Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War 0199541914, 9780199541911

Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War charts the way the English civil war of the 1640s mutated into a revo

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Table of contents :
Cover
Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War
Copyright
Acknowledgments
Contents
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Note on Sources, Citations, and Dates
Introduction
RADICAL PARLIAMENTARIANS
PRINT, MOBILIZATION, AND POLITICS: IDEA AND CONTEXT
ARCHITECTURE, DYNAMICS, AND STAKES OF REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE
PART I: FROM PERSONAL RULE TO POLITICAL CRISIS, 1635–1642
1: Freeborn Subjects: Puritanism, Politics, and Print in the Personal Rule
PRINT, ANTI-EPISCOPAL ECCLESIOLOGY, AND THE DYNAMIC OF RADICALIZATION
NEW ENGLAND AND THE ORIGINS OF PURITAN ECCLESIOLOGICAL CONTROVERSY
MICRO-COMMUNITY I : LONDON, SECTARIANISM, AND THE ARTS OF PRINT PUBLICITY
MICRO-COMMUNITY I I : BRISTOL, THE WESTERN AXIS, AND THE RADICALIZATION OF THE PROVINCES
MICRO-COMMUNITY I I I: HERTFORD, PURITAN ECCLESIOLOGICAL CONFLICT, AND RESISTANCETO SHIP MONEY
2: Secret Printing and the Crisis of 1640: The Margery Mar-Prelate Press and Print in the Time of Parliament
THE SHORT PARLIAMENT AND THE MARGERY MAR-PRELATE PRESS
THE NAG’S HEAD TAVERN AND THE COBBLER’S SERMON
HENRY BURTON, THE CANONS OF 1640, AND THE SCOTTISH INVASION
ENGLANDS COMPLAINT TO JESUS CHRIST
PRINTING IN THE TIME OF PARLIAMENT: THE ORIGINS OF IDEAS OF PRESS FREEDOM
TOTAL SEPARATION, “INDEPENDENT CHURCHES,” AND THE LIMITS OF MAGISTERIAL COERCION
JOHN ARCHER AND THE MILLENNIUM
THE END OF THE MARGERY MAR-PRELATE PRESS
THE AFTERLIFE OF THE PRESS: RICHARD OVERTON, PETER COLE, BENJAMIN ALLEN
CIRCULATION, READERSHIP, AND RECEPTION
THE IMPACT OF THE MARGERY MAR-PRELATE PRESS
3: The Rubble of Episcopacy: Parliament, Religious Mobilization, and the “Generall Liberty” of the Press, 1641
EPISCOPACY, ROOT AND BRANCH, AND THE SECTARIAN CHALLENGE
THE PROTESTATION PROTESTED, “INDEPENDENCY,” AND THE “GENERALL LIBERTY” OF THE PRESS
INDEPENDENT “PETITIONS” AND THE EMERGENCE OF ENGLISH PRESBYTERIANISM
THE “ALDERMANBURY ACCORD”
THE RUBBLE OF EPISCOPACY AND THE RISE OF ANABAPTISM
4: “Extremities, Not Fit to be Named” Crowds, Print, and Constitutional Improvisation
THE STRUGGLE FOR WESTMINSTER
“TO YOUR TENTS”: CROWDS, PAMPHLETS, AND THE FLIGHT OF THE KING
THE LORDS, THE PETITION OF MANY THOUSAND POORE PEOPLE, AND CONSTITUTIONAL UPHEAVAL
THE LORDS AND IDEOLOGICAL IMPROVISATION
CODA: A QUESTION ANSWERED
PART II: CIVIL WAR, 1642–1643
5: “Lawless Tyranny” and “Destructive Accommodation”: War and the Transformation of Politics, 1642–1643
LAWLESS TYRANNY: KING JAMES HIS JUDGEMENT
ACCOMMODATION, THE “FLYING ARMY,” AND THE FRAGMENTATION OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CAUSE
THE LONDON WAR PARTY AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE PARLIAMENTARIAN STATE
THE PETITION OF DECEMBER 1
PRINT AND IDEOLOGICAL ESCALATION: THE SUPREMACY OF THE TWO HOUSES, THE NEGATIVE VOICE, AND THE DEATH OF THE KING-IN-PARLIAMENT
ACCOMMODATION, THE FAILURE OF PARLIAMENTS, AND POPULAR POWER
6: Defining the Cause: The London Remonstrance, the General Rising, and Military Crisis
THE EARL OF ESSEX, THE OXFORD TREATY, AND POLITICAL CONFLICT
THE LONDON REMONSTRANCE OF MARCH 30
THE CRISIS OF 1643: MILITARY POLITICS, RUMOR, AND ROUNDWAY DOWN
THE GENERAL RISING
SALTMARSH, MARTEN, AND THE PERILS OF EXTREMISM
CONCLUSION
7: “So Full of Novelties”: The Sectarian Slurry, Redistributionism, and the Licensing Ordinance
PAINE AND SIMMONS: ANTINOMIANISM, APOCALYPTIC ILLUMINISM, AND ANABAPTISM
JOHN SWEETING, ANTINOMIAN PUBLICATIONS, AND “EGALITARIAN REDISTRIBUTIONISM”
THE LICENSING ORDINANCE
CALVINISM AT STAKE: GREGORY DEXTER, LAWRENCE SANDERS, AND THE FULNESSE OF GODS LOVE MANIFESTED
MANS MORTALLITIE: RICHARD OVERTON, PETER COLE, AND THE MORTALITY OF THE SOUL
THE SECTARIAN SLURRY: HYBRIDITY, PUBLISHERS, AND RADICALIZATION
PART III: WAR AND RELIGION, 1643–1644
8: The Rise of Religious Conflict in the Parliamentarian Coalition
THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY, THE POLITICIZED CLERISY, AND ANTINOMIANISM
THE PETITION AGAINST THE COVENANT
ANTINOMIANS, THE COVENANT, AND THE “INDEPENDENT COALITION”
LONDON, THE ASSEMBLY, AND THE MICRO-POLITICS OF RELIGIOUS DISPUTE
AN APOLOGETICALL NARRATION
ROYALIST PLOTTING AND RELIGIOUS “PARTY” POLITICS
9: Print House, Petitions, and Provinces: Religious Politics, Toleration, and the Making of an Independent” Coalition
SEEKING TOLERATION: ROGER WILLIAMS, GREGORY DEXTER, AND RADICAL ANTI-FORMALISM
THE TOLERATION PETITION: THE CONSOLIDATION OF “INDEPENDENCY” AS A POLITICAL FORCE
THE MILITARIZATION OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT: THE EASTERN ASSOCIATION ARMY
THE PROVINCIALIZATION OF RELIGIOUS CONFLICT: HERTFORDSHIRE
THE CORE OF THE INDEPENDENT COALITION: TWO EXAMPLES
10: The House of Stuart, the House of Lords, and the Politics of “Independency” Ideological Escalation in 1644
A KING DETHRONED: CHARLES I AND THE SUBJECTS’ BLOOD
THE COMPASSIONATE SAMARITANE: IMAGINING THE INDEPENDENT STATE
POLITICAL CONFLICT, THE HOUSE OF LORDS, AND THE SHAPE OF THE “INDEPENDENT” COALITION
PART IV: FRAGMENTATION AND VICTORY, 1644–1645
11: Rumor Wars: Underground Print and the Coming of the New Model Army
THE RISE OF ORGANIZED PRESBYTERIANISM
TWO RESPONSES: AREOPAGITICA AND THE SECRET PRESS OF OVERTON AND TEW
RUMOR WARS: RELIGION, CONFLICT, AND THE CROOKED PATH TO MILITARY REFORM
HOW ART THOU BETRAI’D? STREET LIBEL, THE SECRET PRESS, AND THE ASSAULT ON THE LORDS
THE SELF-DENYING ORDINANCE, THE POLITICS OF RUMOR, AND THE LONDON “REMONSTRANCE” AGAINST THE KING AND LORDS
PRYNNE, THE PRESBYTERIAN ALLIANCE, AND POLITICAL RETRENCHMENT
DEMOCRATICAL CONFUSION? ANTI-PRESBYTERIANISM, PRINT, AND IDEOLOGICAL ESCALATION
THE ATTACK ON THE OVERTON-TEW PRESS
A HELPE TO THE RIGHT UNDERSTANDING OF A DISCOURSE CONCERNING INDEPENDENCY: RETAINED RIGHTS AND CONSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION
THE CONSOLIDATION OF LONDON INDEPENDENCY
12: Supremacy in the Commons: Partisan Politics, Political Innovation, and the Rise of Lilburne
MAR-PRIEST: NATIVE LIBERTIES, THE PUBLIC GOOD, AND ANTI-PRESBYTERIAN POLEMIC
THE BATTLE FOR LONDON, THE BATTLE FOR LEICESTER, AND THE STRUCTURES OF CIVIL-WAR PARTISAN POLITICS
THE AGONY OF VICTORY: NASEBY, TOLERATION, AND THE FACTIONAL POLITICS OF CONSPIRACY
THE SUPREMACY OF THE COMMONS OR THE BETRAYAL OF THE COMMONS? LILBURNE, SELF-INCRIMINATION, AND THE POWERS OF PARLIAMENT
13: White King, Black Cassock: Monarchy, Presbytery, and the Radical Propaganda Collective
THE CULT OF LILBURNE
CROMWELL, THE STORM OF BRISTOL, AND THE BATTLE OVER PRESBYTERIANISM
BIRTH-RIGHT, CONQUEST, AND THE “FREE-BORNE PEOPLE OF THIS NATION”
THE RADICAL PROPAGANDA COLLECTIVE AND “LEVELLER” ORIGINS
THE WHITE KING AND THE BLACK CASSOCK
CONCLUSION
PART V: PATHS TO REVOLUTION
14: Internal Revolutions: Private Meditations and Radical Parliamentarianism, 1642–1646
NEHEMIAH WALLINGTON: THE LONDON “WAR PARTY” AND THE AMBIGUITIES OF PRESBYTERIANISM
THOMAS JUXON: THE END OF TYRANNY AND THE “NEW MONARCHY”
SIR CHENEY CULPEPER: THE FALL OF “CIVILL AND ECLESIASTICAL BABYLON”
CONCLUSION: POPULAR POLITICAL THEORISTS AND IDEOLOGICAL IMPROVISATION
15: The Seeking Way: “Forms of Religion” and the Coming of the English Revolution
ANTI-FORMALISM I : “DEVISED FORMES AND GESTURES”
ANTI-FORMALISM I I : “NO NAMES OF DIFFERENCE”
ANTI-FORMALISM I I I: “SEEKERS” AND THE REPUDIATION OF ORDINANCES
THE EMERGENCE OF CIVIL-WAR RADICAL ANTI-FORMALISM: FIVE CASE STUDIES
“MANY WHO OWN THEMSELVES . . . SEEKERS”: MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE FOR THE ATTACK ON ORDINANCES
POST-SEEKERS: CHRIST’S ANOINTED, THE MINISTRY OF ELIJAH, AND THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS
CONCLUSION
16: The Last Warning
THE END OF THE WAR, THE BATTLE FOR SETTLEMENT, AND THE KING’S CONDITION OPENED
THE LAST WARNING TO ALL THE INHABITANTS OF LONDON
THE HUNT FOR THE PRESS
FROM ADMONITION TO REVOLUTION
Conclusion
APPENDIX 1: The printing of John Lilburne, A Coppy of a Letter Written by John Lilburne, Close Prisoner In The Wards of the Fleet (1640) by the Margery Mar-Prelate Press
APPENDIX 2: The printing of A Question Answered: How Laws are to be understood, and obedience yeelded? by the print house of Gregory Dexter and Richard Oulton
APPENDIX 3: The printing of Mans Mortallitie or a Treatise Wherein ’tis proved, both Theologically and Phylosophically, that whole Man (as a rationall Creature) is a Compound wholy mortall (1644), using type associated with the print house of Peter Cole
APPENDIX 4: The printing of Alas pore Parliament, how art thou betrai’d? by the secret press of Richard Overton and Nicholas Tew
APPENDIX 5: The printing of To the Right Honourable, the LORD MAJOR, and the Right Worshipfull, the ALDERMEN, and Common Councell of the City of LONDON. The humble Petition of divers Citizens of this Honourable Citie (1645), likely executed by the secret press of Richard Overton
APPENDIX 6: The printing of Englands Lamentable Slaverie (1645) by the print house of Thomas Paine
APPENDIX 7: Ornaments of Stam, Margery Mar-Prelate Press, Peter Cole, and Richard Overton
Index
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OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 25/05/18, SPi

R A D I C A L PA R L I A M E N TA R I A N S A N D T H E E N G L I S H C I V I L WA R

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Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War D AV I D R . C O M O

1

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3 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © David R. Como 2018 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2018 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2017963304 ISBN 978–0–19–954191–1 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

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Acknowledgments Along the winding path that led to the publication of this book, I have benefited from the help and wisdom of many scholars and friends. I have learned from countless discussions, conferences, and exchanges in recent years, and while it is impossible to acknowledge all who have contributed to this study, I would like to thank the following colleagues and interlocutors: Carolyn Arena, Phil Baker, Alex Barber, Alastair Bellany, Lloyd Bowen, Mike Braddick, Andrew Cambers, John Coffey, Jeff Collins, Brian Cowan, Alan Cromartie, Richard Cust, Ken Fincham, Thomas Fulton, Tobias Gregory, Karl Gunther, Evan Haefeli, Susan Hardman Moore, Tim Harris, Simon Healy, Derek Hirst, Clive Holmes, Brendan Kane, Sean Kelsey, Chris Kyle, David Loewenstein, Diarmaid MacCulloch, David Magliocco, Michael Mendle, John Morrill, Sarah Mortimer, Molly Murray, David Norbrook, Michael Questier, Matt Reynolds, Stephen Roberts, David Scott, Ethan Shagan, Bill Sheils, Nigel Smith, Johann Sommerville, Isaac Stephens, Keith Thomas, Nicholas Tyacke, Elliot Vernon, Tim Wales, Rachel Weil, Michael Winship, and Lehua Yim. Considerable thanks are due to Sharon Achinstein, David Adams, Mario Caricchio, Ian Gentles, Polly Ha, Joel Halcomb, Ariel Hessayon, and Andy Hopper, who not only provided helpful advice, but also kindly shared portions of their own work prior to publication. Anthony Milton and Julia Merritt bailed me out of a self-induced archival emergency in Cambridge, then showed great hospitality when thanks should have been flowing the other way. I have also reaped the benefits of the endlessly supportive Pacific coast community of early modernists, centered on  the PCCBS and the Huntington, including Susan Amussen, Tom Cogswell, David Cressy, Barbara Donagan, Lori Anne Ferrell, Susan Green, Cynthia Herrup, Steve Hindle, Rebecca Lemon, Sears McGee, Roy Ritchie, Mary Robertson, David Sacks, and Stefania Tutino, who offered guidance and friendship, even as they were s­ ubjected to early and undigested iterations of the arguments below. A handful of scholars were particularly influential in helping me through the thicket of civil-war historical material and debate. Ann Hughes has been a constant source of advice and assistance, and stands, to my knowledge, as the only person who has reached the summit of SP 28, the Everest of civil-war historians. Blair Worden has provided continual encouragement, and the work has benefited significantly from his knowledge and judgment. Steve Pincus has been instrumental to the project, offering support and inspiration from the initial stages of research. Perhaps the most important influence has been Jason Peacey, whose friendship, research, and unparalleled expertise on England’s revolutionary decades has shaped this book from its inception. Many of the arguments below were hammered out with Jason and others in the Skinners Arms, a successor of sorts to Mrs. Wilson’s Nag’s Head. Often present at the Skinners Arms was Peter Lake, whose advice has improved this book in innumerable ways. He read portions of the manuscript in its earliest

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vi Acknowledgments stages and his insights and suggestions helped me to frame many of the book’s themes and arguments. It would be impossible to express my thanks in words, so for now he’ll have to settle for another pint and a trip to Drummond Street. Sandy Solomon also offered great support and kindness. Paul Seaver read early chapters in draft and he and Kirsten Seaver have been anchors of friendship and encouragement throughout the arduous process of research and writing. I owe them both an unpayable debt. Others at Stanford have also played important roles in making this book possible. Richard Saller and Debra Satz were very supportive as deans. In my department, a number of colleagues in allied fields, including Caroline Winterer, Keith Baker, Paula Findlen, and Priya Satia, created a vital intellectual environment. Allyson Hobbs, Zephyr Frank, and Yumi Moon cheerfully listened to me drone on about my work and many other things besides. Sean Hanretta was an exemplary colleague, and has continued to be a true friend after decamping to Evanston. Monica Wheeler has been heroic throughout. Particular thanks are due to J. P. Daughton, Karyn Panitch, Bob Crews, and Margaret Sena, who have been rocks of sanity amidst chaos, providing boundless support, friendship, and good cheer. In addition, I have been blessed by a succession of outstanding students—Jonathan Gray, Noah Millstone, Catherine Chou, and Richard Bell—who finished PhDs under my supervision (and who have taught me much in the process). I have been assisted by two major external grants, one from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the other a Frederick Burckhardt Fellowship from the ACLS (taken at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where I enjoyed a fruitful year in residence). Short-term fellowships from the Huntington Library and the Bibliographic Society of America aided the early stages of the research and writing. My editors at Oxford University Press, Christopher Wheeler, Cathryn Steele, and Neil Morris, have been extraordinarily patient and supportive. Archivists and librarians at many institutions have furthered this project. Martha Whittaker, ­formerly of the Sutro Library, Kathy Lafferty of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, and Dennis Sears of the University of Illinois provided much-needed help at key points. Ben Stone, a good friend and living treasure in the Stanford Library system, has been ceaselessly supportive, fielding a barrage of outrageous requests over the years. Katie George, archivist of the Salters’ Company, helped me navigate the records of the Salters, and offered generous assistance in understanding the functions of London’s livery companies. I also wish to thank friends from Bernal Heights, who’ve provided camaraderie, even as they’ve taught me much about political life in a different context—Linda Weiner, Geoffrey Bauman, Huli Milanese, Bob Weisblatt, Steve Shapiro, Laurel Muniz, David Looman (who will be pleased to be associated with a rabble of English puritans), and Tom Gallagher (who will be appalled to be associated with a rabble of English puritans). In New York, Amy Lehrner and Andrew Sartori have been great friends, and Andrew offered very helpful discussions of the work. Bryce Giddens has been a pillar of friendship and support—he’ll be happy (or perhaps unsettled) to know that some of the key insights in these pages were sharpened in freezing dive conditions under the waves at Lobos and Monastery.

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Acknowledgments

vii

Above all, I would like to thank my family. My parents, Joseph and Jean Como, have been tireless in their support, and no moment in the genesis of this book was as important to me as the day my father appeared at a paper I was giving in New Brunswick. This book would not have been completed without them. My extended family—Brett, Langton, Drozdoff, and Como—provided much-needed encouragement. David and Jean Britland have been unstintingly kind and generous towards me, for which I am deeply thankful. Many years ago, Karen Britland joked that I was rewriting the history of the English civil wars in real time, on an hour-by-hour basis. That proved to be a wildly overoptimistic diagnosis. For more than a decade, she has endured the highs and lows of someone else’s obsessive project, including a succession of “holidays” to Wigston Magna, Matlock, Chippenham, and many other exotic destinations of touristic (that is to say, archival) delight. Despite it all, she has provided unwavering support, helping to make this book what it is in countless ways (not least in sifting through too many pages of undercooked prose). Although she may not thank me for it, this book is dedicated to her, with profound love and gratitude.

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Contents List of Figures List of Abbreviations Note on Sources, Citations, and Dates

Introduction

xi xiii xvii 1

I .  F RO M P E R S O N A L RU L E TO P O L I T I C A L CRISIS, 1635–1642 1. Freeborn Subjects: Puritanism, Politics, and Print in the Personal Rule 2. Secret Printing and the Crisis of 1640: The Margery Mar-Prelate Press and Print in the Time of Parliament 3. The Rubble of Episcopacy: Parliament, Religious Mobilization, and the “Generall Liberty” of the Press, 1641 4. “Extremities, Not Fit to be Named”: Crowds, Print, and Constitutional Improvisation

23 50 89 107

I I .   C I V I L WA R , 1 6 4 2 – 1 6 4 3 5. “Lawless Tyranny” and “Destructive Accommodation”: War and the Transformation of Politics, 1642–1643 6. Defining the Cause: The London Remonstrance, the General Rising, and Military Crisis 7. “So Full of Novelties”: The Sectarian Slurry, Redistributionism, and the Licensing Ordinance

131 156 180

I I I .  WA R A N D R E L I G I O N , 1 6 4 3 – 1 6 4 4 8. The Rise of Religious Conflict in the Parliamentarian Coalition 9. Print House, Petitions, and Provinces: Religious Politics, Toleration, and the Making of an “Independent” Coalition 10. The House of Stuart, the House of Lords, and the Politics of “Independency”: Ideological Escalation in 1644

215 233 256

I V.  F R A G M E N TAT I O N A N D V I C TO RY, 1644–1645 11. Rumor Wars: Underground Print and the Coming of the New Model Army

275

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x Contents 12. Supremacy in the Commons: Partisan Politics, Political Innovation, and the Rise of Lilburne 13. White King, Black Cassock: Monarchy, Presbytery, and the Radical Propaganda Collective

307 333

V.   PAT H S TO R E VO LU T I O N 14. Internal Revolutions: Private Meditations and Radical Parliamentarianism, 1642–1646 15. The Seeking Way: “Forms of Religion” and the Coming of the English Revolution 16. The Last Warning Conclusion Appendix 1 Appendix 2 Appendix 3 Appendix 4 Appendix 5 Appendix 6 Appendix 7 Index

367 384 409 425 433 435 437 439 440 442 443 445

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List of Figures 2.1. Ornaments used on Margery Mar-Prelate Press books 52 2.2. Ornaments of Stam, Margery Mar-Prelate Press, Peter Cole, and Richard Overton 54 2.3. The Lawfulnesse of our Expedition into England Manifested (1640), t.p. 66 4.1. A Question Answered: How Laws are to be understood, and obedience yeelded?124 7.1. The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching; A Sermon Preached at Westminster; Mans Mortallitie203 10.1. The Great Eclipse of the Sun260 11.1. Alas pore Parliament, how art thou betrai’d?288 12.1. To the Right Honourable, the LORD MAJOR, and the Right Worshipfull, the ALDERMEN, and Common Councell of the City of LONDON314 13.1. The Conclusion of Lieuten: Generall Cromwells Letter343 13.2. The Conclusion of Lieuten: Generall Cromwells Letter; letter “P” 344 13.3. The Ordinance for Tythes Dismounted360 15.1. Vox Borealis; A Sermon Preached at Westminster; Divine Light405 16.1. The Last Warning To all the Inhabitants Of London414

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List of Abbreviations Adams, “Secret Printing” Adamson, NR Alum. Cant.

Alum. Ox.

