D. thesis, Trinity College Dublin, 1gg5), pp. 2079.

lZs HMC, Portland MSS, I, p. 326; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16, p. 497; Scots commissioners, p. 147.

lZ8 CJ, IV, p. 397; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16, p. 503; HMC, Portland MSS, I, p. 326.

CJ, IV, pp. 413, 475,476, 494; BL, Add. MS 31 I 16, pp. 519, 524. I am grateful to Patrick Little for many useful discussions on parliamentary policy towards Ireland during the mid-1640s. 131 See Adamson, 'Strafford's ghost'.


It was partly because the Newcastle Propositions were so hostile to Scottish interests that some of the leading Scots were induced to turn to the king in order to gain terms for Scotland's security -a decision that would lead to the Scots' Engagement with Charles and the Second Civil War of 1648.'~' The Scots' Presbyterian allies at Westminster and in the City also found the propositions highly di~tastefu1.l~~

The Presbyterian leader, Denzell Holles, claimed that the revision of the propositions was undertaken by the 'violent party' specifically to give offence to the Scots -'that it might be ill-taken -that it might argue a jealousy -that the Scots might see by it, that the countenance ofthe Parliament was not to them as before -and that, the ligament being untied by which the two Kingdoms did seem to be bound-up together, they might fall in sunder, and the breach be the greater'.13* With characteristic hyperbole, he accused those who had drawn up the propositions of thirsting 'after nothing, but to see the two Kingdoms weltering in that blood which they must let-out of one- another's veins'.13' Far from being the expression of a 'middle way ', therefore, the Newcastle Propositions -which if they can be identified with any individual MP it is surely Widdrington -represented a highly partisan attempt to undermine the political influence of the Scots and to weaken the union between the two kingdoms.136

I have argued here that the Anglocentrism of the Newcastle Propositions, and concerted efforts to weaken the Covenanting armies, owed a considerable amount to the success of the Scots' enemies in crying up Scottish misdemeanours in the north. The Independents, from their power base in the Commons, were bent on redefining the relationship between the two kingdoms, spurning the confederalist approach of the Uxbridge Proposals. Central to their strategy, it seems, was the advertisement of the Scots' high-handed carriage in the northern counties. Using this tactic, they were able to win over many backwoods, non-partisan MPs (and probably some of those whose religious and political views should have made them supporters of the Scots) and thus secure a majority on certain key issues -the peace propositions and the ordering of the Scottish forces being foremost among them.13' In striving to undermine the Scots' influence in English affairs and to frustrate their

Stevenson, 'The early Covenanters', pp. 173-6

13' DWL, MS 24.50, fo. 71 ; HCA, Hull letters, L421; BL, Add. MS 37978, fo 94; Scots commissioners, pp. I 74, 184, 188; Baillie, 11, pp. 367, 370; Holles memoirs, pp. 223-4; Harington Diav, ed. Stieg, p. 18; CJ, N, pp. 545, 576, 578; Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament', pp. 253-4, 282-5. Holles memoirs, p. 224. Ibid.

13' Sarah Barber has described Thomas Chaloner's 'speech without doors' of October 1646 as 'the first indication of a paradigm shift in the attitude of some English parliamentarians towards the Scots'. However, a stronger argument in this respect could be constructed around the Newcastle Propositions (as initially drafted) : Barber, 'Scotland and Ireland under the Com- monwealth', p. 200.

13' See Holles memoirs, p. 230; Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament',

p. 252.

