The Declaration and Ingagement of the Protestant Army in the Province of Mounster
About this text
The pamphlet outlines the reasons for the defection of the Munster Protestants, led by Murrough O’Brian, Earl of Inchiquin (1614-74), in favour of Charles I. Inchiquin was made governor of Munster in 1642, but was hampered, as the pamphlet indicates, by the lack of funds. The defection of the Munster camp was triggered by anti-Independent sentiment, and resentment of the actions of Philip Sidney, Lord Lisle and those in support of his governance of Ireland in 1646-47. There were also concerns about parliamentary privileges and the question of supply, as the pamphlet complains. Inchiquin held considerable sway in southern Ireland, and maintained control of Cork, Kinsale, Youghal, Baltimore, Castlehaven, Crookhaven, and Dungarvan, fortifying their harbours and preventing parliamentary ships from anchoring there. This pamphlet particularly highlights the discontent of Inchiquin’s army with the “starvation” inflicted upon them by the delaying of the supply of provisions. Lisle’s army had apparently declared “That if we in Munster were not poor enough, they would make us so.” Political battles were fought by creating dearth.
In the Province of Mounster.
Under the Command of the Right Honourable
the Lord Baron Inchiquin. HONI SOIT QUI MAY Y PENSE
DIEU ET MON DROIT
Printed at Cork, and re-Printed at London in the Year, 1648.
1. The Declaration of the Protestant Army in the Province of Mounster.
WE have formerly testified unto the World by our constant sufferings in this Cause, and sedulous indeavours in the service, how firmely we stood devoted to the obedience of the KING and Parliament in the prosecution of the Common Enemy, against whom, the severall successes wherewith our weake Attempts have been seconded, hath as well testified the divine Providence over us, as attracted the approbation of men upon our actions, untill a growing party of Independency sprung up in the Houses and Army; who finding an unaptnesse in us to receive the impression of their designes, have on that consideration contrived our subversion. In order whereunto they had no sooner prevailed to place the Lord Lisle in the Lieutenancy of this Kingdome, but in short time there was advanced 180000 pound for the service thereof; a summe so considerable, that had it been effectually imployed to the use whereunto it was designed, might have reduced most of this Kingdome to Obedience; but 10 Moneths of 12. being spent on Preparations, and the moneyes detained, lest it should come to our unconfiding hands, whilst our Souldiers starved in the streets; the Lord Lisle in February 1646 arrives with 25000 l of the aforesaid summe, which, with the whole Contribution of the Country was exhausted in eight weeks space, 5000 l in money, and a few provisions only excepted; the only services performed by the expence of so much treasure were the taking of Corke, Kinsale' and Youghall out of those hands who had long and faith-fully held them for the service of the KING and Parliament, and placing in them confidents of their own, to secure unto themselves their owne resolutions, which were so fixed upon the suppression of both KING and Parliament, as that they endeavoured to postpone a Commission (from both) under the true broad Seale of England to a paperwarrant of their own, and howbeit to give Countenance and enforce obedience to that new contrived Authority they had drawn the head Garrison in-to Armes, loaden their Musquets with Powder and Ball, shut up the Portes and drawn in part of the Lord Brohels Regiment of Horse to the Lord Presidents door, yet finding the Officers generally (a few particu [Page 2] larly obliged persons only excepted) to adhere unto the Parliaments authority in the Lord Presidents person, and nothing moved with their apparition of force, they desisted from further prosecution of that designe, and departed the Kingdome, giving testimony of the good affections they had for the service thereof upon their landing, by labouring to foment a Petition amongst the Horse Forces then lying ready at the waterside to imbarke for this Province, whereby they desired to decline this Service, unlesse under the command of some of their Faction. But that (with many other) provoking too weake a practice to accele-rate our ruine, they labour to retard or divert all Supplyes for the carrying on this War; For the better accomplishing whereof it hath been suggested; That the wants of this Army are not so great as they are frequently represented, but that here is a competency upon the place to support us; though to take away that supposition (being of somewhat a long standing) it hath been often most earnestly desired that a Com-mittee might be sent over to improve whatsoever may arise upon the place, and dispose of what shall be transmitted thence: But as there is a suggested sufficiency of meanes, so there is a supposed deficiency in the Officers which must give ground to deteine all supplyes, till they can be sent by such as have sufficient prejudice to this Army.
As a practice to this purpose we must necessarily looke upon the indeavour used by some Independents, to take off the Reputation of our late Ingagements with the Rebels at Knocknonosse, calling it (on the open Exchange) a Project to draw on the Adventurers (then convening to advance moneys for our reliefe) and for the greater disparagement of the action, substracting from the numbers of the Rebels, both alive and slaine, lest the considerablenesse of the Service should induce any proportionable reliefe, which the Houses did not with more alacrity grant, then others laboured to retard; It could not otherwise be that of 10000. l. Voted so long since, and revoted on the advertisement of that action, there should be only 2500 l advanced and remitted, or that of the Ordinance for 20000 l. per Mens. Voted four moneths since, & to continue but for six. We should yet find no effect, the passing of which Ordinance did not more comfort us with the contemplation of a setled competency, then with an expectation that the leavies made for us distinguished from any mitxure with other taxations, would come cleerly and intirely to us without the accustomed misapplication, whereby the relief of Ireland was made but a stale to collect great summes by for other uses; It being generally observeable, and many of us eyewitnesses thereof, that the Impositions laid in City and Country for the relief of this distressed Kingdom, were payd in with the greatest alacrity and readinesse of any [Page 3] other taxes, which occasioned the name of our reliefe to be inter woven in all assessements.