AMAE, Paris Baillie Baxter, Reliquiae BL BL, Hl. 164 BL, Hl. 165 BL, Hl. 166 BL, Whit. BL, Yonge 1 BL, Yonge 2 BL, Yonge 3 BL, Yonge 4 Bod. L. Brenner, M&R

D. R. Adams, “The Secret Printing and Publishing Career of Richard Overton the Leveller, 1644–46,” The Library, 7th ser., 11 (2010), 3–88 J. Adamson, The Noble Revolt: The Overthrow of Charles I (London, 2007) J. Venn and J. A. Venn, eds., Alumni Cantabrigienses. A Biographical List of All Known Students, Graduates and Holders of Office at the University of Cambridge, from the Earliest Times to 1900. Part I. From the Earliest Times to 1751, 4 vols. (Cambridge, 1922) J. Foster, ed., Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500–1714: their Parentage, Birthplace, and Year of Birth, with a Record of their Degrees, 4 vols. (Oxford and London, 1891) Archives du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, La Courneuve, Paris: Fonds de la correpondence politique—Angleterre (origines–1871) Robert Baillie, The Letters and Journals of Robert Baillie, A.M., ed. David Laing, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1841–2) R. Baxter, Reliquiae Baxterianae: Or Mr. Richard Baxter’s Narrative of The most Memorable Passages of his Life and Times, ed. M. Sylvester, 3 parts (1696) The British Library, London British Library, Harleian MS. 164 (diary of Sir Simonds D’ewes) British Library, Harleian MS. 165 (diary of Sir Simonds D’ewes) British Library, Harleian MS. 166 (diary of Sir Simonds D’ewes) British Library, Additional MS 31116 (diary of Laurence Whitaker) British Library, Additional MS. 18777 (diary of Walter Yonge) British Library, Additional MS. 18778 (diary of Walter Yonge) British Library, Additional MS. 18779 (diary of Walter Yonge) British Library, Additional MS. 18780 (diary of Walter Yonge) The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford R. Brenner, Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict, and London’s Overseas Traders, 1550–1653 (Princeton, 1993)

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xiv

List of Abbreviations

Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel J. Bruce and D. Masson, eds., The Quarrel between the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell, Camden Society, N.S., 12 (1875) Burrage C. Burrage, The Early English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research (1550–1641), 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1912) CJ Journal of the House of Commons Clarendon Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, ed. W. Dunn Macray, 6 vols. (Oxford, 1888) Como, Blown by the Spirit D. Como, Blown by the Spirit: Puritanism and the Emergence of an Antinomian Underground in Pre-Civil-War England (Stanford, 2004) CSPV Calendar of State Papers Venetian CUL Cambridge University Library Culpeper M. J. Braddick and M. Greengrass, eds., “The Letters of Sir Cheney Culpeper, 1641–1657,” Camden Miscellany XXXIII, Camden Society, 5th ser., 7 (1996) EHR The English Historical Review Gangraena, 1 T. Edwards, Gangraena: Or A Catalogue and Discovery of many of the Errours, Heresies, Blasphemies and pernicious Practices of the Sectaries, 1st ed. (1646); citations refer to the second pagination, unless noted Gangraena, 2 T. Edwards, The Second Part of Gangraena: Or A fresh and further Discovery of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies, and dangerous Proceedings of the Sectaries (1646) Gangraena, 3 T. Edwards, The third Part of Gangraena. Or, A new and higher Discovery of the Errors, Heresies, Blasphemies, and insolent Proceedings of the Sectaries (1646) Gardiner, GCW S. R. Gardiner, History of the Great Civil War, 2nd ed., 4 vols. (London, 1893) HJ The Historical Journal HL The Huntington Library, San Marino, California HMC Historical Manuscripts Commission Holmes, Eastern Association C. Holmes, The Eastern Association in the English Civil War (Cambridge, 1974) JBS Journal of British Studies Juxon K. Lindley and D. Scott, eds., The Journal of Thomas Juxon, Camden Society, 5th ser., 13 (1999) Lightfoot J. Lightfoot, The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot, D.D., ed. J.R. Pitman, 13 vols. (London, 1822–5) Lindley, PPR K. Lindley, Popular Politics and Religion in Civil War London (Aldershot, 1997) LJ Journal of the House of Lords LMA London Metropolitan Archives McKenzie and Bell, LBT D. F. McKenzie and M. Bell, A Chronology and Calendar of Documents Relating to the London Book Trade, 1641–1700, 3 vols. (Oxford, 2005) McKenzie, SCA D. F. McKenzie, Stationers’ Company Apprentices, 1605–1640 (Charlottesville, VA, 1961)

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List of Abbreviations

MP MPWA

Main Papers of the House of Lords C. van Dixhoorn, ed., The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643–1652, 5 vols. (Oxford, 2012) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: from the Earliest Times to the Year 2000, ed. H. C. G. Matthew and B. Harrison, 60 vols. (Oxford, 2004) Parliamentary Archives, Westminster J. Peacey, Print and Public Politics in the English Revolution (Cambridge, 2013) W. H. Coates, A. Steele Young, and V. F. Snow, eds., The Private Journals of the Long Parliament, 3 vols. (New Haven, 1982–92) M. Jansson, ed., Proceedings in the Opening Session of the Long Parliament. House of Commons, 7 vols. (Rochester, NY, 2000–7) C. Russell, The Fall of the British Monarchies (Oxford, 1991) The National Archives of the UK, State Papers G .E. B. Eyre and C. R. Rivington, eds., A Transcript of the Registers of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, 1640–1708, 3 vols. (London, 1913–14) Stationers’ Hall, London, archives of the Stationers’ Company, as microfilmed in R. Myers, ed., Records of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, 1554–1920, 115 reels (Cambridge, 1985) The National Archives of the UK The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Bulstrode Whitelocke, Memorials of the English Affairs (1682)

ODNB PA Peacey, Public Politics PJLP POSLP Russell, FBM SP SR Stat. Co.

TNA UIUC Whitelocke, Memorials

xv

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Note on Sources, Citations, and Dates Pre-1900 works were published in London, unless otherwise noted. Original spelling from seventeenth-century sources has been retained (with the exception of i, j, u, and v, which have generally been converted to their appropriate modern forms). Standard early modern abbreviations and contractions have been expanded, except in rare instances where, for purposes of clarity or due to uncertainty, they have been left in original form. I have also expanded the shorthand used in Walter Yonge’s parliamentary diaries, in accordance with Yonge’s own shorthand key. Italics in original quotations have been retained (except where compositors have deployed italic type for body text and used roman letters to indicate emphasis, in which cases I have rendered emphasized text in italics). Civil-war newspapers are cited by date of publication, followed by British Library, Thomason Tracts shelf mark, where available. The start of the New Year is reckoned as January 1, and Lady Day dating has been converted accordingly, except when quoting directly from seventeenth-century sources.

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Introduction The English Civil Wars have never truly ended. Even before the last shots were fired, historians on both sides of the conflict began to retell the story of the ­descent into bloodshed. The narratives they wove were from the beginning contested, colored by abiding partisan animosities. And the passionate heat of civil-war battlefields has persisted. There are many reasons for this, but they begin with the improbable outcome of the conflict, the regicidal moment in which a king— indeed kingship itself—was put in the dock, tried, and beheaded. From the start, then, the paper wars of controversialists and historians have, as it were, been fought over holy ground, anointed with the blood of a reigning monarch. That the royal blood trickled into a swelling torrent extracted from Charles I’s English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish subjects only amplified the emotional resonance of the conflict’s legacy. The dead stalked the generations that followed, haunting and shaping British political life, and subsequent scholarship has never fully exorcized their spirits. Yet the peculiar urgency of historical debate over the civil wars also flowed from a sense, evident among commentators from an early stage, that this was no ordinary conflict. The regicide may have been a wrenching spectacle, but it also served to expose profound differences of political and religious principle, differences that had been expressed in a multitude of voices and venues in the years of violent struggle that preceded it. Conflicts over the nature of monarchy, the powers of ­parliaments, the liberties and obligations of subjects, and other fundamental ­theoretical problems were on display from the beginning of the crisis. So, too, pressing questions about religious truth and the relationship of the Christian church to secular government were debated with minute attention. And these underlying disputes were waged not just with powder and sword, but with words, an unprecedented outpouring of tracts and declarations, which from the outset seemed to mark this civil war apart from anything that had previously happened in English history, if not the history of the world. As time passed, these issues of principle seemed to interpreters more salient, and  in the wake of the French Revolution, scholars began to portray England’s mid-century conflicts as the first in a succession of great European revolutions. S.  R.  Gardiner, the Victorian progenitor of the study of Stuart England, thus dubbed the conflicts “the Puritan Revolution.” At stake, in his view, was nothing less than the rise of parliamentary government, a development accompanied by the victory of religious toleration over spiritual tyranny. For Gardiner, however, these were more than matters of local significance, since, he professed, England’s parliament

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Radical Parliamentarians and the English Civil War

was “the noblest monument ever reared by mortal man.”1 His account of the period thus extended a venerable, Whig line of interpretation. But now energized by the spreading wings of imperial liberalism, his version of the seventeenth century gave England’s revolution a starring role in the drama of human history. Twentieth-century scholarship built on this vision, stripping it of its naked triumphalism, while adding layers of interpretation that rendered the significance of England’s civil wars if anything more universal. Borrowing Gardiner’s Whiggish narrative, but drawing on new subdisciplines of economic and social history, ­scholars such as Tawney and Stone unearthed what they took to be the deep structural changes underlying the conflict. The struggles of the period were recast as a story of economic modernization, in which acquisitive landlords and merchants sought through parliament to impose themselves on a political order that remained feudal in form. At its most robust, as articulated by Marxist historians such as Christopher Hill and A. L. Morton, this vision posited England’s civil war as the first great bourgeois revolution, in which a rising capitalist class of landowners and urban leaders seized power.2 The English Revolution, as it was now frequently known, was here inscribed as an event of world-historical significance, in which nascent capitalism began to be felt on an epochal scale. Interpretations informed by socioeconomic analysis were accompanied by increasing attention towards what was often called the “radicalism” of the English Revolution. This term was used to describe all manner of sectarian puritans and millenarians, as well as trenchant visionaries who appeared during the wars and Interregnum. The existence of such groups and ideas had been little studied by earlier historians; Gardiner, for instance, devoted scant attention to sectaries, and when he did so, he echoed unflattering contemporary portrayals, complaining of the “noisy ranting . . . tub preacher,” prone to “Wild incoherency” who possessed (even worse, for a Victorian liberal) “no sense of decorum.”3 If these groups were for Gardiner a distraction from the heroic drama on the main stage, Whig and Marxist historians of the twentieth century saw them as more central to the period’s upheavals. Sectaries, such as baptists and Fifth Monarchists, who played such a visible role in these years, were reclaimed from denominational historians and folded into a broader category sometimes called “radical puritanism.”4 The most obvious beneficiaries of this scholarly turn were the so-called Levellers, whose meteoric rise in the late 1640s, championing an expanded franchise, religious toleration, and a raft of other reforms, now earned them a central place in the ­literature. Here was a group that seemed to presage many democratic and egalitarian 1  S. R. Gardiner, History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 10 vols. (1883–4), 1:2; for the revolutionary paradigm, see N. Tyacke, “Introduction: Locating the English Revolution,” in N. Tyacke, ed., The English Revolution, c.1590–1720: Politics, Religion and Communities (Manchester, 2007), 1–26. 2  R. H. Tawney, “The Rise of the Gentry, 1558–1640,” Economic History Review, 11 (1941), 1–38; L. Stone, The Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1558–1641 (Oxford, 1965); C. Hill, ed., The English Revolution, 1640: Three Essays (London, 1940); for precursors, see Tyacke, “Introduction,” 2–7. 3 Gardiner, GCW, 3:9. 4  For discussion and bibliography, see D. Como, “Radical Puritanism, c. 1558–1660,” in J. Coffey and P. Lim, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (Cambridge, 2008), 242–58.

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principles taken to characterize twentieth-century modernity, and sustained ­attention came from scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, who saw the Levellers as forerunners of liberal democracy and reformist movements, perhaps even the world’s first organized political party.5 Marxist historians, such as Hill and Morton, while sharing this interest in “radicalism,” looked less to the Levellers (viewed as mired in petit-bourgeois half measures) and more to other eddies of religious and political extremism—to antinomians and Ranters, with their purported subversion of the moral order, and to Gerrard Winstanley and his Diggers, with their explicit challenge to the existing property regime.6 These groups were rechristened as ancestors in a tradition of British radicalism, and their stories reconstructed as offering a useable past for current generations. Moreover, these movements were slotted into a broader Marxian metanarrative: radical sectaries allegedly articulated the interests of an emerging proletariat, alienated by infant capitalist brutality, and resistant to the work-discipline and order imposed by mainstream puritanism. They were portrayed as farsighted, if doomed, harbingers of the future, who to a considerable extent stood outside and against the dominant currents of their age. This vision reached its apogee with the 1972 publication of Christopher Hill’s The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas in the English Revolution, which combined Hill’s interest in the radicalism of the period with the now well-established paradigm of an English Revolution. His book represented a high-water mark of both these trends, and earned an enduring audience far beyond the walls of the academy. By the time Hill published, however, a backlash was brewing against the reigning narratives of civil-war history. In the 1970s, a sustained “revisionist” challenge arose to question the dominant modernization paradigm. Much revisionist effort was devoted to dismantling the Whiggish political narrative on which prevailing views of the English Revolution depended. In place of escalating long-term conflict between liberty and absolutism, revisionists emphasized consensus and ideological harmony; puritanism, for Gardiner a driving engine behind the crisis, was reconfigured as a conservative force, a response to Arminian and Laudian innovations. Considerable attention was also devoted to court faction, localist obstructionism, the frailties of the fiscal system, and the challenges of governing the tripartite “British” monarchies, all of which were deemed more important to the outbreak of civil war than any grand story of rising social or ideological conflict. The view which ultimately emerged was one in which the events of the 1640s and 1650s 5  For the Levellers’ rediscovery and other dimensions of civil-war historiography, see B. Worden, Roundhead Reputations: The English Civil Wars and the Passions of Posterity (London, 2001), esp. 316–38; T. Pease, The Leveller Movement (Washington, DC, 1916); D. B. Robertson, The Religious Foundations of Leveller Democracy (New York, 1951); J. Frank, The Levellers. A History of the Writings of Three Seventeenth-Century Social Democrats (Cambridge, MA, 1955); H. N. Brailsford, The Levellers and the English Revolution (Stanford, 1961); P. Gregg, Free-born John: A Biography of John Lilburne (London, 1961). 6  A. L. Morton, “The Place of Lilburne, Overton, and Walwyn in the Tradition of English Prose,” Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, 6 (1958), 5; A. L. Morton, The World of the Ranters: Religious Radicalism in the English Revolution (London, 1970); C. Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (London, 1972).

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appeared as something of an aberration, a grand mistake, which was for the most part wiped away with the Restoration.7 Revisionist accounts were not wholly consistent with one another. But they tended to downplay the transformations of the civil war and Interregnum, and shared a central conviction that England, in 1640, was a distinctly unrevolutionary polity. It was claimed that a teleological search for long-term conflict and constitutional milestones had skewed understanding of the era, a problem that could only be remedied by detailed reconstruction of political narrative, chiefly through ­manuscript sources, which were taken to allow for more privileged access to underlying reality. One casualty in this recalibration was the whole notion of “radicalism,” which had become central to accounts of the English Revolution. The sectarian eruptions and political movements that captivated postwar historians were downgraded in importance, and portrayed as at best epiphenomenal, at worst mere chimeras, invented by over-credulous scholars, who through anachronistic assumptions and reliance on dubious printed sources had swallowed seventeenthcentury scaremongering as transparent reality.8 In some cases, the very concept of “radicalism,” as applied to the seventeenth century, was dismissed as ahistorical, conveying a misleading similarity to modern sociopolitical movements.9 This argument represented part of a broader shift, whereby the idea of an “English Revolution” was shorn of status and stature, a move accompanied by a change in nomenclature, as historians retreated from the language of “revolution,” typically in favor of the more neutral “civil war.” Famously, however, this left practitioners hard-pressed to explain the extraordinary upheavals of the period, not least the regicide, the abolition of monarchy, and the collapse of a monopolistic national church. How had these events taken place in a society steeped in political consensus? One explanatory strategy focused on detailed narrative: if England was decidedly unrevolutionary in 1640, the key to the political breakdown and apparent extremism that followed must necessarily be located in the crisis of the early 1640s and the war itself, and efforts were made to reconstruct the ebb and flow of politics, the chains of contingent political maneuver that gave rise to a situation which, in effect, no one wanted or anticipated.10 In other cases, heavy emphasis was placed on religious motivations: what looked to earlier generations a political revolution of world-historical significance was now portrayed as a kind of great spiritual earthquake, a perspective encapsulated by John Morrill’s observation that the “English civil war was not the first European revolution: it was the last of the Wars of Religion.” This suggested that the seemingly 7  For the historiography through the 1990s, see R. C. Richardson, The Debate on the English Revolution, 3rd ed. (Manchester, 1998). 8 J. C. Davis, Fear, Myth and History: The Ranters and the Historians (Cambridge, 1986); M. Kishlansky, “The Army and the Levellers: The Roads to Putney,” HJ, 22 (1979), 797 n.4. 9  C. Condren, “Radicals, Conservatives and Moderates in Early Modern Political Thought: A Case of Sandwich Island Syndrome?” History of Political Thought, 10 (1989), 525–42; L. Mulligan and J. Richards, “A ‘Radical’ Problem: The Poor and the English Reformers in the Mid-Seventeenth Century,” JBS, 29 (1990), 118–46. 10  The approach is exemplified in Russell, FBM; M. Kishlansky, The Rise of the New Model Army (Cambridge, 1979).

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dramatic rupture of the regicide and the creation of the republic was the result of a fierce outpouring of religious zealotry and providential thinking, a view that downplayed principled conflicts over political ideology and deflated earlier certainty that England’s troubles should be construed as the world’s first modern revolution.11 The present study draws upon central insights of revisionists, including their focus on detailed narrative reconstruction and their insistence on the importance of religion. But it is more directly indebted to canons of scholarship that have emerged in the wake of revisionism. From the outset, many historians resisted or sought to transcend the revisionist approach, generating multiple streams of illuminating research, several of which are incorporated in this book. Despite this subsequent work, however, it remains the case that revisionists left the great eruptions of the 1640s and 1650s to some extent more mysterious than they found them. Even those who have sought most creatively to move beyond the paradigm have often remained trapped by its interpretative confines.12 The present book is, in large measure, an attempt to redress this problem, to explain how and under what circumstances the political crisis of the 1640s mutated into a revolution. It seeks to chronicle and analyze a process whereby a society, seemingly steeped in custom, monarchical institutions, the ancient constitution of king, lords, and commons, and orthodox Christianity pulled itself apart, spiraling into constitutional and religious innovation, and, ultimately, regicide and republicanism. R A D I C A L PA R L I A M E N TA R I A N S This study addresses these questions by reconstructing the history of the most radical wing of the parliamentarian coalition during the political crisis and First Civil War, from 1640 to 1646. Under the rubric of “radical parliamentarians,” this book encompasses a wide range of people, ideas, and activities. At the core of the category are those supporters of parliament who championed the most exalted notions of parliamentary authority; the most adventurous commitments to far-reaching change in the nature of the polity; the most aggressive and uncompromising ­policies with respect to monarchy, the king, and his backers; and the most unconventional and extreme attempts to remake the existing structure of the church or the orthodox doctrine promulgated by that church. Although the subject matter of this book thus frequently overlaps with the world sketched by historians such as 11  J. Morrill, “The Religious Context of the English Civil War,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th Ser., 34 (1984), 178; cf. the claims of Ronald Hutton, following Blair Worden, that “the regicide was a feast of constitutional destruction, not creation, and its mental inspiration derived not from republican theory but from Puritan providentialism.” R. Hutton, The British Republic, 1649–1660, 2nd ed. (Basingstoke, 2000), xx. 12  A point illustrated in Sean Kelsey’s influential work, which reconstructs in detail the weeks before the regicide to explain a contingent outcome unintended even by those most central to the political process: S. Kelsey, “The Trial of Charles I,” EHR, 118 (2003), 583–616; S. Kelsey, “The Death of Charles I,” HJ, 45 (2002), 727–54; for two ambitious syntheses, see D. Scott, Politics and War in the Three Stuart Kingdoms (Basingstoke, 2003); J. Scott, England’s Troubles: Seventeenth-Century English Political Instability in European Context (Cambridge, 2000).

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Hill and Morton—and many of the starring figures in their accounts reappear below—there are crucial differences of approach. This book does not seek to ­identify a hypostasized “radicalism,” abstracted from other political and intellectual currents of the time. Rather, it portrays the developments under consideration precisely as part of those currents, as inseparably connected to, and indeed generated by, their relationship to the war effort, the parliamentarian coalition, and the political process broadly construed.13 The streams of thought and practice discussed here were partly forced into being by challenges that emerged during the war, and as such they must be understood as part of a diachronic narrative. These people and ideas were also, crucially, part of a continuum, standing at one end of a spectrum of parliamentarian thought and practice; they cannot be understood outside their relationship to the other elements of that spectrum. The focus on radical parliamentarians is justified by the fact that it was, in the end, precisely the most militant wing of parliament’s coalition that dictated the outcome of the war and political settlement. This study traces the story through to the conclusion of the First English Civil War and the king’s surrender to the Scots in April 1646. While there remained a long road to be traveled between 1646 and the execution of Charles I in 1649, it is demonstrated below, against the grain of recent scholarship, that most of the basic theoretical and practical positions that led to the regicide, the establishment of England as a republic, and the abolition of the upper house of parliament were in place by the end of the First Civil War.14 So, too, most of the remarkable religious divisions and ideas that propelled the army and its allies to power in the later 1640s had already emerged. Although the final triumph of parliament’s most extreme partisans was by no means a foregone conclusion in 1646, their ideas and energy considerably strengthened the war effort, ensuring the king’s defeat. Moreover, militant parliamentarians, through zealous service (and a dose of political cunning), captured key military and bureaucratic

13  Accordingly, this book generally avoids the word “radicalism,” construed as a distinct, unified complex of ideas or programs, of a progressive (even proto-leftist) nature. The word “radical” is used throughout, but mainly as a modifier, to distinguish the most extreme section of a broader group or party, or to describe individuals or ideas that most comprehensively sought to disrupt or replace traditional, existing, or orthodox forms of political and religious life. For attempts to grapple with “radicals” and “radicalism” in the wake of revisionism, see N. Smith, Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion, 1640–1660 (Oxford, 1989); D. Loewenstein, Representing Revolution in Milton and his Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism (Cambridge, 2001); N. McDowell, The English Radical Imagination (Oxford, 2003); A. Hessayon, ‘Gold Tried in the Fire’: The Prophet TheaurauJohn Tany and the English Revolution (Aldershot, 2007); G. Burgess, “Radicalism and the English Revolution,” in G. Burgess and M. Festenstein, eds., English Radicalism, 1550–1850 (Cambridge, 2007), 62–86; P. Baker, “Rhetoric, Reality and Varieties of Civil-War Radicalism,” in J. Adamson, ed., The English Civil War: Conflicts and Contexts (Basingstoke, 2009), 202–24; A. Bradstock, Radical Religion in Cromwell’s England (London, 2011); D. Finnegan and A. Hessayon, eds., Varieties of Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Radicalism in Context (Farnham, 2011). 14  I intend to analyze the period between 1646 and 1649 in a separate study. For an overview of the politics behind the regicide, see C. Holmes, Why was Charles I Executed? (London, 2006); for a work that argues in a different way for revolutionary change in the early 1640s, see D. Cressy, England on Edge: Crisis and Revolution, 1640–1642 (Oxford, 2006).