negotiations with the king (a captive of Leven's army from May 1646), the leading parliamentary Independents also found a powerful ally in the Commons Northern Association committee under its chairman, Sir Thomas Widdrington. With the Scots still pressing heavily upon the northern counties in the spring of 1646, Widdrington's committee was prepared to try a new strategy to protect the region against Scottish depredations -that of replacing the commander of the Northern Association army, Colonel-General Sednham Poynts -a religious Presbyterian and friend of the Scots -with the commander of the New Model, Sir Thomas Fairfax.13* Early in April the committee presented proposals to the Commons that the northern counties be associated for a further six months, and that the Northern Association army be enlarged to ~o,ooo men and placed directly under Fairfax's command.139 These proposals caused the Scots deep alarm. Aware that there were 'no visible forces of the enemie's which might give occasion for these resolutions ', they naturally feared that this new army would be turned against them.140 At the very least, as Juxon claimed, these resolutions were intended to ensure that there would be 'faire playe in the retourne of the Scotts [army to Scotland], that there may be no pl~ndre[in]g'.l~~

In other words, Widdrington and his allies were hoping to turn the Northern Association army into a regional defence force against the Scots. The overtly anti-Scottish nature of these resolutions probably explains why they remained just that -resolutions -rather than an ordinance of both Houses. Any vote of the Commons that involved replacing Poynts with Fairfax would have been fiercely resisted in the Lords, where the earl of Essex's party had attained a narrow majority by April 1646.

Further reports of the Scots' abuses in the north, and the fear that Charles's flight to their army in May would lead to a royalist-Scottish military alliance, persuaded Widdrington and the Northern Association committee to press for even more extreme measures. On 4 June 1646, the committee voted to make two recommendations to the House: first, that the Scots be paid £1 oo,ooo (a measure intended to deter them from plundering in the north in anticipation of their withdrawal) ;and second, that Sir Thomas Fairfax 'go down into the northern parts with such forces as shall be thought fit for [the] preservation thereof'.142 This second recommendation -that Fairfax and the New Model be sent into the northern counties -may well have had a more sinister purpose than simply the preservation of the north against the Scots. Although the northern MPs were genuinely concerned for the well-being of their region, it is significant that Widdrington and his committee were proposing the very measure that Sir John Evelyn, Sir Arthur Hesilrige, and their fellow 'teazers ',

13' [S. Poynts], The vindication ofcolonel General Poyntr (Oct.1648), sig. A4 (BL, E 32018);Truth's discovery of a black cloud in the north, p. 21 ;Holles memoirs, pp. 225-6.

13' Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 58, fo. 22v; MS Tanner 60, fos. 575, 575v; CJ, IV,p. 501; The Hull letters, ed. Wildridge, pp. 135-6. 140 Scots commissioners, pp. I 72, 175.

l4' DWL, MS 24.50, fo. 72v.

14' Bodl. Lib., MS Nalson XIX, fo. 398; Scots commissioners, pp. 18~90.


as Holles called them,143 had been pressing for since the spring -the dispatch of the New Model northwards to supplant the Scots army and (from May) to recover the king. In recommending that Sir Thomas Fairfax be sent north, northern parliamentarians such as Widdrington may well have been working to a double agenda. As it transpired, this proposal was never reported to the House -at least there is no reference to this effect in the Journals. Nevertheless, the Scots commissioners reported late in June that the Northern Association committee at York had written to Sir Thomas Fairfax 'inviting him to come north and improve his interest in their quarters, for easing them of the heavy pressures they ly under and are able to beare no longer'.144 The keenness of Widdrington and his fellow committeemen to hand control of the fraught situation in the north to Fairfax and the New Model probably explains why the Presbyterian-dominated upper House appears to have conceived such a dislike of the Northern Association by the summer of 1646. When Widdrington carried an ordinance for the continuation of the Association to the Lords late in July, the peers divided evenly on whether to pass it and then a week later rejected it outright -Saye and Wharton entering their dissents to this vote.14' The Lords' refusal to continue the Association has been explained in terms of their desire to dismantle the nation's 'war-making machinery'.146 But this hardly seems credible in light of the Lords' manifest reluctance to see the disbandment of the brigade commanded by the Presbyterian, Colonel Edward Massey, that autumn.14' In the summer of 1647 the Presbyterians would look hopefully to Poynts's northern army as a possible counterweight, in conjunction with the Scots and the City trained bands, to the New Model.14' But the threat in the summer of 1646, as the Lords doubtless perceived, was that northern forces would join with the New Model as a counterweight to the Scots.