We doubt not but many will be ready to object an impossibility that any man can be so unchristian to obstruct or divert the supplies of this bleeding Kingdom, to the support whereof all so highly pretend; And yet the detaining most part of the traine of Artillery with its Carriages and Utencils, for which the Lord Lisle accompt stands charged with above 12000. l and for transporting whereof 1000. was imprested to Sir John Veale, could not hate passed with impunity if some did not contrive the retarding the worke of ; The reproachfull usage of those Gentlemen who in Conformity to the Ordinance of Parliament disbanded and subscribed for the service of Ireland; The suffering of many men desirous to come for Ireland to lye upon freequarter in the West, till they had eaten as much as would have maintained them here a twelve-moneth, and were at last disbanded; The strict course taken (by the interposition of some particular persons) to deprive us of all hope of reliefe from the shipping, by reprizals taken at Sea upon our Coasts & even in our Harboursmouthes (an expedient that hath formerly often preserved us in our greatest Exigencies) savoureth of no meane indeavours to retard the reliefe of Ireland; And the words of a powerfull Member of the Army, to a late servant of the Lord Lisles declaring our starving condition for want of food and rayment, (That if we in Munster were not poor enough, they would make us so) have been in a great measure verified; But we do the lesse wonder that it should be their indeavour to make us so, when we consider the arguments raised by Col: Lambert and others of the Army, against the Justice and lawful-nesse of this War on our parts, and justifying the actions of the Rebels; It having been avouched to some of our Faces, that the English interest were better in the hands of the Rebels then in ours; And there has not been wanting those of the Lord Lisles owne retinue, who have openly professed that they made no distinction betwixt the Rebels and those of the Protestant party, which they found upon the place, his Lordships domestique Chappellane at the same time diffusing words of the same sence in the Pulpit, whiles other Orthodox Divines were not admitted to preach. But we shall summe up all their practises to obstruct our relief, in this one instance of their late seizure upon the moneyes brought in upon the Ordinance of 20000 l. per Mens and taking the same out of the hands of our Treasurers; so as that it may be feared, That to have the War finished here before the perfection of their designes in England, would prove to them the greatest dissatisfaction in the world, by means whereof many of our poor Souldiers have been aready swept into a [Page 4] miserable Grave; for whose lives, as these men stand justly accomptable, so will it be difficult for them to be freed of the guilt of all that blood which hath been shed in the service, which, but for their practices had been long agoe fore-closed.
And yet their confidence is remarkable; for though these things have been visibly practised in our eyes, yet we finde the cry raised aloud a-gainst the KING, the eleven Members involving the Lord President for obstructing the war of Ireland; and the Independents putting on as sober countenances, as if their hands were innocent of our blood, and that it were just that they should passe by plausibly unblameable; And for this end they make that Criminall in some, that they allow to be commendable in others; If we importune Relief, declare against Innovations in Government, professe a readinesse to serve and obey the Parliament, we must at least sue forth an Act of Indempnity, and it is held for a speciall lenity that two of our Officers were not executed on that score; But if the Army in England refuse to disband at the appointment of an Ordinance of Parliament, or to obey the major Votes of the Houses, and march up to the City of London with Banners displayed, it shall not only be approved, but made penall to us, or any other that dare mention it with dislike, though as being English-men and Subjects, we esteeme our interest and propriety in the Law of the Land, and liberty of the Subject proportionably as good as theirs.