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footholds, meaning that when it came to determine the peace, they were able to overpower their opponents. Part of the utility of the focus on radical parliamentarians—viewed along a ­spectrum, and in constant relation to a shifting, broader coalition—is the very flexibility of the category. This is true in two ways. First, the rapid upheavals of political crisis and civil war ensured that ideas and programs were constantly being revised, so that the personnel and ideological structures at the militant edge of the coalition shifted over time. Ideas and opinions that were marginal in 1640 quickly migrated to the center of the coalition, while new ideological revisions entered public discussion, winning followers even as they repulsed others, thus polarizing opinion. This dynamic of radicalization and polarization recurs throughout this study, and must be seen as one engine driving the civil war towards its improbable outcome. Yet it is a dynamic that can only be understood by tracking the shifting state of opinion at the leading edge of parliament’s coalition over time, and by observing the process through which the marginal became mainstream. This also points towards the second advantage of the plasticity of the category of radical parliamentarians—its diversity. This study explores a wide range of opinions, not all consonant with one another. One effect of the civil war was to throw up a dizzying array of competing ideas and discourses. This study seeks to encompass this broad range, and to make sense of both the commonalities and differences that emerged at the militant edge of parliament’s coalition. Thus, many figures frequently associated with the “radicalism” of the revolution appear in this study. The three men typically seen as ideological leaders of the Levellers—John Lilburne, Richard Overton, and William Walwyn—bob frequently to the surface in these pages, and, indeed, their early careers serve as a loose thread running through this book. The Leveller movement, per se, is a subject that properly belongs to the later 1640s, beyond this study’s purview, but one goal here is to offer an account of the genesis of that celebrated political agitation.15 This book is also, however, deeply concerned with many figures not typically associated with the Levellers, and who in some cases later appeared as their primary antagonists, not least Oliver Cromwell, whose rise to prominence represents an important sub-theme below.16 But the net is cast wider still, and this study at points deals with groups and individuals not traditionally perceived as “radical” at all, including presbyterians, often seen as the archconservatives within parliament’s camp. This may have been true in 1649, but it had not always been the case, and part of the burden of this book, with its focus on shifting ideological debate within parliament’s coalition, is to explain this outcome. This study traces a number of key questions or problems, which were disputed over the course of the period. In the realm of politics and political thought, the 15  For two far-reaching recent re-evaluations of the Levellers, see R. Foxley, The Levellers: Radical Political Thought in the English Revolution (Manchester, 2013); J. Rees, The Leveller Revolution (London and New York, 2016). 16 However, for commonalities between Levellers and army leaders in 1648 and beyond, see Burgess, “Radicalism,” 69–73; P. Baker, “‘A Despicable Contemptible Generation of Men’? Cromwell and the Levellers,” in P. Little, ed., Oliver Cromwell: New Perspectives (Basingstoke, 2009), 90–115.

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book registers change along several axes. First, it charts attitudes towards the man Charles I. More broadly, however, shifting assessments of the reigning king were indicative of changing views of monarchy itself, and a second stream of analysis chronicles deeper shifts in the way militant parliamentarians understood kingship and its function. On the obverse side, attitudes towards monarchy were necessarily linked to views of the powers and supremacy of parliament (as well as the basis of this supremacy and its limits), and this constitutes a third axis of analysis. Fourth, this study also reconstructs perceptions of how the two chambers of ­parliament related to each other, and one important concern is to chart attitudes towards the House of Lords (and, more generally, lordship). These are not the only domains of political ideology mapped in this study, but all four figure ­prominently below. In the sphere of religion, a different set of problems will be tracked. The de-legitimation of bishops, and the subsequent disappearance of reformed episcopacy as a solution to England’s troubles, will be analyzed in Part I, but it is the battle to rebuild a new order on the rubble of prelacy that is the chief concern of this study. The book therefore surveys three main domains. First, it explores the rise of competing ecclesiological programs, canvassed to replace bishops. Second, it examines the process through which mainstream Calvinist orthodoxy, dominant in the c­lerical leadership that stood at the forefront of reform efforts in 1641, began to collapse under attack within the puritan community. Inseparable from these first two domains, however, was the broader problem of accommodating these differences within the new religious order to follow, and the resulting struggle to find a ­solution—involving arguments over coercion, uniformity, and toleration—lies at the center of this study. P R I N T, M O B I L I Z AT I O N , A N D P O L I T I C S : IDEA AND CONTEXT To carry out this wide-ranging analysis, I draw upon several historiographical and methodological streams. The destructive force of revisionism also had a powerfully creative outcome, inspiring multiple bodies of scholarship, which sought to move beyond the challenges posed by the collapse of the Whig-modernization narrative. This book might in fact be viewed as a hybrid history, fusing several interpretative approaches. This study is to a degree an exercise in intellectual history. It is heavily concerned with charting the ideological formulations and discursive patterns that took shape at the radical wing of parliament’s camp. To do so, it begins in midstream, for recent work has made clear that there had emerged in pre-civil-war England very significant areas of politico-ideological conflict. Contrary to revisionist claims, it has been argued that there were deep matters of disagreement between an essentially absolutist vision, pursued by Charles and many of his closest counselors, and a range of critics, who saw in this high prerogative view a dangerous threat to liberty, law, and parliament, and in the process drew on an eclectic range of consent

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Introduction

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theory and ancient constitutionalism to challenge perceived absolutism.17 A second vein of scholarship has maintained that there emerged prior to 1640 one or more strains of “republicanism,” informed by classical thought and rhetoric on the nature of liberty and public duty.18 A third strand of argument focuses, by contrast, on the common law and legal practice, seeing in the post-Reformation era the spread of a widespread view of the law as regulating and in some sense controlling the monarch.19 This book picks up the story in the mid-1630s, examining some of the more incendiary public statements of the period between 1635 and 1640, and revealing that, before the Long Parliament, there were already in currency a series of ideological formulations that challenged Caroline religio-political conventions on multiple fronts. Subsequent chapters chart the novel ideological developments that emerged out of these preexistent veins of thought, relying heavily on traditional materials of intellectual history, printed tracts and treatises, but supplemented with manuscript sources. A parallel tactic is pursued with respect to religious division and innovation. Recent research has revealed that there were, prior to 1640, deep religious differences at play in Protestant England. Most obviously, there were fierce splits over Arminianism and Laudian ceremonialism and the Calvinist, word-centered forms of piety preferred by many traditional conformists and puritan nonconformists alike, differences at the heart of the political breakdown of 1640.20 Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that, by 1640, there were also potentially destabilizing fissures within the godly front spearheading resistance to Caroline policies.21 These 17  The key work remains J. P. Sommerville, Royalists and Patriots: Politics and Ideology, 1603–1640, 2nd ed. (London, 1999); for a rejoinder, see G. Burgess, Absolute Monarchy and the Stuart Constitution (New Haven, 1996); Sommerville’s response appears in his second edition, at 224–65; L. Levy Peck, “Beyond the Pale: John Cusacke and the Language of Absolutism in Early Stuart Britain,” HJ, 41 (1998), 121–49; see also J. Greenberg, The Radical Face of the Ancient Constitution (Cambridge, 2001). 18  Q. Skinner, “Classical Liberty, Renaissance Translation and the English Civil War,” in Q. Skinner, Visions of Politics, Vol. 2: Renaissance Virtues (Cambridge, 2002); Q. Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism (Cambridge, 1998); M. Peltonen, Classical Humanism and Republicanism in English Political Thought, 1570–1640 (Cambridge, 1995); D. Norbrook, Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics, 1627–1660 (Cambridge, 1999); M. Todd, “Anti-Calvinists and the Republican Threat in Early Stuart Cambridge,” in L. Knoppers, ed., Puritanism and its Discontents (Newark, DE, 2003); M.  Peltonen, Rhetoric, Politics and Popularity in Pre-Revolutionary England (Cambridge, 2013); P. Collinson, “The Monarchical Republic of Elizabeth I,” The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, 69 (1986–7), 394–424; M. Goldie, “The Unacknowledged Republic: Officeholding in Early Modern England,” in T. Harris, ed., The Politics of the Excluded, c.1500–1850 (Basingstoke, 2001), 153–94. 19  A. Cromartie, The Constitutionalist Revolution in Early Modern England: An Essay on the History of England (Cambridge, 2006). 20  The classic study is N. Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists: The Rise of English Arminianism, c.1590–1640 (Oxford, 1987); for ceremonies, see K. Fincham and N. Tyacke, Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship, 1547–c.1700 (Oxford, 2007); for a careful account of differences in homiletic theory and pulpit doctrine, see A. Hunt, The Art of Hearing: English Preachers and their Audiences, 1590–1640 (Cambridge, 2010); for differences over Catholicism, see A. Milton, Catholic and Reformed: The Roman and Protestant Churches in English Protestant Thought, 1600–1640 (Cambridge, 1995). 21 Como, Blown by the Spirit; D. Como, “Puritans, Predestination and the Construction of Orthodoxy in Early Seventeenth Century England,” in P. Lake and M. Questier, eds., Conformity and Orthodoxy in the English Church, c.1560–1642 (Woodbridge, 2000), 64–87; P. Lake, The Boxmaker’s Revenge: ‘Orthodoxy’, ‘Heterodoxy’ and the Politics of the Parish in Early Stuart London (Stanford, 2001); J. Moore, English Hypothetical Universalism: John Preston and the Softening of Reformed Theology

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differences, both ecclesiological and theological, are likewise sketched at the outset. As the book proceeds, a combination of print and manuscript sources are used to elaborate these divisions, and to show how deeply buried cracks widened into insuperable chasms. Yet this is not strictly a work of intellectual history. It is written in the conviction that ideological change can only be understood when deeply contextualized. This book thus seeks to approach the jarring intellectual shifts of the period in light of several overlapping contexts, each owing much to historiographical developments of recent decades. The first of these contexts is shaped by the history of print, publicity, and what has been termed “public politics.” Scholars of the prewar period have examined the ways that news filtered through the populace with ever greater reach. Historians have unearthed techniques used by political actors, both within and without ruling regimes, to deploy print and manuscript as tools of persuasion or influence, as well as the ways in which both scribal circulation and the expanding print trade, along with audiences of discriminating consumers, constituted an increasingly open and contested universe of communication, sometimes dubbed a “public sphere.”22 During the civil war, these early Stuart developments aligned to spectacular effect, triggering an outpouring of printed matter that swamped the kingdom with pamphlets and broadsides. Some of the most creative recent work on the civil wars has explored the consequences of this explosion of printed matter, revealing not only the unprecedented volume of material, but the multiple ways that material was used and distributed, and in turn the sophisticated styles of reading adopted by contemporaries. In Jason Peacey’s view, this amounted to nothing less than “a democratizing process,” as growing numbers of people were pulled into a common politics increasingly shaped by print.23 (Grand Rapids, 2007); D. Parnham, Heretics Within: Anthony Wotton, John Goodwin, and the Orthodox Divines (Eastbourne, 2014); for ecclesiological differences, see Chapter 1. 22 P. Lake and S. Pincus, “Rethinking the Public Sphere in Early Modern England,” JBS, 45 (2006), 270–92; P. Lake and S. Pincus, eds., The Politics of the Public Sphere in Early Modern England (Manchester, 2007); F. Levy, “How Information Spread Amongst the Gentry, 1550–1640,” JBS, 21 (1982), 11–34; R. Cust, “News and Politics in Early Seventeenth-Century England,” Past and Present, 112 (1986), 60–90; P. Croft, “Libels, Popular Literacy and Public Opinion in Early Modern England,” Historical Research, 68 (1995), 266–85; T. Cogswell, “Underground Verse and the Transformation of Early Stuart Political Culture,” in S. Amussen and M. Kishlansky, eds., Political Culture and Cultural Politics in Early Modern England (Manchester, 1995), 277–300; A. Bellany, The Politics of Court Scandal in Early Modern England: News Culture and the Overbury Affair, 1603–1660 (Cambridge, 2002); N. Mears, Queenship and Political Discourse in the Elizabethan Realms (Cambridge, 2005); A. Gajda, “Debating War and Peace in Late Elizabethan England,” HJ, 52 (2009), 851–78; A. Bellany and T. Cogswell, The Murder of King James I (New Haven, 2015), 412–13; D. Coast, News and Rumour in Jacobean England: Information, Court Politics and Diplomacy, 1618–25 (Manchester, 2015); N. Millstone, Manuscript Circulation and the Invention of Politics in Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 2016); P. Lake, Bad Queen Bess: Libels, Secret Histories, and the Politics of Publicity in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I (Oxford, 2016). 23 Peacey, Public Politics, 20–1; D. Zaret, Origins of Democratic Culture: Printing, Petitions, and the Public Sphere in Early-Modern England (Princeton, 2000); S. Achinstein, Milton and the Revolutionary Reader (Princeton, 1992); D. Freist, Governed by Opinion: Politics, Religion and the Dynamics of Communication in Stuart London (London, 1997); J. Raymond, Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 2003); A. Hughes, Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution (Oxford, 2004); J. Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers: Propaganda During the English Civil Wars and

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The present book draws liberally on this literature by seeking to explore the relationship between print and ideological change. One unifying feature of this study is a focus not merely on authors and texts, but also on publishers and distributors. Often, this is rendered challenging because those implicated strained to conceal themselves: much of the material considered here was so controversial that printers and publishers hid their involvement. As a result, it is necessary to deploy intensive bibliographical analysis, informed by techniques of digital imaging and comparison, to isolate the producers of surreptitious publications. And often, such bibliographical identification elucidates the networks and immediate contexts in which works were produced, opening novel avenues of interpretation. While the publishers considered here were to an extent merely partaking of the broader efflorescence of the trade, in some cases they were unusually precocious in pioneering new practices for using or spreading print propaganda, practices which sometimes carried ideological consequences. Moreover, mastery of techniques of clandestine distribution allowed a relatively small number of radical parliamentarian publishers to exert influence over immediate political or religious events, thus permitting them to insert their own preferred sensibilities into wider debate. Through such routes, many of the period’s most striking and novel statements first burst into public discourse. The producers involved were typically not directly linked to parliament’s leadership. Their output was therefore not, strictly speaking, “propaganda,” understood as work produced directly by or for the regime or powerful grandees within it.24 But these freelance authors and publishers assumed for themselves unofficial roles as spokespeople for parliament. This ambiguous role—at times here labeled “para-propaganda”—gave these figures disproportionate power to shape the public face of parliament’s cause, helping to explain how once unacceptable ideas and practices quickly migrated to broader public acceptance.25 But this ambiguity also exposed such “para-propagandists” to the hostile attentions of the authorities, and this tension had ideological consequences, for it sometimes placed parliament’s hardline defenders at odds with elements in the Roundhead coalition, even with parliament itself, spurring further ideological improvisation. Much of the printed material examined in this book was closely related to broader campaigns to spur English subjects to direct action of one form or another. And this realm of popular political activity—a world of petitioning, calculated political campaigning, lobbying, crowd organization, backroom debate, and rumor—forms a second major historiographical context to this study. This sort of activity—often labeled “popular politics”—has been heavily researched in recent decades. Such studies, which constitute a kind of social history of politics, have emerged from several perspectives, but in reconstructing the varied participation of local, non-elite actors in the civil wars, they have greatly enhanced understanding Interregnum (Aldershot, 2004); Cressy, England on Edge, 281–329; J. McElligott, Royalism, Print and Censorship in Revolutionary England (Woodbridge, 2007); Adams, “Secret Printing.” 24  For this restricted definition of propaganda, see Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers, 1–2. 25  For an analogous account of a royalist polemicist, see A. Milton, Laudian and Royalist Polemic in Seventeenth-Century England (Manchester, 2007).

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of the period.26 In particular, recent studies have focused on techniques and ­processes of “mobilization,” through which groups of political agents sought to galvanize large constituencies behind one or another cause or program.27 The present book is preeminently concerned with such processes of mobilization. Moreover, through such mobilizations, it will be suggested, ever larger numbers of subjects (often from outside office-holding elites), through mass demonstrations, financial contribution, military service, or other forms of engagement, began to claim an interest in the great cause. This placed parliament and its new bureaucratic apparatus under pressure to deliver victory and reform, sometimes pushing militants to ratchet up demands in the face of disappointing failure on the part of leaders. If print and popular politics form two sides of the historiographical foundation of this book, a third is found in the more traditional terrain of “high politics.” Here, the work is influenced by revisionism, which sought to explain the outcome of the 1640s and 1650s through detailed narrative reconstruction. While possessing deep roots in principled conflict, the novelties and ideological turns of the civil wars cannot be understood outside the vicissitudes of political maneuver. In the following pages, analysis of texts and popular political mobilizations is interposed with discussion of debate in parliament, London’s government, the Westminster Assembly, and other loci of institutional power. Often, important ideological moves were taken with a view towards these adversarial politics at the center, as distinct factions sought to dictate the shape of the war effort and the peace settlement to follow. Much of the overarching narrative will be familiar to specialists, but because of the fiendish complexity of civil-war politics, there are large swathes of the basic political story that remain poorly understood. At several points, then, this study seeks to add to that narrative. One way it does so is by paying more serious attention to the House of Lords. Recent scholars have restored the peerage to a central place in the politics of the 1640s, and this study takes account of those findings.28 Indeed, one peculiarity of the civil wars was that, because such a large percentage of the nobility abandoned Westminster, a small number of peers acquired disproportionate institutional leverage, either through military command or simply by sitting in a house that on bad days convened with only four or five 26  T. Harris, London Crowds in the Reign of Charles II: Propaganda and Politics from the Restoration until the Exclusion Crisis (Cambridge, 1987), 1–61; J. Walter, Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers (Cambridge, 1999); J. Walter, Covenanting Citizens: The Protestation Oath and Popular Political Culture in the English Revolution (Oxford, 2017); Lindley, PPR; Brenner, M&R; A. Wood, The Politics of Social Conflict: The Peak Country, 1520–1770 (Cambridge, 1999), esp. 267–94; on rumor, see A. Fox, “Rumour, News and Popular Political Opinion in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England,” HJ, 40 (1997), 597–620; T. Harris, “Understanding Popular Politics in Restoration Britain,” in Alan Houston and Steve Pincus, eds., A Nation Transformed: England after the Restoration (Cambridge, 2001), 138–40; E. Shagan, “Rumours and Popular Politics in the Reign of Henry VIII,” in Harris, ed., Politics of the Excluded, 30–66. 27  M. Braddick, “Mobilisation, Anxiety and Creativity in England during the 1640s,” in J. Morrow and J. Scott, eds., Liberty, Authority, Formality: Political Ideas and Culture, 1600–1900 (Exeter, 2008), 175–93; M. Braddick, God’s Fury, England’s Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars (London, 2008); Peacey, Public Politics, 331–63; T. Leng, “‘Citizens at the Door’: Mobilising Against the Enemy in Civil War London,” Journal of Historical Sociology, 28 (2015), 26–48. 28  A position outlined most extensively in John Adamson’s work. Adamson, NR; also, Scott, Politics and War; R. Cust, Charles I and the Aristocracy, 1625–1642 (Cambridge, 2013).

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members. It was partly that institutional power—often seen by militants as obstructing the war effort or public welfare—that ironically helped pave the way for the destruction of parliament’s upper house. Finally, in recent decades scholars have delved into the unusual and profoundly traumatic social and cultural effects of the civil wars; this diverse literature constitutes the fourth historiographical underpinning of the present study. These works have clarified the sheer scale of the conflicts, and the way they embroiled vast numbers of soldiers and civilians in cycles of military mobilization, privation, taxation, and internal exile.29 These traumatic upheavals cannot be separated from the emergence of radical parliamentarianism, which received much of its urgency and traction, on the one side, from the perceived barbarity of the royalists, and, on the other, from a sense of the overreaching exactions and failures of parliament’s new civil-war state. This recent work has also exposed another dimension of the conflict—what might be termed a civil-war ethos of suspicion. Once the crisis descended into open violence, the nature of the war dictated that deviations and dissent would be interpreted as betrayal or conspiracy. This was a conflict in which there were no clear boundaries separating one side from the other. While some regions leaned strongly to king or parliament, every county was divided, and even the most vigorously royalist or parliamentarian areas harbored dissenters, who tacitly sympathized with the opposing side. Often these dissenters tried to hide behind a veneer of neutrality and, of course, there were genuine “neutralists” who sought to avoid the conflict entirely.30 The lack of clear markers of allegiance, and the evasions used by dissenters to avoid detection, meant that on both sides there was constant concern about the presence of concealed subversives.31 To some extent these fears were justified: there were actual spies, double agents, and moles at work throughout the period, often disguised or engaged in secretive correspondence.32 So, likewise, there were many who, amidst the conflict’s uncertainties, tried to keep options open, and large numbers of people of all social rank in fact switched sides, sometimes repeatedly.33 Yet the existence of such shape-shifters, side-changers, and double-dealers inevitably created a climate of fear, in which even supposed allies were suspect. England in the 1640s was thus plagued by a pervasive atmosphere of

29  For varying contributions, see I. Roy, “England Turned Germany? The Aftermath of the Civil War in its European Context,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser., 28 (1978), 127–44; C. Carlton, Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars (London, 1992); J. Morrill, Revolt in the Provinces: The People of England and the Tragedies of War, 2nd ed. (London, 1999); M.  Stoyle, Soldiers and Strangers: An Ethnic History of the English Civil War (New Haven, 2005); B. Donagan, War in England, 1642–1649 (Oxford, 2008). 30  On different shadings of neutralism, see Morrill, Revolt, 123–66. 31 Donagan, War in England, 94–5. 32 My thought here has been much influenced by the work of Karen Britland. See, for now, K. Britland, “Reading between the Lines: Royalist Letters and Encryption in the English Civil Wars,” Critical Quarterly, 55 (2013), 15–26; G. Smith, Royalist Agents, Conspirators and Spies: Their Role in the British Civil Wars, 1640–1660 (Farnham, 2011). 33  A. Hopper, Turncoats and Renegadoes: Changing Sides during the English Civil War (Oxford, 2012).

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doubt and mistrust.34 This ambience heavily influenced political and religious formulations, particularly at the militant end of parliament’s coalition. Here, deep anxieties took hold that secret enemies within parliament’s camp (including at times, the lords, military grandees, clerical elites, even members of the Commons) were hindering the war effort, seeking to betray the cause to the king, or pursuing self-interested ends at the expense of the public. Some of the more intriguing ideological escalations of the period were partly attempts to secure the commonwealth against such internal enemies. While this book draws on multiple streams of scholarship, it is also important to establish the limitations of the study. The subject matter is, for a start, chiefly English. This is not to ignore the recent literature of the “British” context of the crisis of the three kingdoms. Indeed, several chapters assess the powerful effects of Scottish political and military intervention. But those interventions, it will be argued, should not be viewed as extrinsic shocks, imposing their logic on English affairs; rather, they served to expose or subtly recast preexisting forces in English political and religious life.35 Those seeking detailed analysis of how these interactions affected the non-English subjects of the Stuarts can now turn to several rich bodies of work.36 Similarly, this book does not directly address the economic origins or implications of the civil war and revolution. This is not because such linkages were absent. While revisionist historians justly questioned the teleology of older modernization narratives, as well as those narratives’ fondness for mapping political or religious opinions onto rising or falling social classes, recent socioeconomic historians have offered a striking story of a radically shifting economy during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, accompanied by deep social and cultural effects.37 It is my opinion that, without these changes, the English Civil War could not have unfolded as mounted and waged by both sides. The upheavals of the 1640s would not, in short, have been possible a century or even fifty years earlier, partly as a result of economic transformations and their indirect effects—a view that might be classified as a “weak” construction of economic causality.38 To elaborate these tentative suggestions would require a study unto itself. Careful readers will note, however, that portions of this book are concerned with ideological attempts to cope with consequences of the great socioeconomic changes of the period between 1540 and 1640. 34 For interpretative habits shaping this optic of suspicion, see N. Millstone, “Seeing Like a Statesman in Early Stuart England,” Past and Present, 223 (2014), 77–127. 35  See especially Chapters 2, 8, and 9. 36  For major recent interventions, see Stoyle, Soldiers and Strangers; L. Stewart, Rethinking the Scottish Revolution: Covenanted Scotland, 1637–1651 (Oxford, 2016). 37  K. Wrightson, Earthly Necessities: Economic Lives in Early Modern Britain (New Haven, 2000); C. Muldrew, The Economy of Obligation: The Culture of Credit and Social Relations in Early Modern England (Basingstoke, 1998); S. Hindle, The State and Social Change in Early Modern England, c.1550–1640 (Basingstoke, 2000); P. Withington, The Politics of Commonwealth: Citizens and Freemen in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2005); A. Shepard, Accounting for Oneself: Worth, Status, and the Social Order in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2015). 38  For an attempt along these lines, with reference to the later seventeenth century, see S. Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven, 2009).