The Scots for their part had good reason to be suspicious of the Northern Association committee. Proposals to send Fairfax northwards were, in their eyes, part of a design by the Independents to bring about a confrontation between the New Model Army and Leven's forces.149 Likewise Denzell Holles was adamant that 'could they [the Independents] have gotten a vote for this, their work had been done, and we should soon have heard of mischief, and felt it: The animosity between these two Armies would have instantly put them and the Kingdoms into blood :for which, no question, Sir Thomas Fairfax had his instructions. ' Holles's claim is supported from the other side of the political

143 Holles memoirs, p. 225.

144 Scots commissioners, p. 197.The Scots were still fearful that the New Model Army would be sent north against them in August 1646: The Hamilton papers, ed. Samuel Rawson Gardiner, Camden Society, new ser., 27 (London, 1880),p. 107. 145 L3, WII, PP, 442, 447.

146 Kishlansky, Rise of the New Model Amy, pp. 124-5.
14' Ian Gentles, The New Model Army in England, Ireland and Scotland, I 645-1 653 (Oxford, I ggz),

PP. '43-4.

14' Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament', pp. 419-20, 452, 463.

14' Holles memoirs, p. 225; Baillie, 11,pp. 359, 365, 369, 374, 375-6, 514; Scots commissioners, pp.

177, 178-9, 183, 184, 189-90; Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fo. 160.

fence by Juxon, who alleged that the New Model's commanders allowed Oxford to surrender on what were very favourable terms 'bec[ause] they desired to dispatch to be readey for the Scotts, against whome 'twas wished some odd man or other would begin the Buisnes, there fingers Icheinge at it: Under the hopes of obtaine[ing] a Liberty of Conscience: and continueing [thlings in such a way as they might always Rule. 'lbOFaced with the prospect of open war between the two kingdoms, the Scots' allies in the Lords made sure that Fairfax's army never marched north of Newark.lbl

Although there was an element of bluster and grand-standing to the Commons' attempt to send Fairfax's army northwards, there can be no doubt that English and Scottish forces came very near to blows in the summer of I 646. The fact that the Scottish army left the kingdom peaceably in January 1647 instead of being driven out at sword-point was no credit to Widdrington and his committee. That he and other leading Independents were blind to the possibility that the New Model, if sent northwards, would clash with the Scots, seems very unlikely. Indeed, Holles suggests that this was their real aim, and that the relief of the northern counties was merely a pretext.''' What is clear, and what MPs such as Evelyn, Hesilrige, and possibly Widdrington, must have realized, indeed desired, is that military confrontation with the Scots, particularly if it resulted in Leven being forced to hand over the king, would have destroyed once and for all any prospect of a confederal union between the two kingdoms. With Charles in their hands and the Scots removed from the political scene, the Independents would have had free rein to reach their own settlement with the king, probably along the lines of the Heads of Proposals which a group ofsenior army officers and their principal backers at Westminster were to put before the king the following summer.ls3 From the Heads of Proposals it is clear where the leading Independents envisaged sovereign power would lie in a reformed English polity. Not with the king certainly, whose powers were to be strictly limited, but with a reconstituted privy council, or 'Council of State', which would exercise supreme authority over the militia and the armed forces in England and Ireland.lb4 The places on this council would be filled by 'trusty and able persons now to be agreed upon' -in other words Saye, the younger Vane, and other leading figures in the bicameral

15' DWL, MS 24.50, fo. 82~. This view was shared by Baillie and the Scots commissioners: Baillie, 11, p. 376; Scots commissioners, p. 196. 151 Bodl. Lib., MS Tanner 59, fo. 161 ;DWL, MS 24.50, fo. 77; LJ, VIII, pp. 308-9; Adamson, 'The peerage in politics, I 645-49 ', pp. 130-1. 152 Holles memoirs, p. 225.