Though these their private practices were sufficiently notorious unto us, yet we were resolved to struggle with all difficulties, & to maintain the Protestant interest in these parts successively to the last man, rather then by any Cessation with the Irish, or otherwise to give a jealousie of for-feiting the least trust which was imposed in us by that authority which imlpoyed us hither; while they continued in the Government we would not decline our obedience for the greatest hardships; But now at last discovering the Resolutions of our Adversaries to cast off all obligations both to KING and Parliament, rather then to faile in their intendments, we conceive we are obliged by the Law of God and of the Kingdome not to assent unto their requirements whom Power, not Justice hath seated in those places of Authority; It is, & was ever a main Principle whereon all our Resolutions were grounded to contend for the safety of His MAJESTIES Person & Prerogative, for the freedom and priviledge of Parliament, and liberty of the Subject, as they were interwoven and had a cleere and mutuall Dependency each upon other: And it was long before we could entertaine any suspition of a designe to engage us further, untill the practice of the Independents party grew more obnoxious, and that we saw His MAJESTY in effect deposed, [Page 5] made Prisoner to the closest confinement: The freedome of the Parliament highly invaded, and their inclination and assent to a personall Treaty with His MAJESTY (the onely expedient of a happy Peace) made frustrate by the overpowering awe of the Army; the Liberty of the Subject, and Pro-priety of Interest totally suppressed, and all other the genuine Immunities of that once glorious Nation, made arbitrary at the pleasure and determination of the Armies dictations: And though while these things were in our eye and observation, we had still quiet desires of sitting silent, and intent upon our own engagement here, and the Prosecution and conduct of our charge in this Kingdome, yet we came at last to discerne, that if we would no be involved and ingaged in the same practises with those who were resolved to trample under foot, the subject matter of our Nationall League, that we should be made partakers of their ruine, whom he had sworn to support; of which besides other evidences, we had that signall Testimony of the Vice-Ad-miralls demand (in this Armies absence in the field) of certaine persons com-mitted to close custody for contriving the Armies ruine, of his blocking up our Harbours thereupon, and meanacing us with a Declaration of being enemies to the State, and with the accesse of great Powers to suppresse and suddenly swallow us up (though nothing considerable in twelve moneths space came to support the war against the Rebells) unlesse we did declare for those who acted contrary to our and their own engagements, of seducing & encouraging our fugitive & mutinous Souldiers abroad, for the accomplishing the most wicked end of necessitating us, to submit to famine or Cessation with the Irish: All which we could not imagine he would presume to act, without direction and authority from that part of the Parliament which is soly guided by the pleasure of the Army, (for the doing whereof he now a-voucheth Authority at the same time, that the Committee at Derby house assures us of the Houses confidence in our integrity;) And did therefore esteeme it absolutely necessary, at a generall Rendezvous upon our return out of the field, to declare and manifest our Intentions and Resolutions to the Souldiery, as well to give them a cleer understanding of our intendments, as to confirme them against the practises of seducers, against whose charmes we resolve to arme our selves with these ensuing resolutions.
That we will not be involved by Consent or Cooperation in any Actions which shall tend to the violation of our publick engagements to the KING and Parliament, nor prostrate ourselves to a misguidance with those, who (with grief of heart) we observe to be under the coercive inforcement of the Independent Power, from which, as we shall labour to restore them to their proper freedome, so we shall not during their continuance under these Pressures, esteeme our selves obliged to the Observance of any Injunctions, which by the usurped Authority of the Independents they shall labour to lay upon us, under the Notion of Parliament, but the ensuing Protestation do declare,
First, to improve our utmost endeavours for the Settlement of the Protestant Religion according to the example of the best Reformed Churches.
Secondly, to defend the KING in his Prerogatives.
Thirdly, to maintaine the Priviledges and freedome of the Parliament and the Liberty of the Subject.
And that in Order hereunto we shall oppose to the hazard of our lives, those Rebells of this Kingdome, who shall refuse their Obedience to His MAJESTY upon what termes soever He shall think fit to require it. And we shall endeavour to the utmost the suppressing of that Independent Party, who have thus fiercely laboured the Extirpation of the true Protestant Religion, the ruine of our PRINCE, the dishonour of our Parliament, and the Vassalidg of our Fellow-Subjects, against all those who shall depend upon them, or adhere unto them.
And (that this our undertaking might not appear obnoxious to the trade of England, but that we desire a firme union and agreement be preserved be-twixt us) We doe like-wise declare, that we will continue free traffique and commerce with all His MAJESTIES good Subjects of England: And that we will not in the least manner prejudice any of them that shall have recourse to our Harbours, either in their bodies, ships, or goods, nor shall we take any thing from them without payment of ready money for the same.
It may happily be judged by some, as an act of Imprudence, that we should take this unseasonable time for this Remonstrance, wherein the KING Himself is in confinement, His Party nothing; the moderate party of the Houses (or most of them) either in retirement or banishment for the preservation of their lives, and onely those in power and authority against whose proceedings we make this our publick Protestation: All which we cannot but with much sorrow acknowledge to be too true, and that these inconveniencies are to be resisted, but not avoyded: Had we been ascertained heretofore, that their intentions were (as now we finde them) to introduce an Anarchy upon us, and by the destruction of the Fundamentalls of these Kingdomes to advance a Government of their own Imaginations: We had long ere this time approved our duty to KING and Country by opposing them; which in all probabilitie we might have done upon more advantagious termes, both to our persons and undertakings, had we not been drawn on in an expectation of a fair composure of all differences as not able to discerne (beyond suspition) the cleere drift of their designes through those various pretences which they put upon them, till they had gained the whole power of the Kingdome into their hands: Yet these difficulties must not be admitted into the bal-lance with Honesty; Though it may not come within the compasse of our abilities to serve our KING and Country as we would, (which we shall never decline upon the least occasion) yet we desire to approve our integrities to both, by this manifest of our Resolution.