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This book thus occupies a point of intersection between several interpretative approaches, which are rarely treated together—intellectual history, the history of print and the public sphere, political history (both “popular” and “high”), and a broader sociocultural history of the English Civil Wars. It aspires to provide a dynamic, multiplanar analysis of ideological change, at a moment of immense upheaval, when the ground shifted beneath the feet of an entire generation. A RC H I T E C T U R E , D Y N A M I C S , A N D S TA K E S O F R E VO LU T I O N A RY C H A N G E The chief goal of this book is to help explain how the English Civil Wars metamorphosed into an English Revolution. In the process, however, it also seeks to add to broader understanding of the early modern period in a number of ways. In pointing readers towards those broader conclusions, a few words are in order to render explicit the architecture of the book, to isolate the dynamics or patterns of historical change and explanation highlighted in these pages, and to introduce some of the wider, subsidiary themes addressed throughout. Part of the reason it is feasible to attempt a study of this nature—encompassing realms of ideology, high and popular politics, print practices, and wartime culture— is that the 1640s brought a striking reconfiguration in the conduct of political life, which integrated these domains in an unprecedented way. This new political fabric was, of course, built from materials and practices that had emerged in the early Stuart period, newly rearranged by, and adapted to, the extraordinary conjuncture of the civil wars. At the broadest level, this study seeks to illustrate a major transformation in the nature of politics, a transformation which engulfed the entire nation, but which is peculiarly accessible viewed through the lens of the radical parliamentarians at the core of this study. This book is structured as a chronological narrative. Part I begins in the 1630s, during the king’s personal rule in the absence of parliament, then proceeds to the early 1640s, examining the ways in which, before the outbreak of the English Civil War, there had already emerged political and religious formulations which hinted at major revisions to the civil and spiritual polities, as well as techniques and practices of mobilization allowing for the dissemination of these unconventional ideas. Part II treats the period from late 1642 to late 1643, exploring how those earlier formulations and practices in turn mutated under the pressures of civil war, exacerbated now by the newly contested politics of the parliamentarian coalition. Part III turns more squarely to the rise within parliament’s camp of religious divisions, which became a destabilizing force by mid-1644, but which also prompted new waves of ideological experimentation and new forms of practical political organization. Part IV focuses on the appearance, in 1644–5, of novel and challenging ideological formulations at the militant end of the parliamentarian coalition, and includes a sustained effort to contemplate the origins of the later “Leveller” agitation, as well as an attempt to chart the broader emergence of crypto-republican sentiment. Part V then consolidates understanding of the revolutionary potentialities of these

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changes, first by analyzing the private manuscript writings of parliamentarians, then by exploring the most disruptive, unorthodox variants of radical puritanism that took hold during the conflict, and finally by looking at the eruption of openly antimonarchical sentiment in early 1646, at the end of the First Civil War. In sum, the narrative aims to explain the deep underlying changes that remade the ideological and political landscape between Charles’s personal rule and his capitulation in April 1646, thereby enabling the revolutionary transformations of the later 1640s. While each section tracks the emergence of new or newly adapted ideas and programs across time, there are certain unifying features in the narrative. The study charts repeated cycles of polarization and radicalization, and accompanying moments of conceptual improvisation or creativity (often denoted as instances of “ideological escalation”), whereby a relentless train of political and military crises effectively drove English subjects apart, but also pushed them to more extreme positions and practices, frequently erasing consensus and common ground. In arriving at novel or disruptive positions, agents often drew on older and entirely conventional sources. Partly as a result of the expanding reach and volume of print, English people could turn to a stunning array of material for inspiration, from newly translated works of European political theory to rich “politic” histories of England and other countries, to readily accessible legal collections compiled by Coke and others, to vast reams of homiletic and theological material, printed at home and abroad.39 In addition, a huge corpus of manuscript pamphlets and tracts circulated widely, constituting another layer of material shaping political and religious consciousness.40 No one of these streams dominated; civil-war writers and interpreters drew on them in counterintuitive ways, blending them with determined ideological promiscuity, often to produce formulations that were anything but conventional. But if people drew on a wide array of material as they groped towards new ­conclusions, much of the political discussion of the period before and during the crisis of the 1640s pivoted around parliament and its role. This might seem an elementary point, but it deserves emphasis, for recent scholarship has revealed just how central parliament had become within the English political imagination. Chris Kyle and Noah Millstone have demonstrated that a growing profusion of parliamentary news and ephemera circulated in the early Stuart period, attesting to the degree to which contemporaries had come to place the institution at the core of their understanding of politics, law, and the state. Parliament grew to assume an almost cultic status, viewed as a kind of panacea for the ills of the commonweal.41 39  For illustration of this expanding print universe, see K. Sharpe, Reading Revolutions: The Politics of Reading in Early Modern England (New Haven, 2000); for an example of continental religious texts, gaining influence during the 1640s, see S. Mortimer, Reason and Religion in the English Revolution (Cambridge, 2010). 40  For the definitive study, see Millstone, Manuscript Circulation. 41  C. Kyle, Theater of State: Parliament and Political Culture in Early Stuart England (Stanford, 2012), 84–107, 147–82; Millstone, Manuscript Circulation, 94–125; nor should it be forgotten that the parliamentary franchise was remarkably wide in the early Stuart years—see D. Hirst, The Representative of the People? Voters and Voting in England under the Early Stuarts (Cambridge, 1975).

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The result was a political nation in which many “idolized Parliaments,” a tendency observable even among some future royalists.42 This is not to return to a Whiggish vision of a steadily rising parliament, seizing initiative from the king. On the ­contrary, contemporaries were deeply aware of the fragility of parliament, and fears and myths about its abolition circulated widely, but in some ways the institution’s weak, imperiled state merely magnified a sense of its importance.43 Nor is this to suggest that this “cult of parliament” was in itself antimonarchical: the doctrine of the king-in-parliament, fashionable from the sixteenth century, meant it was possible to imagine king and parliament as part of a harmonious mixed monarchy.44 Indeed, many moderate parliamentarians clung doggedly to this doctrine, and it partly undergirded their insistent claims to be fighting for king and parliament against a cabal of evil counselors who had effectively kidnapped Charles. However, it is also easy to see that these robust views of parliament could readily spiral in more radical directions; as will be shown, one of the first casualties of war was the doctrine of king-in-parliament, which in some circles disintegrated within weeks of the outbreak. One aim of this book is to chart the emergence of these exalted visions of parliamentary supremacy, thereby situating events of the 1640s in a broader story of the cultural and institutional development of parliament across the seventeenth century. To emphasize political ideology, and above all the centrality of parliament, is not, however, to exclude religion from the calculus. In recent years, perhaps provoked by revisionist insistence on the pervasive role of religious forces, several influential studies have de-emphasized religion in accounts of the civil war. This book argues for the centrality of both “the religious” and the “the political.” Contemporaries were perfectly capable of distinguishing between religion and secular politics, and on occasion they even anticipated modern historians by speculating as to which bore the brunt of responsibility for the conflict. Often, these bright lines between religion and politics were drawn with calculated intent, to construct or defend tendentious programs.45 In other cases, however, the boundary between religion and politics proved blurry and permeable—not surprising in a polity in which the church was reputedly under royal supremacy, as established by statute—and in  fact the two domains frequently bled into one another.46 This pattern of “transposition”—the migration of concepts or patterns of thought from the field of  politics to religion, or vice versa—represents another underlying dynamic, identified in this study as implicated in intellectual change. The manner in which 42  For the phrase, used pejoratively by John Bramhall, see D. Smith, Constitutional Royalism and the Search for Settlement, c.1640–1649 (Cambridge, 1994), 221, whose broader account nevertheless reveals warm affection for parliament among many royalists. 43  For the “myth of the changing constitution,” see Millstone, Manuscript Circulation, 197–237. 44  See G. Elton, “The Body of the Whole Realm”: Parliament and Representation in Medieval and Tudor England (Charlottesville, VA, 1969). 45  See, e.g., A Short Discourse Touching The Cause of the present unhappy Distractions (1643); Baxter, Reliquiae, 1:18; [R. Overton,] The Araignement of Mr. Persecution (1645), 13; for a complex examination of the manipulation of this distinction under Elizabeth, see Lake, Bad Queen Bess. 46  For some of the resulting confusions, see C. Prior, A Confusion of Tongues: Britain’s Wars of Reformation, 1625–1642 (Oxford, 2012).

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such transposition operated was varied, differing from one individual or argument to the next. The challenge taken up here is thus not to insist on the priority of religion or politics, but to work out the myriad ways in which the two spheres intersected, often with interesting and creative results. The resulting account seeks to illuminate the emergence of some of the more distinctive religious phenomena of the period and to examine their political implications. One main goal is to explain the nature of “independency,” that slippery category which began as a religious descriptor, used to refer to different shades of “congregational” church government, before mutating into a party label. This study examines the spread of positions and practices associated with “independent” church order, as well as the process through which the nomenclature settled into broader usage. It then charts the way this nomenclature subtly transformed into a general political label, used to describe a coalition of shifting and to some extent distinct interests (including, paradoxically, many who were not personally committed to “congregationalist” church forms at all). The rise of this “independent” political coalition lies at the heart of this study. Again, however, this coalition cannot be understood outside the simultaneous emergence of its “other,” presbyterianism, which plays an important, if less prominent, role in these pages. The “independent coalition” thus described was heterogeneous, composed of diverse elements held in tense cooperation. This study seeks carefully to delineate the various religious encampments and opinions that emerged along the frontiers of parliament’s coalition in the 1640s. The fecundity of civil-war sectarianism is a huge subject, but this book is interspersed with chapters and sections that elucidate the emergence of these different shadings of opinion and practice. I aim to contextualize the rise of controversial, or allegedly unorthodox, positions such as ­antinomianism, anabaptism, or outright millenarianism, and to explain their relationship to the broader sweep of puritan thought and parliamentarian politics. In tracing the emergence of these strains, and in examining the ways the godly community fractured, the study adds to our understanding of how the civil war helped produce a kaleidoscopic landscape of competing Protestant groupings by the 1650s. But this pluralism was itself central to the “independent” coalition in another crucial way. It meant that, from the outset, the question of toleration was key to this emergent party grouping. The rise of new visions of toleration represents one important theme traced here. This is not a comprehensive survey, as the history of toleration has lately been the subject of much sustained, fruitful work.47 One recent strain of scholarship emphasizes that post-Reformation England was not the monolithic quagmire of religious coercion and persecution that has sometimes been assumed, but that there were powerful forces driving people to practical forbearance towards neighbors, swirling alongside impulses towards repression.48 47  J. Coffey, Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England (Harlow, 2000); A. Walsham, A Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England, 1500–1700 (Manchester, 2006); J. Marshall, John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture: Religious Intolerance and Arguments for Religious Toleration in Early Modern and ‘Early Enlightenment’ Europe (Cambridge, 2006); S. Sowerby, Making Toleration: The Repealers and the Glorious Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2013). 48 Walsham, Charitable Hatred, esp. 228–99.

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Introduction

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The present study seeks to show how advocates of different versions of toleration and coercion sought to exploit or harness these competing, contradictory forces. The following account focuses on two chief strategies: first, actors habitually emphasized their opponents’ danger to the social order (and their own conformity to that order); and second, they stressed their opposites’ threat to secular and temporal power (alongside their own credentials as props for those authorities). Out of the din of polemic there emerged striking arguments for varying degrees of  religious toleration—even pluralism and diversity—which were incorporated into the emerging “independent” coalition, whereby they moved from marginality to the center of state practice and policy.49 Arguments for toleration—conceived in some formulations as a matter of “right”—represent just one of several other discourses of right traced in these pages. At differing points, this study also tracks the rise of a series of robust positions concerning the rights and liberties of political subjects. Thus, in keeping with our focus on print, it will be shown that, alongside strong claims for liberty of conscience, there also emerged forceful claims that opening up the press was essential to the welfare of the commonwealth, and, indeed, this book seeks to throw new light on the origins of arguments for press liberty that became influential, then ubiquitous, over the century that followed. Similarly capacious arguments were increasingly articulated with respect to protections from arbitrary imprisonment and the imposition of coercive practices of interrogation. In short, there emerged during the 1640s an eclectic series of rights claims, which, while built on pre-civil-war developments, nevertheless insinuated into anglophone political ­discourse for the first time an elaborate, if still contestable, package of perceived, practical liberties, which were sometimes articulated not merely as matters of custom or contingent, positive law, but as natural rights. These robust visions of right sat sometimes uneasily alongside equally forceful claims for the sovereignty of ­parliament—or the people—which were canvassed in the same radical parliamentarian circles. In emphasizing the significance of rights claims, alongside increasingly insistent claims for the essential centrality and supremacy of parliamentary governance, this book does not seek to suggest that the 1640s marked the beginning of a unidirectional, unbroken line culminating in the rise of representative or liberal democracy. That story was, and is, hugely complicated, involving a multiplicity of disparate forces, reverses, and processes that unfolded far beyond England. Yet the eruption of these ideas, practices, and assumptions did mark a watershed in that longer story. Nor did these claims to rights and liberties, coupled with an almost cultic vision of parliament’s power, amount to some sort of secularized program of individual liberties and self-determination; indeed, these claims were often accompanied by calls for thorough transformations of the legal system to bring it into conformity with God’s will, demands for more egalitarian distribution of resources in line with tendentious interpretations of Christian teachings, and apocalyptic 49  For 1640–60 as generative of major shifts in religious and legal attitudes towards toleration, see Coffey, Persecution, 134–65.

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expectations of godly purgation—hardly the stuff of modern liberal democracy. This book thus seeks to understand these developments on their own terms, and in accord with the categories and mental universe of early modern people. But while we should avoid overly teleological or anachronistic modes of analysis, this study also suggests that we should not let the deeply rooted allergy to “Whiggery” that has dominated the field for decades obscure the striking developments described here, close down important avenues of inquiry, or hobble our ability to pose questions about long-term developments of pressing importance. The stakes, in my view, are not confined to the realm of scholarship. We live in a moment when the underlying assumptions and institutions of representative democracy are in danger. These institutions have, of course, always been regarded with suspicion by many on the political right, who view the democratizing impulses of this notional order with fear, and by many on the left, who see this order as, at best, a stepping stone and, at worst, an ideological sham to be exposed and dismantled. The tendency to abandon democratic assumptions has grown more acute as even advocates themselves have lost faith in their ideology, retreating in the face of security threats, economic crisis, rampant inequality, and uncongenial electoral results towards ever more authoritarian solutions. We are now operating in a world where supposedly democratic and freedom-loving governments seek to spy on their peoples without restraint, to regulate speech and the press through statutes and bullying tactics, and to imprison or even assassinate their own citizens with little or no legal recourse, having effectively rendered permanent emergency and exceptional powers to govern on a daily basis. On a global scale, the chief ideological alternatives to such governments are, on the one side, forms of authoritarian (even totalitarian) capitalism, and, on the other, species of brutal theocratic despotism. Such challenges demand that we think seriously and deeply about the origins, development, and nature of the practices and institutions at the core of modern democratic forms of governance. At the very least, we should recognize the improbable, painful, and remarkable process through which those practices came into being. If this book contributes to our understanding of this story in some small way, it will have more than served its purpose.

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PA RT I F RO M P E R S O N A L RU L E TO POLITICAL CRISIS, 1635–1642

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1 Freeborn Subjects Puritanism, Politics, and Print in the Personal Rule A tide of change was sweeping England, threatening church and commonwealth. So warned Henry Burton when he took the pulpit on November 5, 1636. Guy Fawkes had failed to destroy Protestant England, but the spirit of the Gunpowder Plot lived on, continuing to “haunt the Pallaces of Prelates.” Through a train of innovations, the bishops now stood to succeed where Fawkes fell short, and Burton denounced the dangerous changes—Arminianism, altars, the Book of Sports, the suppression of preaching—by which the prelates were “reerecting the throne of the Beast in this Land.”1 The church was in crisis, Burton warned, but the state was equally imperiled, for the bishops’ conspiracy trampled royal ecclesiastical power and English law. Worming into favor by preaching up the “unlimited power” of kings, the prelates poisoned the monarch against “Parliament,” the only sure means of “redressing . . . those many enormities . . . in the Church and commonweale.” While Fawkes hid in darkness, his spiritual kin operated in plain sight of the chapel royal, “getting closse to the King,” like the octopus able to change color, waiting to snare prey “unawares.”2 If anything, the protean inscrutability of the conspirators made this new Gunpowder Treason all the more terrifying. For all that Burton posed as an enemy of change—“Innovation . . . ever hath beene held dangerous to a state”—his performance revealed tendencies that ran strongly against the established order. According to the version of the sermons printed, he thus ventured that “the Lordly Prelacy” should be “turned into such a godly government, as might suite better with Gods Word, and Christs sweet yoake.”3 Although details were left vague, Burton believed that the existing episcopal regime demanded thorough reformation. Equally unnerving were his comments on political obedience. Burton presented himself as a staunch defender of Charles I. But he painted his picture of due obligation in oddly conditional terms. Burton postulated a “mutuall stipulation or Covenant which the King and his Subjects make at his Coronation: Where the King taking an explicit solemne oath to maintaine the ancient Lawes and Liberties of the Kingdome, and so to rule and governe all his people according to those Lawes established.” On the other side, “the people of the Land doe sweare . . . subjection and obedience to their 1  H. Burton, For God, and the King (1636), 19–23, 25, 55–60, 103–5, 114–17, 150–1. 2 Burton, For God, 67–70, 87–8, 165. 3 Burton, For God, 93, 109–10.

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King . . . according to his just Lawes.”4 This kind of natural-law contract theory became common coin in parts of Europe during the post-Reformation struggles of the sixteenth century, but it has been claimed that it was quite alien in early Stuart England, rendering Burton’s excursion into these waters both unusual and significant.5 Burton left unanswered the question of what to do if a king failed to uphold the covenant.6 But his detractors had little doubt about the subversive implications of his performance. Within days, he was cited before the High Com­ mission, beginning a journey that would make Burton’s name synonymous with opposition to the Caroline regime. Burton’s tirade was born of his own personal odyssey, which in many ways epitomizes the story of the English church. Baptized in 1578, he was raised in a “dark corner” of rural Yorkshire, a village that “never had a preaching Minister time out of minde.” Sent to a Cambridge newly remade by ascendant Protestants, Burton fell under the spell of Laurence Chaderton and William Perkins, and emerged a scrupulous preacher, of firm Calvinist temper, joining hundreds of other young men nurtured in the godly hothouses of the universities in these years.7 In the previous generation, ministers of like disposition found themselves clashing with the establishment over ceremonial conformity and, ultimately, church government. But the defeat of presbyterianism in the 1590s, the work carried out by the likes of Chaderton and Perkins, and the accession of King James I in 1603 ensured that the Church of England was a different proposition for young, ambitious clerics. Increasingly, they warmed to an order that seemed anchored by preaching bishops, a Calvinist doctrinal settlement, and a ceremonial regime in which only the most rigid nonconformists were excluded entirely from the ministry.8 A legion of zealous pastors fanned into the countryside and, it has been argued, remade the face of parish religion in England, creating a broad, if not uniform, Protestant order.9 The institutionalization of godly zeal is embodied by Burton, who soon found work at the epicenter of power, in the royal household, as Clerk of the Closet first to Prince Henry, then to Prince Charles.10 There is no sign that young Burton objected to the rites and government of the church. It was an establishment he could believe in, and he stood at its center, a personal servant to the throne’s heirs. 4 Burton, For God, 38–42. 5  C. Russell, The Causes of the English Civil War (Oxford, 1990), 131–6. 6  For Burton’s precocious resort to the coronation oath as a contract, and for the later diffusion of this notion, see E. Vallance, Revolutionary England and the National Covenant (Woodbridge, 2005), 75–80. 7  H. Burton, A Narration of the Life of Mr. Henry Burton (1643), 1. 8  P. Lake, Moderate Puritans and the Elizabethan Church (Cambridge, 1982); K. Fincham, Prelate as Pastor: The Episcopate of James I (Oxford, 1990); N. Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists: The Rise of English Arminianism, c.1590–1640 (Oxford, 1987); K. Fincham and P. Lake, “The Ecclesiastical Policy of James I,” JBS, 24 (1985), 169–207. 9  P. Collinson, The Religion of Protestants (Oxford, 1982); for recent accounts that in different ways build on Collinson’s approach, see A. Ryrie, Being Protestant in Reformation Britain (Oxford, 2013); A. Hunt, The Art of Hearing: English Preachers and their Audiences, 1590–1640 (Cambridge, 2010), 229–91; for a skeptical view, see C. Haigh, The Plain Man’s Pathways to Heaven (Oxford, 2007). 10 Burton, Life, 2.

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Freeborn Subjects

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This was the order that Burton saw disappearing in the 1620s. As James I, and then his son Charles, turned to new ecclesiastical counsels, Burton, now rector of St. Matthew Friday Street in London, began a campaign of protest against ceremonialism and Arminianism, leading to escalating clashes with the regime.11 On Burton’s account, the “new rites” associated with William Laud delegitimized the “old” for “well-minded Christians”: “till your New came in, their stomack did (though with much difficulty) digest the Old.” The altar policy, the Book of Sports, and other affronts denounced by Burton in his Gunpowder Plot sermons convinced many godly people that the “Old Ceremonies” “were but the hand, legge, foot, habit of the whore of Babylon,” an insight that led to mass repudiation of the existing ceremonial order.12 Burton here drew on his own spiritual experience, but his was an acute analysis of the broader dynamic that led countless English subjects in this period to ever more extreme opinions and practices.13 This pattern of escalating radicalization and polarization will recur in the pages that follow; the overarching dynamic helps to make sense of both the outbreak and the ideological ferment of the English Civil Wars, explaining how agents, often pursuing reactive and even self-consciously conservative ends, could embrace subversive and sometimes novel positions and programs. As Burton’s sermons reveal, innovations in religion were mirrored by innovations in the state. By 1636, Charles I had repeatedly championed policies seen by many as inimical to the legal and constitutional framework of the country. The Forced Loan and arbitrary imprisonments of the late 1620s gave way to Ship Money in the 1630s; in these and other measures, many English subjects saw creeping tyranny, concerns that grew more severe as the king’s experiment with personal rule extended into its eighth year. As Burton’s sermons suggested, the threats of spiritual and secular tyranny were seen as intertwined; it was the bishops and their minions who abetted both trends, ensnaring the king in their tentacles. Not surprisingly, disaffected puritans thus led the resistance against Caroline political policy; as Burton later explained, just as the bishops sought to “overthrow the true Protestant Religion,” so they aimed “to overthrow the Civill State . . . and to introduce an arbitrary Government, otherwise called Tyrany,” and he therefore “as a free borne subject” who “prized the just libertie of my birthright above this life it selfe” took up the cudgels for “God, and . . . his Church, and . . . my Country, in defending the Cause of both.”14 Burton’s Powder Plot sermons, with their invocation of contract theory, their cries for a new parliament, and their warnings of a conspiracy against true religion and the nation’s laws and liberties, marked his most outspoken attempt to fulfill this dual role. He was able so decisively to intervene, however, because he 11 Burton, Life, 3–9; Fincham and Lake, “Ecclesiastical Policy,” 198–207; for shifting ceremonial policy, see K. Fincham and N. Tyacke, Altars Restored: The Changing Face of English Religious Worship, 1547–c.1700 (Oxford, 2007). 12 Burton, For God, 25; [H. Burton,] A Replie to a Relation. Of the Conference between William Laude and Mr. Fisher the Jesuite (1640), 340–1. 13  For such polarization operating, first locally, then more broadly, see T. Webster, Godly Clergy in Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 1997), 151–66. 14 Burton, Life, 9.