153 There has been heated debate in recent years over the authorship of the Heads of Proposals. The balance of evidence suggests that the Heads were drafted by Ireton and Lambert in consultation with Saye and other Independent grandees: Beinecke Lib., MS Osborn fb. 155 (John Browne's commonplace book), pp. 238-9; Mark A. Kishlansky, 'Saye what?', HJ, 33 (~ggo), pp. 928-33; J. S. A. Adamson, 'Politics and the nobility in Civil-War England', HJ, 34 (~gg~), (Ph.D.

pp. 240-1; D. Farr, 'The military and political career ofJohn Lambert 161~57 thesis, Cambridge, 1996), pp. 238-46; Austin Woolrych, unpublished paper given at the Putney Debates conference, Putney, 8 Nov. 1997.

154 Constitutional documents, ed. Gardiner, pp. 3 I g--20.

374 DAVID SCOTT Independent interest which had consistently championed the New Model. Like the Newcastle Propositions, the Heads implicitly denied the Scots any role in the prosecution of the war in Ireland, which was to be left exclusively to the 'Lords and Commons in the Parliament of England'.lb5 In fact all question of liaison and co-operation between the two kingdoms was deliberately left unaddressed by the Headslb6 -the Scots were, it seems, to be left entirely to their own devices. A settlement along these lines had alarming implications for the Scots. In pressing for the subordination of the king's person and office to the English parliament and an Independent-dominated privy council, the Heads evinced a deeply Anglocentric view of the relationship between the three kingdoms. With the king reduced to a doge-like figure, his powers effectively subordinated to an anti-Scottish 'junto' at Westminster, and Ireland reduced once again to the status of an English province, Scotland's autonomy and security would be severely threatened.lb7


In striving to banish Scottish influence from English and Irish affairs the Independents became to a very large extent the victims of their own success. Whereas Lisle's lieutenancy in Ireland achieved little in military terms, it proved highly successful in convincing a powerful section of the Scottish and Irish leadership that the Independent junto at Westminster intended them no good -an apprehension which contributed greatly to the outbreak of the Second Civil War.''' Similarly, although the Independents were instrumental in securing the withdrawal of the Scottish army, they found it much harder to sustain their Commons' majority once the stream of revelations about Scottish atrocities in the north had dried up (and the recruiter elections had had their effect).15' The consequent decline of the parliamentary Independents in the early months of 1647 set in motion a train of events -the Presbyterians' campaign to disband the New Model, Cornet Joyce's seizure of the king in June 1647, the forcing of the Houses in July, and the army's march upon London in August -which again led more or less directly to the Engagement and the Scottish invasion of 1648. It has been argued here that the breakdown in Anglo-Scottish relations between 1645 and 1648, of which Lisle's lieutenancy and the events surrounding the withdrawal of the Scots were important components, cannot properly be understood without giving due weight to the

155 Ibid., p. 321; Morrill, 'Three kingdoms and one commonwealth?', pp. 182-3.

156 The Heads barely paid even lip-service to the idea of co-operation between the two kingdoms, merely including a clause that an act be passed for confirming the treaties between them and for appointing conservators of the peace (who had never convened in England anyway) : Constitutional documents, ed. Gardiner, p. 32 I.

15' The Hamiltonpapers, ed. Gardiner, pp. 124-5. 15' See Adamson, 'Strafford's ghost'.

lS8 The influx of Presbyterian recruiters from the autumn of 1646 more than cancelled out any advantage the Independents are likely to have gained from the northern recruiter elections; Underdown, 'Party management in the recruiter elections', pp. 25f34; Mahony, 'The Presbyterian party in the Long Parliament', pp. 498-506.

northern reaction against the Scots and its impact at Westminster. Indeed, it could be said that by 'blowing at the coal' of English resentment at Scottish oppressions in the north, the Northern gentlemen and leading Independents contributed significantly to a major shift in the relationship between all three kingdoms -away from the confederalist schemes urged by the Scots towards the re-assertion of England's ancient 'superioritie' over Ireland and Scotland, and, ultimately, to English conquest of the entire British Isles.

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