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tapped into existing networks that had evolved in previous decades to express and publicize criticism of royal policy. This chapter seeks to furnish a survey of the ligatures and geographical reach of those oppositional networks, at the same time offering a brief overview of some of the central ideological alternatives and critiques on offer in these circles. This, in turn, provides essential context for understanding both change and continuity after the eruption of the crisis of 1640. P R I N T, A N T I - E P I S C O PA L E C C L E S I O L O G Y, A N D T H E D Y N A M I C O F R A D I C A L I Z AT I O N It is impossible to know the precise words that Burton uttered that day at St. Matthew.15 But at some level it does not matter, for even as he was summoned by the High Commission for his performance, Burton was busily editing his sermons for publication. By late January 1637, they were printed under the title For God, and the King, thus projecting Burton’s bilious performance to a mass audience. The sermons’ publication convinced the regime that a show of exemplary punishment was essential. In short order, a Star Chamber bill was prepared against Burton, along with two other gadflies, William Prynne and John Bastwick, who had likewise been identified as symbols of sedition for their recent publications. Burton’s book was printed in the Low Countries. With London’s presses clustered under episcopal surveillance, he and his collaborators resorted to well-developed networks that had evolved between the Netherlands and London for printing and importing clandestine tracts. The culprit behind For God, and the King was the Amsterdam printer, J. F. Stam, who had long maintained a specialty in English books, executing a range of sometimes inflammatory works for English clients in the 1620s and 1630s.16 While Dutch printers such as Stam or William Christiaens of Leiden were often used to publish unacceptable religious material, English puritan extremists had long been fine-tuning their own machinery for producing and importing such books. Although the Jacobean order proved palatable to most godly people, there were, of course, hardened nonconformists who refused to have any truck with the English church.17 Some, such as the veterans of the Elizabethan presbyterian agitations, Ezekiel Culverwell and Humphrey Fenn, maintained a fine balance between engagement and withdrawal, retiring from the public ministry while arguing 15  For the complex relation between sermons as preached and printed, see Hunt, Art of Hearing, 117–63. 16  K. Sprunger, Trumpets from the Tower: English Puritan Printing in the Netherlands, 1600–1640 (Leiden, 1994), 102–4, 204–7; S. Foster, Notes from the Caroline Underground: Alexander Leighton, the Puritan Triumvirate, and the Laudian Reaction to Nonconformity (Hamden, CN, 1978); A. F. Johnson, “J. F. Stam, Amsterdam, and English Bibles,” The Library, 5th Ser., 9 (1954), 185–93. A second edition was printed, using an ornament copied from Stam’s (STC 4141). 17  For nonconformist continuity, see N. Tyacke, “The Fortunes of English Puritanism, 1603–1640,” in N. Tyacke, Aspects of English Protestantism (Manchester, 2001), 111–31; P. Seaver, “State Religion and Puritan Resistance in Early Seventeenth-Century England,” in J. D. Tracy and M. Ragnow, eds., Religion and the Early Modern State (Cambridge, 2004), 207–52.

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Freeborn Subjects

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that, despite its corruptions, the English establishment remained a true church.18 A handful of extremists rejected this position, and moved into outright separatism. Small “Brownist” communities sprang up in many parts of England in the early Stuart period, but the epicenter of separatist life was the Netherlands, where thriving expatriate churches took root. From 1604, English separatists operated a succession of presses in Amsterdam and Leiden, designed to disperse propaganda. Much of this material was overtly separatist, but in time the presses became outlets for a wide range of work by nonconformists and anti-episcopal authors. By 1637, a separatist press in Amsterdam—now managed by the preacher John Canne and usually known as the “Richt Right Press”—joined with Stam’s print house to serve as Europe’s chief sources of illicit puritan material. Both, however, relied on distribution networks that smuggled these books back to England and dispersed them upon arrival.19 As we will see, these networks, too, were dominated by separatists and other sectaries, whose long experience, transnational connections, and high tolerance for risk made them indispensable to managing and moving surreptitious books. Increasing discontent with the Caroline church thus served to thrust hitherto marginal separatists to the forefront of a burgeoning network for resisting the drift of Caroline rule. Moreover, the same forces driving Burton and others away from the English church and its rites suddenly rendered au courant forms of ecclesiology that had previously been shunned by all but a handful of godly people. Many began to search for alternatives to the bishops’ tyranny, raising questions Burton hinted at, then evaded, in For God, and the King. If episcopacy was unacceptable, what purified structure should replace it? Separatism was an increasingly appealing option, and Charles’s reign saw an upsurge in Brownist activity. By the late 1630s, there were separatist groupings scattered in most counties of England.20 However, the numbers were never large; the separatist alternative was extreme in its social and ideological implications. It unchurched existing parochial assemblies and relinquished an inclusive, universal church for a vision of an embattled flock of persecuted saints. Although Laudian polarization fed the Brownist congregations, and pushed fringe elements to the center of organizational efforts for resistance, total separation remained unpalatable for most. A second plausible alternative was presbyterianism, modeled on Calvin’s Geneva. This had been the favored ecclesiology of Elizabethan nonconformists, with the advantage that it was a living system in the most rigorously reformed European churches. But it also had notable disadvantages. It had been tarnished as seditious in the Elizabethan conflicts, and successive monarchs had identified the system, with its interconnected hierarchies of presbyteries and synods, as a threat to civil 18  “Ezekiel Culverwell,” ODNB; “Humphrey Fenn,” ODNB. 19  K. Sprunger, Dutch Puritanism: A History of English and Scottish Churches of the Netherlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Leiden, 1982), 43–90, 135–42; Sprunger, Trumpets, 84–115, 124–70, 200–4, 214–15. 20  On Stuart separatist growth, see D. Como, “Radical Puritanism, c. 1558–1660,” in J. Coffey and P. Lim, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Puritanism (Cambridge, 2008), 246–7, 251, 256 n.17, 257 n.25.

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authority. As Polly Ha has shown, there remained in the early seventeenth century a core of nonconformist clerics, many aging holdouts from the Elizabethan struggles, devoted to presbyterian forms.21 But there is little reason to doubt the judgment of one of these activists, Humphrey Fenn, who in 1630 at the age of 79 made a plaintive preamble to his will, in which he denounced prelatical government, extolled presbyterianism, but lamented that “our cause have lost many lovers by death . . . and others by defection.”22 In the late 1630s, Fenn’s “cause” attracted renewed interest, as people began again to think seriously about alternatives to episcopacy, but this revival was as much an act of reconstruction and rediscovery as a simple continuation of an ongoing tradition. Part of the reason that presbyterianism lost traction in the early Stuart period was that hard-core nonconformists crafted an alternative ecclesiology during James I’s reign. A set of divines, including William Bradshaw, William Ames, and Henry Jacob, pioneered a novel vision of church government. These divines conceded that the English church remained a true church, producing clusters of sanctified believers, and thus shunned separatism. However, these theorists also crafted a vision of the pure visible church as an individual congregation of believers, covenanted by mutual consent, and governed through chosen ministers and elders. These gathered communions of saints were self-sufficient entities, corresponding with one another, but ultimately responsible for their own discipline and officers. In Jacob’s phrasing, “each Congregation is an intire and independent Body politike Spirituall, and is indued with power in it selfe immediately under Christ.”23 This jettisoned presbyterianism’s interlinked hierarchy of consistories and synods, stretching across the entire polity. The new “congregational” model thus avoided the more offensive implications of presbyterianism by reducing the combinatorial power of a classical system, in which ranked masses of clergymen and elders might exercise spiritual or political muscle in a way threatening to central power. Less happily, however, there was also an uncanny correspondence between this new ecclesiology and that embraced by separatist churches, which had long been organized precisely as autonomous, covenanted congregations. While there were subtle differences—notably in separatists’ enthusiasm for lay exercise and authority within the congregation—some of the pioneers of the new church form were in close conversation with separatist theorists. As a result of these clear correspondences, “congregational” proponents were open to charges that, despite claims to the contrary, they were separatists by another name.24 From 1616, the “congregational way” was put into action by Henry Jacob and his followers, who covenanted to found a gathered church, based around London. The “Jacob church,” which has been studied in detail elsewhere, was theoretically distinct from the parochial structure of the English church, and possessed all officers and ordinances independent of the parish churches. Nevertheless, the Church of 21  P. Ha, English Presbyterianism, 1590–1640 (Stanford, 2011). 22  SP 16/260, fols. 166–7. 23  H. Jacob, An Attestation of many Learned, Godly, and famous Divines (1613), 86. 24 For the relationship between separatism and congregationalism, see M. Winship, Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and a City on a Hill (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 67–110.

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England was taken to be a true church, and Jacob’s members were permitted to listen to godly sermons, and even to take the sacraments in local churches. The Jacob church survived through the entire period, and served as a model for congregationalism in the anglophone world.25 It also, however, acted as a breeding ground for forms of radical puritanism. From the start, Jacob’s project was subjected to withering critique by more traditional presbyterians, including Walter Travers and probably John Dod, who worried over the anarchic implications of this new “Independency,” and who jousted with Jacob in conference and manuscript. Jacob had to parry charges that his congregational experiment amounted to a “new separation.”26 These concerns about the separatist core of the new Jacob church proved prophetic. After Jacob’s death in 1624, as the pressure of Caroline religious policy grew, the “non-separating” character of his church proved difficult to sustain, and the congregation underwent waves of defections, with newly radicalized members moving into strict separatism. At the same time, the congregation played host to unusual, even heterodox, theological opinions, making it an incubator for novel and disruptive doctrines. The only minister associated with the church in the mid-1630s was the infamous John Traske, purveyor of a brand of piety, to be discussed below, that contemporaries labeled “antinomian.” Similarly, the church and its offshoots proved to be the most prolific seedbed of “anabaptist” sentiment in London, a process that had already begun by the late 1630s. In many ways, Jacob’s congregational experiment outstripped the most dire predictions of its detractors.27 N E W E N G L A N D A N D T H E O R I G I N S O F P U R I TA N E C C L E S I O L O G I C A L C O N T ROV E R S Y By the time Henry Burton preached his sermons, however, the role of Jacob’s church as the exemplar of the “congregational way” had been overshadowed. One of the other responses to the pressures of Charles I’s reign was flight. While the traditional resort for godly refugees—the Low Countries—saw an influx of disaffected puritans in the 1630s, the most striking and numerous departures took unhappy subjects to the Americas. Some godly people scattered to the Chesapeake, Bermuda, and the Caribbean, chiefly to Providence Island, a colony overseen by the leading English dissident peers, Warwick, Brooke, and Saye.28 The favored destination, however, was New England, where a series of puritan outposts, 25 M. Tolmie, The Triumph of the Saints: The Separate Churches of London, 1616–1649 (Cambridge, 1977). 26 Ha, English Presbyterianism, 50–5; our knowledge of these debates stands to be revolutionized by P. Ha, ed., The Puritans on Independence: The First Examination, Defence, and Second Examination (Oxford, 2017), which appeared as this book was in preparation. 27 Tolmie, Triumph, 15–27, 50–80; Burrage, 2:299–305; E. Norice, The New Gospel, Not the True Gospel (1638), 8; Como, Blown by the Spirit, 348–61; the term “anabaptist,” while pejorative, was habitually used during the period, and this study thus deploys it to refer to the various encampments which embraced believers’ baptism. 28  K. Kupperman, Providence Island, 1630–1641 (Cambridge, 1993).

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established on godly principles, swelled massively after 1629. Here, the incipient congregational form moved from the realm of obscure experimentation to mass implementation. For reasons that are debatable, New England migrants quickly adopted congregationalism.29 In Massachusetts Bay, gathered churches multiplied between 1630 and 1635, ensuring there was a flourishing polity, with a working English puritan church regime, available as a model. Indeed, congregationalism soon came to be widely known as the “New England Way,” and its success there ensured that gathered churches quickly formed in other refugee communities, notably among recent migrants in the Netherlands and Providence Island.30 Eyes were focused squarely on New England: as Lord Saye wrote to Boston’s minister, John Cotton, in 1638, “you in that place . . . are a Citty sett uppon a hill,” which had finally succeeded in “castinge of[f ] . . . Bishopes and reducinge the Churches to theyr primitive and true power.”31 Yet Saye reminded Cotton of New England’s exemplary role partly because of alarming reports dribbling home after 1635. Particularly worrying were events traditionally dubbed the “antinomian controversy,” in which followers of John Wheelwright, Anne Hutchinson, and the young governor Sir Henry Vane Jr. split the Bay Colony in a fierce theological contest, reminiscent of earlier “antinomian” debates that plagued London as a result of the activities of teachers such as Traske. Those earlier debates bedeviled London from the late 1620s, drawing in many leading godly ministers—including Henry Burton, who was forced to enter print to counter the perceived “antinomian” threat—and the recurrence of similar conflicts in Massachusetts set a disturbing precedent.32 Other disputes likewise multiplied in the freer air of New England, most famously the rebellion of the ultra-separatist Roger Williams. Although the Bay Colony squashed these quarrels, largely by exiling leading dissidents, as with the distempered Jacob church, New England’s situation hinted at ideological fissures that had already formed in the depths of the puritan community, and which were likely to rise to the surface in England, particularly among exuberant saints. More directly, controversies in New England forged opinions and groups that would, in the next decade, migrate back to unsettle the mother country. The exiled Williams, for instance, decamped to Narragansett Bay, where he formed a new colony at Providence, providing shelter for godly outcasts; Williams and others who fled to Providence and its sister settlements returned to England in the 1640s, bringing novel ideas. Another driven away by the antinomian broils was Sir Henry Vane; by 1638, he was back in England, and as Saye warned, Vane and “others hear with him . . . have bin very 29  For the most thorough recent exploration, see Winship, Godly Republicanism, 111–82. 30 Sprunger, Dutch Puritanism, 163–75, 226–32; Kupperman, Providence Island, 216–17, 259–60. 31  S. Bush, ed., The Correspondence of John Cotton (Chapel Hill, 2001), 283. 32  The best narrative, avoiding the term “antinomian controversy,” is M. Winship, Making Heretics: Militant Protestantism and Free Grace in Massachusetts (Princeton, 2002); T. Bozeman, The Precisianist Strain: Disciplinary Religion and the Antinomian Backlash in Puritanism to 1638 (Chapel Hill, 2004); for London, see Como, Blown by the Spirit, 73–103.

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active to disperse and spread abroad theyr opinions,” claiming Cotton’s authority for their conceits.33 With his eccentric theological notions, and his commitment to a tolerationist “Independency,” Vane would be one of the preeminent political leaders of civil-war England.34 Saye was not alone in regarding New England as a crucial experiment. Henry Burton’s search for “a godly government, as might suite better with Gods Word” led him to embrace congregationalism by 1641. Yet as news of New England’s project drifted back to England, others were disturbed by reports about the new polity. In 1637, a group of puritan ministers, including the old warhorse John Dod, forwarded to clerical brethren in New England a letter, requesting com­ ment on nine “vain opinions” which they had heard were characteristic of the Massachusetts church order. The New Englanders were asked if they thought it unlawful to participate in any set liturgy, whether they held that sacraments could only be given to those who had joined a church, whether excommunication was in the power of the majority of the congregation (even if pastors and elders dissented), and whether members could effectively dismiss their pastor “if they dislike him.” The queries suggested concern that the “New England Way” was straying towards separatism by unchurching the entire English establishment. But the questions also indicated anxiety about democratic power handed to congregants over pastors and elders, and suggested worry that the practice of limiting the sacraments to covenanted members nullified the notion of an inclusive, national church.35 The ministers’ letter sparked a sharp exchange of manuscripts, back and forth, between the Massachusetts’ clergy and a small group of English divines, which continued into the early 1640s.36 Although overarching problems of synodal authority were not prominent in these exchanges, some of those who questioned New England practice were thinking about the problem of reform explicitly along presbyterian lines.37 This surely included John Dod, a veteran of the presbyterian movement (who had sparred with Henry Jacob) and Julines Herring, a suspended Shropshire preacher and disciple of Humphrey Fenn.38 Another signatory, the Manchester cleric William Bourne, revealed his ecclesiological temper when, in early 1641, he wrote to an MP that in the contest over “what discipline shall be raysed; I think you may doe well to conforme the same to the Apostles times; whereof wee have presidents in France, Geneva, Scotland, and other reformed churches.”39 The ministers’ letter of 33  Bush, ed., John Cotton, 283. 34 For Vane’s mature theology, see D. Parnham, Henry Vane, Theologian (Madison, NJ, and London, 1997). 35  Bush, ed., John Cotton, 262–8, positing a date of June 1637 (and certainly written Jan.–Sept. 1637). 36  C. Geary Schneider, “Roots and Branches: From Principled Nonconformity to the Emergence of Religious Parties,” in F. J. Bremer, ed., Puritanism: Transatlantic Perspectives on a Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Faith (Boston, 1993), 167–200; Webster, Godly Clergy, 301–9. 37  Cf. Webster, Godly Clergy, 301–5; Ha, English Presbyterianism, 59–62, 130–2. 38  As the letter was being drafted, Herring was weighing an offer (ultimately accepted) as pastor to the English presbyterian church in Amsterdam. “Julines Herring,” ODNB; S. Clarke, A Generall Martyrologie (1651), 462, 468. 39  BL, Add. MS. 70105, unfol. (Bourne to Harley, Jan. 8, 1641).

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1637 thus hinted at an incipient presbyterian grouping, galvanized by Laudian repression, rising reformist sentiment, but also by mindfulness of the success and pitfalls of the New England Way. While few English people had seriously weighed questions of church governance, the fact that an advanced guard of intellectuals and activists were beginning to stake out positions was to have considerable consequences in the 1640s. The account offered here has focused particular attention on the shape of opinion among the most militant puritans in England. This is not without logic. As with Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne, there can be no doubt that those at the forefront of resistance to the Caroline regime were members of the wider godly community.40 As we will see, this would be true throughout the civil war—most of those driving the conflict forward, and pushing new ideas and expedients into the public domain, were members of the puritan community, broadly construed.41 Yet this should not be mistaken for the claim that only hard-line puritans who fell definitively into the emerging, if inchoate, encampments described above were upset by the Caroline regime. In fact, both the secular and spiritual policies of the king’s government provoked wide discontent, and opposition to those policies extended far beyond ostentatiously godly subjects, who were never more than a large if vocal minority. Puritans such as Saye, Burton, and John Pym were able to position themselves as spokesmen for the commonwealth’s grievances, but only because those grievances were keenly felt beyond the relatively cloistered coteries of the godly. Some who followed their leadership were convinced, along with Burton, that Charles I had imperiled the liberties and laws of the realm without partaking of Burton’s effusive religious zeal. Often, such people shared a sense that the greatest culprits were churchmen, not necessarily, as Burton thought, because the bishops had laid waste to true religion, but because the resplendent sacerdotalism of Laudianism represented an insidious threat to magisterial authority.42 Dissatisfaction with the overweening claims of the church under Laud, as well as a rising sense that—as in the punishment of Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne—the clergy had encroached on rightful temporal authority, meant that even those with little time for the marathon sermons and spiritual disciplines of the godly were alarmed by the policies of the 1630s. This suspicion of clerical political pretensions had deep roots, closely tied to broader cultural antipathy to popery, and it meshed with general understandings of England’s royal ecclesiastical supremacy and the historical foundations of the Church of England, which had been created largely by parliamentary statute. The attendant laicizing disposition has sometimes been called “Erastianism,” after Erastus, the Swiss advocate of state religious control, and historians have at times seen an “Erastian” party in England in the 1640s.43 This is somewhat 40  For broader comment on long-term connections between puritanism and politics, see N. Tyacke, “The Puritan Paradigm of English Politics, 1558–1642,” HJ, 53 (2010), 527–50. 41  For my view of the definition and utility of the term “puritanism,” see Como, Blown by the Spirit, 29 n.36. 42  See, e.g., A. Cromartie, The Constitutionalist Revolution in Early Modern England: An Essay on the History of England (Cambridge, 2006), 239–55. 43  See, e.g., W. S. Crowley, “The Erastians in the Westminster Assembly,” Journal of Church and State, 49 (1973), 49–64; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge: Politics in the Puritan Revolution (London, 1985 ed.), 64–5.

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misleading; Erastus had few readers or devotees, and presumed “Erastians” often showed marked differences in their formulations.44 No organized “Erastian” party existed in parliament or beyond in the 1640s. There was, however, a deep vein of revulsion against clerical domination, which manifested itself in determination that the church should remain subject to the legal oversight and ultimate power of secular authority, a loose position that can usefully be described as “erastian.” More a tendency than a party, this disposition can be found all across the political spectrum, even, as Laudians found to their disgust, among committed royalists.45 This laicizing tendency loomed large as English people began to reform the church. As “erastianism” was more a political reflex than a systematic ideological program, it could be exploited by actors of very different ideological complexion. Indeed, as we will see, much polemical debate over ecclesiastical government during the civil wars was expressly designed to appeal to this erastian tendency. Advocates of both “independency” and presbyterianism competed to show that their opposites posed a grave threat to the magistrate’s power. In making such claims, proponents sought to exploit a deeply ingrained politico-religious predisposition, shared by godly people as well as others who had little investment in the overwrought world of puritan conventicles. Tacitly, this recognized that any new church order would need to win the assent of a broad swathe of people who had little interest in the niceties of clerical arguments about the precise, jure divino, nature of the apostolic church (or indeed who recoiled at the idea that any single church government existed by divine right) and whose willingness to endorse a new order would depend in part on political or secular factors that had little to do with the scriptural precedents adduced to prove its validity. M I C RO - C O M M U N I T Y I : L O N D O N , S E C TA R I A N I S M , A N D T H E A RT S O F P R I N T P U B L I C I T Y The remainder of this chapter considers three local examples, which illustrate important themes discussed above and point to crucial arguments in the pages that follow. The first case study focuses on London, and in particular on the distribution networks that spread books such as Burton’s For God, and the King, as well as the works of Burton’s fellow sufferers, Bastwick and Prynne. The Star Chamber bill against the puritan triumvirate named accomplices, who had conspired to “print sell publish divulge and dispose” their books. Included were two Londoners, Rice Boye and Edmund Chillenden, who had been implicated in dispersing illicit books around the time that Burton’s Powder Plot sermons appeared.46 Boye and Chillenden were both stepchildren of Henry Jacob’s gathered church, living examples of the fissiparous process of radicalization that beset that 44 For cautions about “Erastianism,” see C. Prior, “Rethinking Church and State during the English Interregnum,” Historical Research, 87 (2014), 444–65. 45  A. Milton, Laudian and Royalist Polemic in Seventeenth-Century England (Manchester, 2007), 127–33. 46  SP 16/354, fols. 381–90; for a cleaner copy, see BL, Add. MS. 72432, fols. 68–73; the best guide to the triumviral print networks is Foster, Caroline Underground, 14–78.

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communion in the 1630s. Boye was a “silenced” cleric, who, after causing a stir in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, attached himself to Jacob’s church; soon, in the first wave of defections from the congregation, he joined other members to found a new fully separatist church around 1630.47 From his home in St. Stephen Coleman Street, Boye managed distribution, acting as a conduit between the Dutch presses and outlets in England. In the Star Chamber bill, he was described as one of the triumvirate’s “Printers,” a label that was, strictly speaking, inaccurate, but conveys his centrality.48 Boye was exposed in February 1637, when the authorities discovered “that one Edward Penton,” “a Sanctified Brother” who had “bin already at New England,” was dispersing books in Norwich. Penton admitted that weeks earlier he visited the London home of the cloth packer Stephen More, who showed him a copy of Burton’s recent work A Divine Tragedie. More, in turn, put Penton in touch with Edmund Chillenden, a merchant taylor’s apprentice, and an agent Rice Boye had entrusted with the distribution of A Divine Tragedie and Newes from Ipswich (also thought to be by Burton). When Chillenden was arrested, he named Boye as a central distributor of these two books, and admitted to buying fifty copies of each from Boye, which were then sold on to Penton to retail in Norwich. Boye’s house was raided, and although he escaped, “a great bundle” of “prohibited books” was seized.49 Chillenden and his handler, Stephen More, were both likewise spiritual offspring of the fragmenting Jacob church. They were members of one of London’s oldest separatist congregations. This communion was briefly led, around 1630, by the separatist preacher John Canne, who shortly thereafter left for Amsterdam, where he became the chief steward of the longstanding separatist press. In 1633, Canne’s London pastorate was taken over by the cobbler Samuel How, like Boye a defector from the Jacob church, who took the leap into full separatism as the pincers of Laudian repression tightened. By 1637, More was already attached to this separatist church, and, in 1640, he became its minister upon How’s death; Chillenden, too, became a member.50 The authorities had thus uncovered a chain of distribution, with Boye at its heart, and including leading members of London’s two chief separatist churches. This chain stretched from London to Norwich, linked by Penton, a recent New England returnee. At least some of the books were likely imported from Holland; although there are two extant editions of A Divine Tragedie, the first was certainly J. F. Stam’s handiwork.51 Here was a clear example of the ways increasing discontent over Caroline rule pushed forward a cadre of previously marginal sectarian 47 R. Boye, A Just Defence of the Importunate Beggers Importunity (1636), sigs. A2r, B4r, C2r; Norice, New Gospel, 51; Burrage, 2:299. 48  SP 16/354, fols. 381v; BL, Add. MS. 72432, fol. 68v. 49  SP 16/346/58, fol. 132r; SP 16/349/52, fol. 101r–v; R. F. Williams, ed., The Court and Times of Charles the First, 2 vols. (1848), 2:273. 50  In 1637, the silk-weaver Thomas Hancock, a preacher of the church, alleged on More’s behalf for a marriage license: LMA, DL/A/D/002/MS10091/018, fol. 160v; W. T. Whitley, “The  Hubbard-How-More Church,” Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society, 2 (1910–11), 31–52; SP 16/476/43, fol. 119r; for Canne, see Sprunger, Dutch Puritanism, 68–76. 51  Johnson, “J. F. Stam,” 186.

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puritans, rendering them a critical fulcrum, around which pivoted a budding oppositional propaganda network. Mastery of longstanding channels for printing and smuggling from Holland, together with a strong stomach for risk, meant this community was well prepared, and arguably essential, for executing the kind of subterranean publicity campaign now in train. Of course, not all within this distribution network were overt sectaries. Those who congealed around Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne, aiding them in projecting their messages, were in some cases merely robust puritans, who shared deep alarm at Laud’s rule. Chillenden, for instance, was part of a circle of young Londoners, most of them apprentices or recently free, involved in clothing trades. In 1636 or early 1637, Chillenden met John Lilburne, a cloth merchant’s apprentice.52 Lilburne, for his part, was introduced to John Bastwick, and became a regular visitor to the imprisoned doctor’s cell, through the clothworker Edmund Rozer, Lilburne’s “familiar friend and neighbour, and fellow professor of Religion.” Also in the same circle was Lilburne’s friend and sometime “servant,” William Kiffin, a leatherseller’s apprentice. Lilburne and Kiffin were not, in 1637, outright separatists, and the same was probably true of Rozer. They were, however, deeply immersed in practices of godly devotion, including careful reading of reformed classics, sermon gadding, and morning prayer meetings. Disturbed by the intensifying Laudian program, they began to flirt with more extreme versions of nonconformity.53 The entrée into Bastwick’s prison circle proved decisive for Lilburne. He quickly became embedded in the print distribution network outlined here. In mid-1637, snared in the spiraling investigation of the triumvirate, Lilburne was forced to flee for Holland.54 Here, he managed the publication of new writings smuggled from Bastwick’s cell.55 In December 1637, on returning to England, Lilburne was captured in a sting operation. Edmund Chillenden, then jailed in Bridewell, was coaxed to give evidence implicating Lilburne. This led to a Star Chamber trial, in which Lilburne refused to take the oath tendered to him. In doing so, Lilburne transposed an argument that had long been used by strict nonconformists and separatists to resist the oath ex officio (typically administered in High Commission) to the secular venue of Star Chamber, imitating a generation of obdurate puritans, who rejected this oath to “sweare to I doe not know what” as an instrument of coerced perjury and an affront to God.56 Lilburne’s act of transposition from the spiritual to the secular domain was highly consequential, and he would build on 52  J. Lilburne, The Christian Mans Triall (1641), 2–3. 53  J. Lilburne, The Legall Fundamentall Liberties (1649), 19–21; Lilburne, Christian Mans Triall, “To the Reader”; W. Orme, ed., Remarkable Passages in the Life of William Kiffin (1823), 3–14; Gangraena, 1:55. He served Lilburne in 1640–2, when the latter became a brewer. Lilburne was not a separatist before his 1638 punishment: J. Lilburne, Innocency and Truth Justified. Let the quintescence of sweetnesse (1646), 16–17. 54  J. Lilburne, The Prisoners Plea for a Habeas Corpus (1648), sig. B3v. He was possibly “John dwelling in Saint Swithins churchyard,” and named by Prynne’s servant in Apr. 1637 as dispersing “a booke concerning the oth of churchwardens.” Bod. L., MS. Bankes 18, fol. 42r. Lilburne claimed his master’s home was “near London-stone,” just opposite St. Swithin’s church. Lilburne, Liberties, 20. 55  J. Bastwick, A Just Defence of John Bastwick (1645), sigs. B3r–B4. 56  See J. Gray, “Conscience and the Word of God: Religious Arguments against the Ex Officio Oath,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 64 (2013), 494–512.

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it in later years. For his obstinacy, Lilburne was fined £500 and sentenced to be whipped through London. When punished, the bloodied but defiant firebrand subverted his trip to the pillory by pulling copies of Bastwick’s pamphlets from his pockets and hurling them into the crowd. Lilburne’s performance married fierce resistance to the regime with a powerful symbolic allusion to the power of print, a gesture not lost on the Privy Council, which gagged him and buried him in the depths of the Fleet Prison.57 Lilburne’s act suggested a talent for political theater, as well as a shrewd grasp of the potential of print propaganda. From the Fleet, he began to hone these gifts, secreting out manuscripts for publication, using the very networks in Holland that he and his accomplices had exploited. Repression again exerted a radicalizing effect, and Lilburne now emerged as a forceful proponent of the “way of Totall Separation.” Following the example of his triumviral mentors, but advocating a more radical ideological solution than the three puritan heroes, Lilburne cultivated a persona as a martyred separatist celebrity.58 Others in his circle pursued similar routes: Rozer became teacher to a separatist church in the city, retaining his tight connection to Lilburne, who joined Rozer’s congregation when finally released; Kiffin in 1638 attached himself to a new strict separatist church that broke from the Jacob congregation.59 From here Kiffin schooled himself in the arts of print advocacy, emerging in 1641 as an important propagandist and a promoter of Lilburne’s emerging cult status. If these newly radicalized sectarian leaders relied heavily on print networks based in the Low Countries, in other cases we can see English printers and booksellers creating native outlets and expertise for promoting the cause of the puritan trinity. The most striking example involved Gregory Dexter, an apprentice in the print house of Elizabeth Allde.60 During investigation of the triumvirate, Dexter and his fellow apprentice William Taylor were suspected of printing on behalf of the accused. Under interrogation, both admitted that they had secretly, and without their mistress’s consent, printed portions of at least two of Prynne’s tracts in early 1637, after receiving them from Prynne’s servant. Dexter also confessed that Prynne had sent him “a greate C: very curiously cutt in box wood” to be used on the pamphlet. As Dexter noted, this ornament was deployed because it “was a new letter and not knowne amongest any of the printers heere in London, but was cutt of purpose for this use.”61 Both stationers and government agents were aware that

57 Lilburne, Christian Mans Triall, 1–39, esp. 3–7; Bod. L., MS. Bankes 18, fol. 33. 58  A Worke of the Beast or A Relation of a most unchristian Censure, Executed upon John Lilburne ([Amsterdam: Richt Right], 1638); J. Lilburne, Come out of her my People ([Amsterdam: Richt Right], 1639); J. Lilburne, The Poore Mans Cry ([Amsterdam: Richt Right], 1639). 59 Lilburne, Liberties, 19, 24; Orme, ed., Kiffin, 2, 14; Burrage, 2:299–300, 302. Rozer and Kiffin may have joined this same church, with Rozer leading the separatist rump when Kiffin and others formed a distinct baptist group. See Griffith Marshall’s will, naming Kiffin and Rozer in 1643: TNA, PROB 11/202/453. 60 McKenzie, SCA, 7; B. F. Swan, Gregory Dexter of London and New England, 1610–1700 (Rochester, NY, 1949). 61  SP 16/357/172–3, fols. 318–25; Bod. L., MS. Bankes 18, fols. 41–2.

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distinctive ornaments could be used to trace works back to their printers.62 In this case, a new letter was contrived to deceive would-be bloodhounds. Dexter’s “great C,” described as depicting soldiers in battle from one angle and the pope’s head when rotated ninety degrees, had been carefully copied from a nearly identical ornament used by Stam.63 The goal was to leave the authorities with the false impression that all these books came from Holland. The incident is significant for several reasons. Although Dexter escaped serious punishment, it would not be his last brush with trouble. Like Lilburne and his friends, Dexter clearly underwent a process of radicalization, and by 1641 he was one of London’s most daring, controversial printers. Furthermore, the case reveals that far from simply relying on Dutch printers, critics sought to develop native machinery for production, and in the process certain London stationers gained hard-earned experience in techniques of clandestine production and distribution. This included the adoption of methods of dissimulation and misdirection, designed to mask activities and prevent exposure. Command of these techniques permitted many of the most striking forms of ideological innovation during the civil wars. While Dexter’s foray into secret printing was apparently unusual, other city stationers were exploring routes for furtive book distribution. Two free stationers, Benjamin Allen and Matthew Simmons, were soon implicated. In 1637, both were reportedly in the Low Countries, apparently to help facilitate the production and dispersal of books. Allen, a bookseller, served an apprenticeship with John Bellamy between 1623 and 1631. For much of that period, Bellamy was a member of Jacob’s gathered congregation, and his shop was undoubtedly permeated by an odor of godliness, even after Bellamy left the church. The atmosphere evidently rubbed off on Allen. In 1637, he traveled to Leiden, and lived in the printer William Christiaens’s house.64 Allen’s arrival coincided with Christiaens’s leap into the trade in English puritan books, and the two developments were surely linked. When Allen returned home, he swiftly became one of the leading promoters of the “congregational” cause. Also involved with Christiaens was Matthew Simmons, a young printer who had recently finished his apprenticeship under John Dawson. In late 1637, Simmons was in Holland and was suspected of “furthering the printing and distribution of all former scandalouse books” recently printed by “William Christianss.” Indeed, in 1638 the crown succeeded in pressuring Dutch authorities into investigating and punishing both Christiaens and John Canne, steward of the separatist “Richt Right Press.” Much of the evidence appears to have been supplied by Simmons, who provided copious notes on operations in Leiden, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam.65 62  See N. Millstone, “Plot’s Commonwealth: The Circulation of Manuscripts and the Practice of Politics in Early Stuart England, c.1614–1640” (PhD diss., Stanford University, 2011), 284 n.333, citing BL, Add. MS. 72242, fol. 47v. 63 SP 16/357/173, fols. 322–4; for Stam’s ornament, see J. Paget, An Answer to the Unjust Complaints (Amsterdam: printed by J. F. Stam, 1635), sig. (*)2r; The Divine Tragedie (1636), sig. A2r (STC 4140.7); for the likely pretender, cf. The Divine Tragedie (1636?), sig. A2r (STC 4140.8). 64  SP 84/153, fol. 190r. 65  SP 84/153, fol. 190v; SP 16/387/79; Sprunger, Trumpets, 98–101, 119–27, 200–4.

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Nevertheless, Simmons returned to England, and soon partnered with Thomas Paine. The pair had served their apprenticeships together, and they now teamed up as two of the most extreme public promoters of the anti-episcopal, pro-parliamentary cause. Both would firmly support “independent” authors and positions in the 1640s.66 Their print house, moreover, became a nexus for the emerging radical puritan networks described here. It was later claimed that young Henry Hills, recently up from Kent, was introduced in the early 1640s to John Lilburne, now free from captivity. Lilburne “was much taken with him, being so very Tractable and Fit for his Purpose; that he put him out an Apprentice to a Printer,” that is, “Symonds and Paine then Partners.” Confirming these claims, Hills did indeed establish verifiable ties to Lilburne’s intimates, Kiffin and Rozer, by 1642. Under the tutelage of Paine and Simmons, Hills learned the rudiments of the trade, skills that served him well in 1647, when he became printer to the New Model Army and then a key Leveller promoter.67 The personal rule created a situation in which the most militant elements in London’s puritan milieu stepped forward to assume key roles as organizers, propagandists, and publishers, not merely for the extreme coteries of which they were a part, but for the broader, anti-Laudian front. Surveillance and repression served only to radicalize most of those involved. Moreover, the management of these networks, and the close proximity to the electrifying exemplars of Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne, schooled these figures in arts of presentation necessary for intervening in public discussion, for distributing challenging work, and, if necessary, for hiding their tracks. More subtly, the experiences of the 1630s furnished wider skills of political organization and management, all of which were put into play in the 1640s. The combination of techniques of print publicity with acute skills of political management and mass mobilization would be a striking feature of radical parliamentarianism during the revolutionary period. This combination ensured that figures whose views put them at the extreme wing of opinion would be central to the promotion of the parliamentarian cause in London, allowing them to play an outsized role in shaping the tone and tenor of that cause, and enabling them to inject their own understandings of church and state into the public domain, often with considerable success. Mastery of these techniques and networks helped to turn these wholly obscure young London apprentices and textile traders into figures of not merely local, but national or even transnational significance. Rice Boye likely died a fugitive of Laudian justice.68 But most of the others had improbable, even fantastical, careers. Rozer and More, as noted, went on to become ministers of London separatist churches, a prominence that allowed the cloth-packer More to become chaplain to 66 McKenzie, SCA, 13; “Matthew Simmons,” ODNB. 67  A View of part of the many Traiterous, Disloyal, and Turn-about Actions of H.H. (1684). While this was an attack, and while Hills was not a formal apprentice to Paine or Simmons, the account’s outline of his life is correct; “Henry Hills, Senior,” ODNB; in 1642, both Kiffin and Rozer recruited Hills to serve in the army: SP 28/131, part 3, fols. 8r, 16r. 68  A Rice Boye was “Decessed” at his child’s burial at St. Botolph Aldgate, May 1638. LMA, P69/ BOT2/A/015/MS09222/002, fol. 99r.

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a New Model Army regiment. Chillenden likewise became a New Model officer, serving as one of the central organizers in the remarkable campaign through which the army politicized in 1647. Hills would be the New Model’s printer, before appearing as a key Leveller promoter, then shifting gears to act as printer to the Cromwellian establishment, and finally (via conversion to Catholicism) emerging as a royal printer and master of the Stationers’ Company under the restored Stuarts. Kiffin would be a major preacher and propagandist, and, in many ways, the spiritual and organizational father of a wholly new religious denomination, the particular baptists. Paine, Simmons, and Dexter, as we will see in subsequent chapters, became three of London’s most controversial publishers, with Dexter eventually forced to Roger Williams’s Providence (where he became a baptist preacher and the colony’s president in 1653). Lilburne’s later fame, as an army officer, popular propagandist, and figurehead of the Leveller movement, would make him one of the iconic figures of the revolution. These implausible life stories—experienced by sons of ropemakers, chandlers, and yeomen—were made possible through a peculiar combination of sectarian fellowship, military connection, and skillful manipulation of mechanisms and practices of print and public politics.69 M I C RO - C O M M U N I T Y I I : B R I S TO L , T H E W E S T E R N A X I S , A N D T H E R A D I C A L I Z AT I O N O F T H E P ROV I N C E S Many of the same dynamics can be seen beyond London. England’s other great port, Bristol, and its surrounding areas offer a second case study. Bristol was not known as a hub of puritanism. Nevertheless, from 1603, the city boasted a small core of zealous saints, bound by familiar practices of extra-parochial conference, and led by William Yeamans, vicar of St. Philip’s. In the early 1630s, this community was shaken by the deaths of Yeamans and its lay leader, Anthony Kelly. For years, the godly fellowship lacked a clerical voice, and its participants were “at a great losse . . . like sheep without a shepherd . . . and knew not where to hear.” Central to the community’s survival was Dorothy Kelly, Anthony’s widow, who emerged as its de facto leader.70 Also essential was sustenance from preachers in the surrounding region, particularly “the reforming ministers of South Wales,” and above all William Wroth of Llanvaches, just across the Severn. Wroth’s evangelical prowess earned him the local epithet “the Apostle of Wales.”71 In the 1630s, predictably, he clashed with the Laudian authorities, and in 1635, he was called before the High Commission. 69  Worcester College, Oxford, Clarke MS. 67, fol. 8r; M. Norris, “Edward Sexby, John Reynolds and Edmund Chillenden: Agitators, ‘Sectarian Grandees’ and the Relations of the New Model Army with London in the Spring of 1647,” Historical Research, 76 (2003), 30–53; “Henry Hills, senior,” and “William Kiffin,” ODNB; Swan, Gregory Dexter; Dexter and Chillenden were sons of yeomen, Hills allegedly a ropemaker’s son, Paine a tallow-chandler’s son, and Rozer a tanner’s son. 70  R. Hayden, ed., The Records of a Church of Christ in Bristol, 1640–1687, Bristol Record Society, 27 (1974), 83–8; Alum. Ox., 4:1701. 71  Hayden, ed., Church, 84.

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Summoned beside him was the other leading nonconformist in South Wales, William Erbery, a Cardiff vicar. Erbery and his curate, Walter Cradock, had come to Laud’s attention the year before for preaching “very schismatically and dangerously to the people.”72 The authorities wagered that in disciplining Wroth, Erbery, and Erbery’s protégé, Welsh puritanism could be smothered at source. But throughout the 1630s, these ministers continued to serve as leaders for the godly both in Wales and England. Wroth, Cradock, and allied ministers often “would come over” the water to preach to Bristol’s rudderless puritans in these years. The flow went the opposite way as well, with “Saints from Somerset, Gloucester-shire, Hereford-shire, Radnor, Glamorgan-shire” flocking in “multitudes with delight to Lanvaghes.”73 This circuit of intense puritan piety thus stretched beyond Bristol into neighboring English counties, forming a kind of arterial network that straddled the Welsh border. And, in a pattern that should now be familiar, these godly people responded to Laudian coercion by plunging into extreme nonconformity. Wroth evidently soldiered on in his living at Llanvaches, but he grew ever more sure of the corruption of the church. By 1638, Erbery had resigned his benefice in Cardiff. Cradock left Cardiff as well, embarking on an itinerant spell which took him first to Wrexham in North Wales, then to Shrewsbury, where his ministrations to a flock of “very zealous godly Nonconformists” helped turn young Richard Baxter from conformity.74 From here, Cradock resorted to London, where, predictably, he contacted the underground Jacob church, which had recently selected a new pastor, Henry Jessey. In 1638, Cradock and other members of Jessey’s flock were arrested at a Southwark conventicle.75 Cradock fled west, re-establishing ties with Wroth at Llanvaches. At this stage, a fateful decision was taken; in 1639, Henry Jessey was summoned from London to provide advice, and Wroth, with Cradock’s aid, proceeded to the “gathering and constituting” of a church, along the congregational model. Wroth’s gathered church at Llanvaches, like Jacob’s church before it, became a kind of beacon, “the Mother Church” in Wales and the west.76 In the months that followed, Erbery followed suit, gathering a new congregation at Cardiff.77 Among others swept up with Wroth were his admirers in Bristol, the circle around Dorothy Kelly. In the late 1630s, this group regained a clerical leader when Matthew Hassard arrived as lecturer, then vicar of St. Ewen’s. Hassard was plainly the right sort of minister, and the widow Kelly was persuaded to marry him. Yet, awkwardly, she continued to lead her little flock away from the established church, 72  W. Laud, The Works of the Most Reverend Father in God, William Laud, W. Scott and J. Bliss, eds., 7 vols. (Oxford, 1847–60), 5:329, 335, 345; SP 16/261, fol. 268r. 73  Hayden, ed., Church, 84; W. Erbery, “Apocrypha,” 8, in The Bishop of London, The Welsh Curate, and Common Prayers, with Apocrypha In the End (1653); on these networks, see L. Bowen, “Wales and Religious Reform in the Long Parliament,” Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, N.S., 12 (2006), 36–59. 74 Laud, Works, 5:358; Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, 11 (1888), 414; Baxter, Reliquiae, 1:13. 75  Burrage, 2:300. 76  The Life and Death of Mr. Henry Jessey (1671), 9–10. 77  W. Erbery, The Testimony of William Erbery (1658), 162–3; R. Tudur Jones, Congregationalism in Wales (Cardiff, 2004), 1–59; L. Bowen, “The Seeds and Fruits of Revolution: The Erbery Family and Religious Radicalism in Seventeenth-Century Glamorgan,” Welsh History Review, 25 (2011), 346–73.

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and soon Dorothy Hassard and some of her friends “went out from hearing Common prayer.” Among their activities in this period was lodging godly refugees, who had come to Bristol to sail for New England. The departing saints included Dorothy’s son, Abel Kelly, who crossed the Atlantic and became a member of Salem congregational church.78 Finally, in 1640, Dorothy and her people covenanted together to “worship the Lord more purely.” While still attending Matthew Hassard’s morning sermons, they retired on Sunday afternoons to worship in private. Dorothy Hassard’s main collaborator in forming this semi-separatist community was another young cleric, Robert Bacon. In 1638, Bacon, a recent Oxford graduate, became curate of Brislington, a Somerset village just south of Bristol, and evidently took lodgings in the city, coming into Dorothy’s orbit.79 Bacon’s Brislington was already part of the extended West Country godly circuit. Signs of trouble over Laudianism appeared there by 1633, when residents clashed with the previous curate, Oliver Chiver. The chief ringleader was a minor gentleman and parish sideman, Nicholas Cowling, who publicly harangued the minister and allegedly “inhibited the young people theire lawfull sport after evening prayer,” while denouncing Chiver’s attempt to prove the “lawfullnes . . . of bowing . . . at the name of Jesus.” These charges suggest, again, that revulsion at Laud’s “new rites” drove Cowling and his allies towards confrontation. Their nonconformity was, however, pursued through classic godly forms: they were “Sizmaticall people who often . . . goe from theire parish Church running up and downe to heare Sermons either to Kansham or to Bristoll,” marking them as part of the region’s highly mobile godly network.80 Cowling’s backers succeeded in driving Chiver away. Bacon, the replacement at Brislington, was more to their taste. From 1640, he was part of Dorothy Hassard’s Bristol covenanted group, meeting “usually at Mr. Hazzard’s, and sometimes at Mr. Bacon’s in Lewin’s Mead.” But Bacon continued to officiate at Brislington. In June 1640, he was cited for failing to wear the surplice, baptizing children with “signe of the Covenant,” and omitting much of the prayer-book service. He had also “suffered Divers strange and factious preachers to preach in his church . . . by meanes whereof divers persons out of the Cittie of Bristoll, and other places thereabouts have come in greate numbers to heare them and have Disturbed the parishioners in their seates.” Again, this revealed the symbiosis between Bristol, its neighboring suburb, and surrounding areas. By report, some of these wandering ministers had since left for New England.81 The circus atmosphere, with people streaming from parish to parish to hear itinerant ministers, persisted in the area despite Bacon’s suspension. In October and November, a similar round of impromptu sermons (and church court presentations) followed in the Somerset parishes of Chew Stoke and Barrington, where the 78  Hayden, ed., Church, 85–9; J. B. Felt, Annals of Salem, From its First Settlement (Salem, 1827), 555. 79  Hayden, ed., Church, 89–90; he was curate by Oct. 1638. Clergy of the Church of England Database, Record ID: 291603. 80  SP 16/322/32–32I, fols. 103–5. 81  Hayden, ed., Church, 90; Somerset Heritage Centre, D\D\Ca/334, fols. 23r, 47r–48v; D\D\ Ca/326, fols. 220, 239r–v, 245; D\D\Ca/333, 24 Nov. 1640.

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churchwardens had allowed “severall strang unlicensed preachers to preach . . . against the government of the Church.” Chief among them was William Erbery, who appeared in both villages, preaching to audiences that burst forth into the churchyards. Sermon gadders reportedly descended from Bristol and three nearby parishes. At Chew Stoke, Erbery urged listeners to “praye . . . they might have a christian Church heere in England,” before providing a detailed exposition of congregational government, in which the church was taken to consist of “Saints by Callinge,” pastors were to be “chosen by those Members,” and administration of the ordinances was limited to “those that weare Saints by calling.” Erbery also allegedly vented that “anie person that could preach might as lawfullie preach as . . . anie buishopp in England,” hinting at his increasingly extreme opinions.82 A few days later, trouble again erupted in Brislington. In late November, Robert Bacon tried to storm the pulpit there. The churchwardens demanded authorization from the bishop, but backing the young minister was Nicholas Cowling, who told the warden to “hold his babling and bad Mr Bacon go on.” Bacon then occupied the pulpit and “expounded there,” until halted by the arrival of the new curate. Leaving the church, “Mr Bacon went forth under a tree in the streete,” followed by Cowling and others, who enjoyed their own counter-sermon while the service was conducted in the steeple house. Cowling was presented in court as the leader of Bacon’s lay supporters.83 Bacon’s travails merely drove the young cleric into the arms of his Bristol friends. Dorothy Hassard’s covenanted group now “stept further in Separation,” refusing all contact with Church of England services, and formally entered “into Church fellowship”; the group “began very much to encrease.” New members were drawn from remote towns, including Keynsham, Wells, and Brislington. Until his death in 1641, Wroth sometimes visited from Wales to preach, and the “Professors of Bristol” likewise continued “to goe over to Wales, to hear Mr. Wroth and the good ministers there.” But the man “that chiefly was Speaker or teacher to this People” was “Mr. Bacon.”84 While the community around Bristol relied mainly on godly conference and preaching, there are hints that it was solidified through the circulation of the kinds of surreptitious books discussed above. The investigation of Henry Burton revealed that many copies of The Divine Tragedie had been shipped to the southwest.85 Whether any of these tracts arrived in Bristol is uncertain. But in 1640–1, the church received a visit from the prince of sectarian printers, John Canne, overseer of Amsterdam’s Richt Right Press. Canne had cut his teeth as a separatist teacher in the southwest, so it is unsurprising to find him sojourning in Bristol.86 He was welcomed by Hassard, who “fetched him to her house, and entertained him all the time he staid in the Citty,” likewise conveying him into the country to preach at Westerleigh, Gloucestershire. During his stay, Canne helped cement the Bristolians 82  Somerset Heritage Centre, D\D\Ca/333, fols. 83v–84r, 93r; D\D\Ca/334, fols. 103–6, 109–10. 83  Somerset Heritage Centre, D\D\Ca/333, 24 Nov. 1640, 1 Dec. 1640, 15 Dec. 1640. 84  Heyden, ed., Church, 93–7. 85  Longleat House, Whitelocke Papers, Vol. VII, fols. 86–92. 86  Bod. L., MS. J. Walker c. 5, fols. 146–7.

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in their emerging separatism, leaving a “Printed book treating” of the “Difference betwixt the Church of Christ and Antichrist,” as well as “divers printed papers to that purpose.”87 Indeed, although Canne’s business in Bristol was not specified, it is likely that he was there partly to tend to his smuggling network, which returned to full operation after being checked by the Dutch authorities. Clandestine literature thus played a subsidiary role in radicalizing the group around Hassard and Bacon. Bacon’s tenure as minister to Bristol’s gathered church was short. He soon received an invitation to shepherd “a Good people that the Lord stirred up” at Filton, Gloucestershire, just to the north. But his place was quickly filled by another young Oxford man, Henry Pinnell.88 In 1638, Pinnell had taken a position in Brinkworth, Wiltshire, as curate to Dr. Tobias Crispe. Crispe was one of England’s most notorious preachers of “antinomian” opinions, ideas to be considered in due course. Pinnell was deeply affected by his time in Brinkworth, and celebrated Crispe as a spiritual mentor.89 In time, Pinnell moved to Bristol, where he officiated at St. Leonard’s, but after being “severall times set on by” Dorothy Hassard, he “left off his conformity” and became teacher to Bristol’s gathered church, likely in 1641–2.90 This, then, was the landscape of puritan religiosity in and around Bristol just prior to the civil war. For over a decade, there had been emerging an axis stretching from Cardiff and Llanvaches in Wales, through Bristol, and reaching into the English West Country, bound together by cords of godly camaraderie and sermon gadding. The network was not in any way merely local: it straddled the border between England and Wales and ranged into multiple English counties. But it also stretched to London—the connection, created by Cradock and cemented by Jessey, tied this network firmly into a national constellation of radical puritan thought and practice. Indeed, Canne’s appearance shows that the network reached outside Britain, linking the Bristolians to expatriates in Holland. The connections in fact went beyond Europe: Hassard’s group abetted godly people bound for New England, including her own son, and the complaints about Bacon’s “factious preachers” claimed some had left for the same place. But also remarkable is the way this network underwent rapid, dramatic transformation. There is little sign that the area around Bristol and South Wales had fostered the large, longstanding communities of godly piety characteristic of other 87  Hayden, ed., Church, 90–3, puts Canne’s visit after the 1640 covenant and before Wroth died in 1641. This anecdote has been doubted, chiefly since Canne was called a baptist. C. Burrage, “Was John Canne a Baptist? A Study of Contemporary Evidence,” Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society, 3 (1913), 212–46. Burrage was unaware of Canne’s West Country ties, and incidental details (such as the role of the puritan Richard Fowler, Westerleigh’s curate) suggest the story was genuine. D. Hollister, The Harlot’s Vail Removed (1658), 74–5. 88  Hayden, ed., Church, 96–7: “Mr. Pennill . . . before . . . a Minister at Leonards.” Due to lost diocesan records, the identification as Henry Pinnell remains tentative, but is strongly supported by Pinnell’s 1647 depiction of Robert Bacon as “my Dear Friend.” H. Pinnell, A Word of Prophesy (1648), 12; Alum. Ox., 3:1167. 89  B. Williams, ed., The Subscription Book of Bishops Tounson and Davenant, 1620–1640, Wiltshire Record Society, 32 (1977), 67; T. Crispe, Christ Alone Exalted in the Perfection and Encouragements of the Saints (1646), “To the impartiall Reader.” 90  Hayden, ed., Church, 97.

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parts of England under Elizabeth and James.91 Wales was considered by many a benighted backwater, where the cleansing light of Protestantism had barely appeared. Hence, early in their careers Wroth and Erbery had perhaps been allowed wide ceremonial latitude by bishops happy to see competent preachers in their diocese. In these circumstances, Laudianism proved particularly disruptive. The relatively raw godly communities growing along this marcher axis lurched suddenly towards forms of piety and practice that put them at the outer edge of godly opinion. Without the deeply ensconced clerical communities that existed in many regions, few brakes were applied as the western saints careered into doctrinal and liturgical experimentation. Most obviously, prior to 1642, all the clerical leaders in this network embraced forms of congregational or separatist ecclesiology. Yet the same environment of spiritual improvisation that saw these people embrace congregationalism soon facilitated more radical departures from orthodoxy, and during the civil war several sloughed off the “New England Way” as surely as they had spurned episcopacy. The Bristol gathered church witnessed an eruption of anabaptist opinion, and the communion became a “mixed” church, including baptized believers, in order to survive whole.92 Unorthodox soteriological opinions were also current from an early date. Erbery, Bacon, and Pinnell would emerge as three of England’s most notorious “antinomians.” Nicholas Cowling, too, became an accomplished lay theologian of antinomian disposition.93 The exact route by which these men slipped into heterodoxy is murky; Pinnell, schooled by Tobias Crispe, may have been a crucial vector. But the fact that the Bristol axis indisputably generated a cluster of important antinomian theorists, all part of the same tight community around 1640, suggests some common denominator of shared experience and piety. Yet at the start of our period, around 1640, despite their precocious embrace of radical ecclesiology, the people discussed here constituted what passed for the region’s godly establishment. Thus, within weeks of its assembly the Long Parliament handed Erbery, Cradock, and their companions license to preach throughout Wales to counter the “gross ignorance” and “idolatry” that blighted the country.94 Cowling would be High Constable of Keynsham hundred early in the civil war, and worked to mobilize the area for parliament.95 Similarly, when parliament organized its garrison at Bristol, members of this axis were folded into the establishment, governed by Saye’s son, Nathaniel Fiennes. Cowling became the garrison’s Commissary for Victuals, Abel Kelly and other church members served as soldiers, while Bacon and Cradock were installed to preach in the city.96 After Bristol fell, several assumed 91  Bristol’s leading historian sees the pre-war city dominated by “moderate Anglicans.” D. Sacks, The Widening Gate: Bristol and the Atlantic Economy, 1450–1700 (Berkeley, 1991), 237. 92  Hayden, ed., Church, 98, states that some members were rebaptized “before they went up” to London at the fall of Bristol (July 1643); J. Tombes, An Apology or Plea for the Two Treatises (1646), 6–14. 93  See Chapters 7, 8, 9, 15; N. Couling, The Saints Perfect in this Life; or Never (1647). 94  BL, Harleian MS. 4931, fol. 90r. 95  SP 24/42, “Cowling v. Paradine.” 96  W. Prynne and C. Walker, A True and Full Relation of The Prosecution, Arraignment, Tryall, and Condemnation of Nathaniel Fiennes (1644), 20–1, 27–9, 32–3 (second pagination); Angliae Ruina: Or, Englands Ruine (1648), 181–2.

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key positions in parliament’s forces, not least Cowling, who became Commissary General for Victuals in the New Model Army, from which heights he would champion An Agreement of the People in 1647.97 As with the London sectarian networks, a blend of exuberant parliamentarianism, military connection, skillful propagandistic efforts, and clout within the rising “independent” coalition transformed the likes of Erbery, Pinnell, Bacon, and Cowling into figures of national repute and influence. M I C RO - C O M M U N I T Y I I I : H E RT F O R D , P U R I TA N E C C L E S I O L O G I C A L C O N F L I C T, A N D R E S I S TA N C E TO   S H I P M O N E Y A final case study carries us back towards the center. Much smaller than Bristol, the county town of Hertford was nevertheless a key administrative hub for parliament during the wars. Among the leading citizens in the 1630s was the gentleman Gabriel Barber. Barber was one of the godly investors who played such a crucial role in spearheading English Protestant colonial ventures. He was a member of the Virginia, Bermuda, and Providence Island companies, working with the likes of Saye, Warwick, Brooke, and Pym.98 This placed him firmly in the clique leading the resistance to Caroline policies. By 1627, Barber became a patron of the “Feoffees for Impropriations,” who sought to buy impropriate tithes and advowsons so as to insert powerful godly preachers in re-endowed livings. He accordingly acquired the vicarage of All Saints Hertford, donating it to the Feoffees. He then engineered the installation of the embattled minister John Archer as vicar. Archer, a London lecturer, came to Laud’s attention in 1630: initially detected for denouncing bowing at the name of Jesus, Archer was soon discovered to have taught the parish youth according to a hyper-predestinarian catechism, savoring of the error that God was the author of sin. Archer submitted and escaped suspension, but he was no doubt relieved when Barber set him up at All Saints.99 Here Archer developed a local following, while continuing to cultivate eccentric ideas. In the mid-1630s, alarmed at the direction of Laud’s church, Archer gravitated to the new congregationalism, along with some of his lay admirers. Heated debates among the godly over the New England Way had been intensifying in previous months, and conflict was now apparently stirred in Hertford by the arrival of Thomas Edwards, a pugnacious nonconformist, to serve as curate under Archer.100 97  Chapter 15, below; SP 28/36, fol. 141; C. H. Firth, ed., The Clarke Papers . . . Volume I, Camden Society, N.S., 49 (1891), 293, 300, 368, 401–2, 418. 98 Brenner, M&R, 132, 280; Kupperman, Providence Island, 357. 99  I. M. Calder, ed., Activities of the Puritan Faction of the Church of England, 1625–33 (London, 1957), 30, 37, 40, 55, 76–82, 87, 90, 100, 109, 147; D. Como, “Predestination and Political Conflict in Laud’s London,” HJ, 46 (2003), 280–2. 100 W. Urwick, Nonconformity in Hertfordshire (1884), 525 n.1; on Edwards, see A.  Hughes, Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution (Oxford, 2004).

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While Edwards and Archer were ideologically close, they clashed on questions of church order now confronting the godly. Archer’s growing discontent and his drift towards congregationalism finally led to the decision, in mid-1637, to leave England. In July 1637, Archer settled in “Viana,” probably Vianen, near Utrecht, with a number of supporters. Here, Archer continued to debate Edwards, writing a letter back to Hertford commenting on Edwards’s “judgement and the worke you are about,” but predicting that “I . . . have throughly seene into the bottome of it, in such a measure, as I am confident that in the end you will all come to us, and not we to you.” Archer’s congregationalism was sealed when he and his backers moved to Arnhem, joined by two puritan clerks, Philip Nye and Thomas Goodwin. Together, Archer, Nye, and Goodwin became co-pastors to a gathered congregation at Arnhem, putting into practice the New England Way.101 The “worke” Edwards was “about” in Hertford was likely a public critique of congregationalism. Edwards later claimed that in 1636–7, “At Hartford . . . when Independency and the Church way began to be fallen too by some men of Note and some people to look after it, I preached against it earely, and by all wayes laboured to preserve the people.”102 Archer’s patron, Gabriel Barber, was very probably one of these “men of Note.” Although he did not follow Archer into exile, Barber in the 1640s revealed himself to be an “extreme independent.”103 Yet Barber’s disaffection leaked into the political sphere. In 1635, he was Hertford’s mayor, responsible for the town’s Ship Money quota. Barber may have dragged his feet, for Hertford’s portion apparently arrived only in December 1636.104 Shortly thereafter, he began to foment more direct resistance to the levy. In August 1637, Laud uncovered the circulation of a manuscript, “An Humble Remonstrance to his Majesty,” against Ship Money. As Noah Millstone has shown, Laud traced the manuscript back to Gabriel Barber, who was found to be the initial source of the Remonstrance, from whom the text spread to scriveners, stationers, and prominent figures in London.105 Although the author was not named on the piece, and while the precise means through which Barber obtained the document remains unclear, the manuscript in question was written by William Prynne in prison in 1636–7.106

101  T. Edwards, Antapologia: Or, a Full Answer to the Apologeticall Narration (1644), 23, 187–8; Sprunger, Dutch Puritanism, 226–7. 102  Gangraena, 3: sig. 4r. 103 Holmes, Eastern Association, 125; see Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, DE/HL/70556, for the depth of his independent connections by 1647. 104  SP 16/337/56, fol. 109v; SP 16/296/73, fol. 186r; H. Chauncy, The Historical Antiquities of Hertfordshire, 2 vols. (1826), 1:491. 105 N. Millstone, Manuscript Circulation and the Invention of Politics in Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 2016), 238–40, 260–1, citing Lambeth Palace Library MS. 1030, fols. 122–34. Transcripts are in Bod. L., MS. Cherry 2, fols. 149–59. 106  Prynne later published it to correct an unauthorized edition: W. Prynne, An Humble Remonstrance against The Tax of Ship-money Lately Imposed (1643); the rogue edition, An Humble Remonstrance to his Majesty, against the Tax of Ship-money (1641), matched more closely the MS as circulated. For MS copies: SP 16/536/77 (1639 copy; fol. 136r, noting the late plague, dates the tract after the outbreak in mid-1636); SP 16/536/78; BL, Harleian MS. 737, fols. 252–316.

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Where Burton’s For God, and the King deployed contractual ideas to sketch its vision of political order, Prynne’s more lawyerly take showed a different side of the political thought gestating in response to the personal rule. Prynne’s sources were derived chiefly from English history and law, and he adduced them to prove that any levy such as Ship Money needed parliament’s approval. Heading the list of proof texts was, unsurprisingly, Magna Carta, followed immediately by the Petition of Right. This suggested an emerging “canon” of sources, strung together to form a narrative of the ancient, controlling power of parliament. These foundational texts were followed with a barrage of English statutes and precedents, demonstrating that the king should “not by . . . prerogative impose this tax of shipp money . . . without common Consent in parliament contrarie as wee beleive to the peticion of right confirmed by your Majesty as our undoubted auntient rights, and liberties.”107 If Prynne’s laborious compilation of statutes and arcane exempla at first glance seems a particularly tedious illustration of “ancient constitutionalism,” this passage hinted at a more comprehensive, intriguing theory of ascending political power. Relying on a maxim from canon law (but derived ultimately from antecedent Roman law), Prynne insisted that it was a “principle of reason and Nature, Quod tangit omnes ab omnibus debet approbari”—that which touches all, by all must be approved. This he interpreted as a fundamental rule, holding “in all naturall and pollitick bodies nothing is or Cann be affected by the head, hand, or foote, alone unles the other parts of the bodie or faculties of the soule assent.” In all social organizations, from parliaments to colleges to guilds, the assent of the “Major parte” was necessary to bind the whole; as a consequence, “your Majesty . . . by the same reason being but a member of the bodie Politique of England tho the most . . . supreame of all the Rest, can impose no newe lawes, or binding taxes, on your subjects without their Common Consent.”108 The notion that new law required parliamentary approval was hardly startling, but hints that the king was a mere member of the body politic, subject to the will of the majority, were rather more provocative. Moreover, as we will see, Prynne would soon amplify this core argument, taking him in extraordinary new directions. Prynne also flirted with a concept of liberty similar to that described by recent scholars as “neo-Roman.” If the king by “absolute authority might impose such taxes as theis at . . . pleasure,” then he could “doe it as often, and rayse them as high as” he “please[d] for what lawe is there to hinder [him] from it.” In this case, all people’s “goods, lands and libertyes wilbe at your Majestys absolute disposition, and then are we not free subjects, but villaynes and vassalls, And where then are our just ancyent rights and liberties confirmed . . . in the Petition of right.”109 Avoiding such dependency on another’s arbitrary will—irrespective of whether 107  SP 16/536/77, fol. 122v. 108  BL, Harleian MS. 737, fol. 263v; SP 16/536/77, fols. 125–6. He cited the canon-law collection, Liber sextus, regula juris 29. For the maxim’s history, see C. Fasolt, “Quod omnes tangit ab omnibus approbari debet: The Words and the Meaning,” in C. Fasolt, Past Sense: Studies in Medieval and Early Modern European History (Leiden, 2014), 222–57. 109  BL, Harleian MS. 737, fol. 266r–v.

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that will was exercised—has been described as the core of a “neo-Roman” idea of liberty, based on Roman legal definitions of property and slavery.110 Prynne was surely aware of these sources, just as he happily drew on canon-law maxims. But his case was constructed not with the language of Cicero or the Digest, but instead through a vocabulary derived from English history and law, invoking vassalage, serfdom, and “ancyent rights and liberties” (recently epitomized in the new summa of English political life, the Petition of Right). Anchoring this vision, ultimately, was a profound belief in the omnicompetence and sanctity of England’s parliament, both as a physical manifestation of the “common consent” of the whole polity, and as a regulatory instrument monitoring the body’s health. Indeed, Ship Money was so perilous precisely because it showed an “intencion of your great officers to make the taxe a yearlie revenue to the Crowne,” with protection of the seas a “meere pretence” to veil a permanent tax. One sinister motive in creating this standing revenue was “to keep of[f ] a Parliament,” the only means for redress of grievances, as well as the chief way of disciplining those who had “oppressed” the people. Here Prynne conjured a vision of parliament, shared with Burton, as a kind of miraculous elixir for the ills of commonwealth, or, as one theorist soon put it, the “States best physick.”111 In these works of Burton and Prynne, we can see a kind of emergent “proto-parliamentarianism.” Moreover, Prynne was here building an arsenal of pro-parliamentary legal and historical sources, backed by the heaviest artillery of all, Magna Carta and the Petition of Right. In the process, however, Prynne added to that storehouse: although the circulation of the “Humble Remonstrance” against Ship Money was partly quashed through Laud’s attack on the network emanating from Gabriel Barber, the manuscript continued to spread in the late 1630s, and in 1641, as soon as conditions allowed, a bootleg version was printed, followed in 1643 by an edition authorized by parliament and edited by Prynne.112 The rich range of manuscript political writing, so important in shaping early Stuart political subjectivity, was now being removed from slower, more costly scribal hands, and projected on a mass scale through the press.113 In this way, a canon of source material grew, establishing a corpus for thinking about parliamentary power and the liberties of “free borne Subjects.”114 The tract also shows again that it is difficult indeed to separate the “religious” objections of nonconformists from the rising drumbeat of “political” opposition to the regime, as embodied in resistance to Ship Money.115 Authored by the godly 110 Q. Skinner, “Classical Liberty, Renaissance Translation and the English Civil War,” in Q. Skinner, Visions of Politics, Vol. 2: Renaissance Virtues (Cambridge, 2002), 308–43; Q. Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism (Cambridge, 1998). 111  SP 16/536/77, fols. 137v, 139r; M. Mendle, Henry Parker and the English Civil War (Cambridge, 1995), 47. 112  For the spread of the MS in 1638–9, see SP 16/536/77, fol. 176v; SP 16/429, fol. 69r; Bod. L., MS. Bankes 19, fol. 12r; K. Sharpe, The Personal Rule of Charles I (New Haven, 1992), 820. 113  For manuscripts and politics, see Millstone, Manuscript Circulation; for the multiplicative and economizing advantages of print over scribal copying, see Peacey, Public Politics, 238–46. 114  SP 16/536/77, fol. 128v. 115  For other examples, see SP 16/362/96, 92I, 96II, fols. 195–200; SP 16/355/8, fols. 10–11; SP 16/361/64, fols. 123–4.

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martyr Prynne, circulated by Hertford’s puritan godfather Barber, and then cycled back to the scriveners of London, the “Humble Remonstrance” reveals that the intellectual and practical leadership of resistance to Caroline rule was firmly situated in the godly avant-garde. And that leadership persisted into the 1640s. While Prynne’s later career is well known, Barber’s has disappeared into undeserved obscurity. But he would emerge as perhaps the leading figure in Hertfordshire’s parliamentarian bureaucracy, chairing county committees notorious for their “Anabaptisticall and independent” temper, while helping to make Hertford an enclave for independency in the 1640s. Partly through the permissive ambience created by Barber and his allies, the county became a hotbed of extreme puritan activity, generating the first mass petitions against tithes, and providing fertile ground for figures discussed here: William Erbery would soon preach in the county and John Lilburne built a notoriously strong local following.116 Yet as this account suggests, these ideological developments were not simply products of civil-war chaos; fissures within the godly community were present in embryo in Hertford by 1637, with the battle lines of the civil-war years taking shape for Archer, Barber, and Thomas Edwards alike. Of course, all of the ideological developments and organizational ligatures described here might have faded into insignificance had the Caroline regime not fatally overestimated its own strength in 1637 by imposing a new prayer book on Scotland. This propelled Charles I’s northern kingdom towards rebellion and unchained forces long germinating in England.

116  BL, Hl. 166, fol. 49r; Gangraena, 3:81, 147; To the right Honourable, the betrusted Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in the Commons House of Parliament (Englands legall Soveraign power, Assembled,) The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of Buckingham-shire, and Hartford-shire (1647); The Husbandmans Plea against Tithes (1647). See below, Chapter 9.

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2 Secret Printing and the Crisis of 1640 The Margery Mar-Prelate Press and Print in the Time of Parliament In December 1639, Charles I dragged a wounded beast from sleep. The attempt to impose a new liturgy on the kirk provoked an uprising in Scotland.1 His failed campaign to suppress that rebellion, together with the collapse of Ship Money, meant that the king was forced to call a new parliament to beg extraordinary ­revenue. The eleven-year personal rule thus came to an end, and gathering expectations of a new parliament, held against the background of rebellion and imminent war, promised political pyrotechnics. The Scots’ rebellion, and its connection to English politics, has been heavily researched in recent decades, as historians explored the interplay between the three kingdoms. Among the important insights to emerge from this “British” turn was greater awareness of collaboration between Scottish Covenanters and their allies in England. Thus, we now know that leading English “oppositional” politicians, of the circle of Saye, Warwick, and Pym, engaged in secretive correspondence with the Scots in 1639–40.2 More overt evidence of collusion can be seen in the propaganda campaign mounted on behalf of the Covenanters. The Scots started producing manifestos as soon as the prayer-book crisis began in 1637. Lacking a reliable press, they first resorted to the same Dutch houses that had printed illicit English propaganda. William Christiaens’s Leiden workshop, along with Canne’s Amsterdam “Richt Right Press,” produced works in English and Dutch, defending the Scots and attacking the English bishops for crimes in both kingdoms.3 Even after the Covenanters obtained a press, the Dutch outlets printed pro-Scots books and ­declarations.4 Much of this material targeted English audiences. The State Papers are rife with references to attempts by the authorities to intercept such books. 1  G. Donaldson, The Making of the Scottish Prayer Book of 1637 (Edinburgh, 1954). 2  P. Donald, “New Light on the Anglo-Scottish Contacts of 1640,” Historical Research, 62 (1989), 221–9; Russell, FBM, 61–3; A. Hughes, “Thomas Dugard and his Circle in the 1630s—A ‘Parliamentary–Puritan’ Connexion?” HJ, 29 (1986), 788; P. Donald, An Uncounselled King: Charles I and the Scottish Troubles, 1637–1641 (Cambridge, 1990), 191–5; Adamson, NR, 36–52. 3 D. Stevenson, “A Revolutionary Regime and the Press: The Scottish Covenanters and their Printers, 1638–51,” The Library, 6th Ser., 7 (1985), 315–37. 4  K. Sprunger, Trumpets from the Tower: English Puritan Printing in the Netherlands, 1600–1640 (Leiden, 1994), 215–17.

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Nevertheless, Scottish tracts circulated widely, marking what was in some ways a watershed in the history of print: one country was effectively bombarding another with propaganda to influence public opinion in its favor. Indeed, it has been argued that the Scots’ propaganda campaign was instrumental in forcing changes in the London book trade that became manifest after 1640; in Joad Raymond’s view, the vaunted civil-war “‘explosion’ of print was in some ways a forest fire, started in Edinburgh.”5 While this is an important insight, it must also be emphasized that the conflagration was kindled and fanned in large part using networks of production created by English radical puritans and their Dutch partners in the early seventeenth century, then fine-tuned during the “triumviral” period after 1633. Importantly, much of this propaganda, while linked to the Scottish crisis, was overtly designed to intensify preexisting discontent with Caroline policy. It was thus seamlessly tied to the material analyzed in Chapter  1. The Scottish prayer book was viewed as merely the latest manifestation of a sinister conspiracy to undermine Protestantism and English law. The Scottish crisis was not an extrinsic intrusion of Scottish problems or ideology into English political life; rather it represented an opportunity to air grievances that had been brewing for years and to promote ideas long cultivated within English oppositional circles. This chapter explores these developments by examining the output of a secret press established in 1640. The books produced by this press offer a striking index of the most radical programs and ideas circulating in England at the start of the political crisis of 1640. Moreover, the methods of production and distribution used by the operation, along with the assumptions and personnel anchoring the enterprise, offer powerful insight into a transformative moment, in which the parameters of print and public debate were being rapidly redrawn, with profound effects that would reverberate through the 1640s. T H E S H O RT PA R L I A M E N T A N D T H E M A RG E RY M A R - P R E L AT E P R E S S In March 1640, a new press was established to aid the Scottish cause and link it to the broader political situation in England. A successor to Stam, Christiaens, and Canne, this press not only produced Covenanter propaganda, but also took over as chief publicity organ for the triumvirate, printing works by Burton and Prynne. Like its Dutch precursors, it released tracts by separatists, thus using the crisis to promote extreme versions of anti-episcopal ecclesiology. Over the next fourteen months, the secret press executed at least nineteen books, all using highly distinctive typography and printer’s ornaments, which identify the works as products of a single printing operation. Four pamphlets bore the fictitious imprint of “Margery Mar-Prelate,” and as a consequence the present account refers to this secret

5  J. Raymond, Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 2003), 161–201 (quotation at 172).

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Figure 2.1.  Ornaments used on Margery Mar-Prelate Press books. Row 1: The oval device, originally used by the Cloppenburghs of Amsterdam, then by Ulderick Balck of Franeker, is reproduced from The Intentions of the Armie of the Kingdome of Scotland (1640), t.p., from the holdings of Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside, DA803.1 1640 .S26. Row 2: W. Prynne, The Antipathie of the English Lordly Prelacie, both to Regall Monarchy, and Civill Unity (1641), sig. Br; by courtesy of the Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, shelf mark DD45 P95 Cutter. Row 3: Prynne, Antipathie, 1. Row 4: Vox Borealis, or the Northern Discoverie (1640), sig. Ar, private collection. Row 5: The Lawfulnesse of our Expedition into England Manifested (1640), 1. UIUC, IUA07692; A Dialogue. Wherin is Plainly Layd open the Tyrannicall Dealing of Lord Bishops (1640), sig. A3r. UIUC, x 262.12 M347D1640; L. Hughes, Certaine Grievances Well Worthy the Serious Consideration (1640), 1. UIUC, 264.03 H874c1640; L.F., A Speedy Remedie against Spirituall Incontinencie (1640), 1. UIUC, 285.8 L1s.

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o­ peration as the “Margery Mar-Prelate Press”6 (depicted in Figures 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 7.1, 15.1). One crucial feature differentiated the Margery Mar-Prelate Press from Dutch forbears: it was situated in London. Evidence that the press operated in England is overwhelming—internal references in the books themselves, information derived from authors, informants, and investigations, and, most compellingly, physical, forensic clues—and will be presented cumulatively, as the story of the enterprise proceeds.7 While more exposed to danger, this new London press allowed for rapid distribution in England, eliminating intermediaries and the hazards of marine smuggling. However, the operation was linked, personally and conceptually, to the Dutch publicity networks outlined in Chapter  1. To obtain printers’ tools, the venture’s founders turned to the Low Countries. Most importantly, an alphabet of arabesque initial letters was obtained from J. F. Stam. These ornaments had belonged to Stam’s predecessor, Joris Veseler, whose business Stam assumed upon marrying Veseler’s widow in 1628. Veseler’s widow used the letters frequently in 1626–8, and when Stam absorbed the business, he deployed them in his own publications.8 The design of the letters was common; other Dutch printers owned nearly identical ornaments, cut from the same template. However, Stam’s letters bore distinctive breaks and wormholes, as well as slight variances in form, differentiating them from other known specimens, and marking them as unique (Figure 2.2). These ornaments, with their telltale deformations, appeared habitually in books printed by the London press of 1640 (Figures 2.2, 7.1, 15.1). Stam thus supplied materials to the venture, revealing that the operation grew directly out of preexisting Anglo-Dutch networks. Yet Stam was not, apparently, the only source. The press also deployed a large oval device, with Dutch scriptural verses, that had been used from 1610 to 1614 by the Amsterdam bookseller J. E. Cloppenburgh. For this reason, generations of bibliographers have referred to the press of 1640 as the “Cloppenburg Press.”9 This is clearly mistaken. In 1614, Cloppenburgh had sent the ornament to the printer Ulderick Balck in Franeker, to be used on a theological tract. Balck printed the piece for Cloppenburgh, but when the books were shipped to Amsterdam, Balck evidently failed to return the device. It never again appeared on any Cloppenburgh books and, in 1626, Balck used the ornament on one of his own publications,

6  The nineteen books are cited in this chapter. The Mar-Prelate titles are STC 21924, 21926; Wing V712, W363. 7  This chapter builds on evidence in D. Como, “Secret Printing, the Crisis of 1640, and the Origins of Civil-War Radicalism,” Past and Present, 196 (2007), 37–82. 8  For Veseler’s use, see J. Paget, An Arrow Against the Separation of the Brownists (Amsterdam: G. Veseler, 1618), 1, 340, 362, 364, 372, 452; F. Dahl, Dutch Corantos, 1618–1650 (The Hague, 1946), images 44–5. For widow Veseler, see Figure 2.2; H. Burton, An Apology of an Appeale ([Amsterdam: J. F. Stam], 1636), 1 (STC 4134). 9  For the Cloppenburghs’ device, see P. van Huisstede and J. Brandhorst, Dutch Printer’s Devices, 15th–17th century: A Catalogue, 3 vols. (Nieuwkoop, 1999), 2:320; A. F. Johnson, “The ‘Cloppenburg’ Press, 1640, 1641,” The Library, 5th ser., 13 (1958), 280–2; Sprunger, Trumpets, 104–5, 116, 210–11, doubting the Cloppenburghs’ involvement and Amsterdam as the press’s site.

2. Ornaments used by the Widow Veseler (J.F. Stam), 1626–8

2. Ornaments used by the Widow Veseler (J.F. Stam), 1626–8

1. Ornaments used by Broer Jansz., 1624

1. Ornaments used by Broer Jansz., 1624

4. Ornaments used on books printed by and for Peter Cole, 1643

4. Ornaments used on books printed by and for Peter Cole, 1643

5. Ornament used on Richard Overton, Mans Mortallitie (1644)

5. Ornament used by Richard Overton’s secret press, 1646

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3. Ornaments used on the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, 1640–1

3. Ornaments used on the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, 1640–1

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Figure 2.2.  Ornaments of Stam, Margery Mar-Prelate Press, Peter Cole, and Richard Overton.

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1. Broer Jansz., 1624

2. Veseler (Stam), 1626–8

3. Margery Mar-Prelate Press

4. Peter Cole, 1643



For detailed information about the ornaments in this Figure, see Appendix 7, p. 443.

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printed at Franeker.10 Fourteen years later, the founders of the new English press somehow obtained the ornament (Figure 2.1). Possibly, the acquisition was ­brokered through the anglophone contingent that clustered at the University of Franeker, drawn by its famed theology professor, William Ames. Although Ames was dead by 1640, he was survived by many Franeker students and friends, including John Bastwick, as well as three of Lord Saye’s sons.11 Whatever the ornament’s source, like Gregory Dexter’s “greate C: very curiously cutt in box wood,” the “Cloppenburg” device was designed to deceive would-be detectives by implying that the press’s books were executed in Holland. The ruse worked admirably for almost four centuries. A London informant, writing in late 1640, plausibly claimed that the press was backed by a consortium of “thirty in the City,” who pooled resources to maintain it.12 The press was certainly operating by March 1640. It was likely created on the crest of hope surrounding the new parliament, with a particular mandate to amplify the flow of pro-Scottish works into England. Prudent observers knew that this was a moment of great political opportunity, as well as peril. The press’s first known product was An Information from the States of the Kingdome of Scotland, to the Kingdome of England (1640), which countered rumors about the Scots’ intentions and indicted the parties responsible for turning the king towards renewed war. The pamphlet had first been printed by the Covenanters in Edinburgh. On March 30, the crown issued a proclamation against “Seditious Pamphlets . . . from Scotland,” demanding that English subjects deliver such papers to the government. The proclamation singled out “An information from the Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland to the Kingdom of England, containing . . . notorious falsehoods . . . sundry Copies of which . . . have been sent from Scotland . . . to . . . His Majesties Subjects in England, especially in . . . London.” Yet it also complained that there were “very lately sundry Copies of that . . . seditious Pamphlet reprinted . . . in another Edition, and dispersed in the said City of London,” surely a reference to the impression issued by the new secret press (as well as an oblique hint of its location).13 On April 13, 1640, the Short Parliament convened. Three days later, the Scots issued a manifesto, A Remonstrance Concerning the Present Troubles, first published in Edinburgh. Quickly reprinted by the London secret press, this pamphlet parried charges that the Scots were rebels; rather, they acted to defend themselves from evil counselors, who aimed “to oppresse both the just liberties of [the king’s] free Subjects, and the true reformed Religion in all his Kingdomes.” A common plot against law and God’s truth existed in both realms. The main culprits were Laud 10 H. Zanchio, Een seer heerlijke ende bysonder Schriftmatich Tractaet ende verhadelinghe vande Praedestinatie (Amsterdam and Franeker, 1614); Christelijke Aensprake Aen Alle opsienderen van Gods Kercke (Franeker: “By Ulderick Balck,” 1626). 11  J. Bastwick, The Second part of that Book call’d Independency not Gods Ordinance (1645), sig. a3v; S. J. Fockema Andreae and T. J. Meijer, eds., Album Studiosorum Academiae Franekerensis (Franeker, 1969), 88. I thank David Scott for this reference. 12  SP 16/467/9, fol. 16r, discussed in detail later in this chapter. 13  J. F. Larkin, ed., Stuart Royal Proclamations, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1973–83), 2:703–5. Two editions survive, the Edinburgh edition (STC 21916) and the “Margery” edition (21916.5). Barring a lost edition, “another Edition” must refer to the latter.

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and Wentworth, backed by “the . . . mighty Faction of Papists.” The Scots warned English brethren not to cut a deal with Charles to resume his war. Such a deal would “overthrow . . . our Religion and Liberties, and in the buriall therof to . . . digge a Tomb for your own . . . and make at the end of this Parliament a mean that there should never be need of any hereafter.”14 This bid to influence England’s parliament from abroad represented a dangerous escalation. Coincidentally or not, it matched the strategy in the Short Parliament of Pym and his allies, who worked to sabotage any deal to exchange supply for redress of grievances.15 Later, it was claimed that books printed by the London press were dispersed among “the late Parliament men,” and there is evidence that the Scots’ commissioners labored to get their manifestos to MPs. The government feared they had succeeded: when the Short Parliament was dissolved, leading MPs were arrested and their chambers raided, partly “to discover what Scottish papers of remonstrances were in theire hands.”16 Whether the Scots’ propaganda, or underhanded Scottish contacts, played a role in wrecking the Short Parliament is impossible to say. More certainly, there was a clear tactical alignment emerging between the Scots, their allies in England’s elite, and the clandestine propaganda machine erected in London to bolster the Scots’ cause. T H E N A G ’ S H E A D TAV E R N A N D THE COBBLER’S SERMON Aside from their pro-Scottish agenda, the operators of the secret press had interests of their own, which they eagerly promoted. Their first book unrelated to the Scottish crisis was likely Samuel How’s The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching.17 As noted in Chapter  1, the cobbler How, formerly a member of Jacob’s gathered church, was minister to a separatist congregation in London. Stephen More and Edmund Chillenden, members of How’s flock, were crucial cogs in the network that dispersed works of the puritan triumvirate. How’s celebrity brought him into conflict with established godly ministers, providing the context for the published sermon. In late 1639, John Goodwin, pastor of the puritan enclave of St. Stephen Coleman Street, discoursed on the necessity of learning for preachers, provoking dispute with How. A challenge was issued, and the cobbler agreed to expound 2 Peter 3:16, a verse in which the “Unlearned and Unstable” were said to “wrest” scripture to “their own destruction.”18 14  Remonstrance Concerning the Present Troubles (1640), 7, 14–15. A Leiden edition was published by Christiaens (STC 21927.7). 15 Russell, FBM, 97–9. 16  SP 16/467/9, fol. 16r; SP 16/452/114, fol. 280; BL, Sloane MS. 1467, fol. 105v. 17  The book bore a letter from How, dated Mar. 25, 1639 (presumably 1639/40). Two works printed by the press later in 1640 discussed How’s tract, hinting The Sufficiencie emerged shortly after Mar. 25, 1640. 18  The Vindication of the Cobler (1640); S. How, The Sufficiency of the Spirit’s Teaching, Without Human Learning, 5th ed. (n.d.), v–vi; this edition, published more than sixty years later, is the sole piece of evidence suggesting The Sufficiencie was first published in Holland.

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A meeting thus assembled at the Nag’s Head Tavern in Cateaton Street, at the south end of Coleman Street.19 The Nag’s Head was owned by Ann Wilson, a vintner’s widow, and a key figure in the constellation of London puritanism.20 Wilson’s tavern would, from 1639 onward, serve as a hub for religio-political ­activists. Her own leanings soon put her in the heart of England’s congregationalist community, but she also patronized those at the sectarian end of the spectrum, explaining her willingness to give How a stage.21 The meeting drew over 100 auditors, including Goodwin and clerics “silenc’t” by the regime.22 As we will see, the assembly was one of a recurring series of puritan conferences at the Nag’s Head. How’s sermon, as printed by the secret press, defended the position that any Christian, inspired by the spirit, could preach. Learning, How claimed, was not only insufficient to make a true preacher, it was a liability obscuring God’s truth: “the best way for a man not to deceive himselfe, is to know nothing of this learning . . . so he may learn true wisdome.”23 This claim was used to deflate the learned ministry and justify lay preaching, but also to suggest that it was chiefly to the poor and unlearned that God granted his spirit: “though it be the Pope, and all his Councels of Cardinals and Bishops, and the rest of that learned rabble, yet they being destitute of the Spirit, can give but a private interpretation . . . whereas if a Man have the Spirit of God, though he be a Pedler, Tinker, Chimney-sweeper, or Cobler, he may by the helpe of Gods Spirit, give a more publique interpretation, then they all.” Through God’s impartial grace, the unlearned saint “is exalted, being outwardly poore, by being in Christ Jesus”; at the same time, Satan had “hatched . . . a Religion . . . as that he would have the wise, the rich, the noble, the learned the onely ones, and the poore must be beholden to them, whenas this is like himselfe directly to oppose Jesus Christ.”24 This was another potent instance of transposition: How used what was in essence a theological argument to push towards a general social critique. Since, How suggested, “we are not to see as man sees, but as the Lord directs us,” and since “God respect[s] no mans person,” human beings were not to respect men in their persons, that is, for their social status, learning, or office.25 A subtle process of transference was taking place; arguments that ostensibly concerned soteriology—God’s choice to save people without respect to personal status—were implicitly applied to the wider realm of human social relations. Although How refrained from elaborating these social implications, his treatment invited readers to do so. The claim that God was “no respecter of persons” was at one level a banal commonplace, based on New Testament texts, derived 19  Vindication of the Cobler. For its location, cf. SP 16/463/54, fol. 199v; J. Bastwick, The Utter Routing of the Whole Army of all the Independents (1646), 190; J. Lilburne, Legall Fundamentall Liberties (1649), 29; TNA, PROB 11/214/73. 20  She was Samuel Wilson’s widow. LMA, P69/OLA2/A/002/MS04400, 37, 38, 48, 51, 58, 125–30; TNA, E179/252/5 (St. Olave), fol. 2r. 21  Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, W/SMH/A/1/1, fol. 1r; “Samuel Richardson (fl. 1637–1658),” ODNB. 22  Vindication of the Cobler. 23  S. How, The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching (1640), sig. B4v. 24 How, Sufficiencie, sigs. Er, Dv. 25 How, Sufficiencie, sigs. C3v–C4r.

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from Leviticus 19:15 and Deuteronomy 1:17. The phrase was sometimes used in the prewar period to stress the need for justice to be done on even the great and mighty.26 However, in the 1640s, the trope, developed in exactly the manner suggested by How’s exposition, was deployed to challenge existing regimes of power on numerous fronts. It was habitually cited not only to defend lay preaching and to disrupt clerical monopolies, but more generally to justify the intrusion of nonelite people into the drama of human history.27 In 1648–9, it was pointedly used to call for the king’s trial and execution.28 In a broader way, it was adduced to assert the natural equality of men, to denounce oppressions of the legal system, and to attack the privileges of social elites, including the rich, titled, and propertied.29 Indeed, the motif was central to the thought of the archetypal sectarian visionary, Winstanley, who in 1650 pronounced “the Land of England, shall be common Treasury to all English men without respect of persons.”30 The story of how this commonplace was glossed and combined with other ideological influences to craft new species of egalitarian and redistributionist thought constitutes a running theme in this book. However, the cobbler’s tract is not just illustrative; it had demonstrable impact on sectarian leaders. How died in September 1640, and both his person and his sermon soon achieved talismanic status. John Lilburne in late 1640 wrote a letter from prison, demanding that if his jailors’ cruelty killed him, he wanted his corpse “layd beside the Coblers, in Finsbury Fields.” Lilburne threatened to send his letter to Holland to be printed, so that “it may be claimed up upon the Posts, and made as publique as the Coblers Sermon, that so you may . . . read it in the Streets.” Lilburne, in the end, did not need a Dutch press; his letter was printed by the same secret press that produced How’s Sufficiencie.31 Other luminaries in the radical puritan scene were equally impressed. As we will see, Lilburne’s future collaborator Richard Overton was certainly involved in the operation of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, and should probably be counted as the work’s publisher. Confirming this, in 1644, when The Sufficiencie was reissued, it bore a laudatory poem signed “R.O.,” identified by one contemporary as Overton. Lilburne’s associate, William Kiffin, likewise wrote a glowing appendix 26  A. Bellany, The Politics of Court Scandal in Early Modern England: News Culture and the Overbury Affair, 1603–1660 (Cambridge, 2002), 231–44. 27  E. Barber, A True Discovery of the Ministery of the Gospell (1645), sig. A4v; W. C., A Proclamation to All Of All Sorts . . . not respecting the person of any Man (1643), t.p., 9–12; E. Chillenden, Preaching Without Ordination (1647), 6; A Moderate and Cleer Relation of the private Souldierie (1648), sig. A4v; W. Bray, God Magnified and Man Dethroned (1647), sig. Br–v. 28  The Moderate (Jan. 30, 1649/E.540[20]), 273; Fruitfull England Like to Become A Barren Wilderness (1648), 14. 29  Regall Tyrannie discovered (1647), 59; R. Overton, An Arrow against all Tyrants (1646), 19–20; T. Collier, A Discovery of the New Creation (1647), 34–8; Fruitfull England, 14; for use in Quaker critique of status distinctions, see BL, Sloane MS. 631, fol. 119r; James Nayler, The Boaster bared (1655), 7–9. 30  G. Winstanley, Englands Spirit Unfoulded (1650), 3–4; The True Levellers Standard Advanced (1649), 7, 13; G. Winstanley, The Law of Freedom in a Platform (1652), 16, 27, 61. 31  J. Lilburne, A Coppy of a Letter Written by John Lilburne (1640), 4, 7; its printing is discussed later in this chapter and in Appendix 1.

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to a later edition, testifying that he was “well acquainted with” Samuel How, h ­ aving “tasted that Spirit . . . which God . . . did more then ordinary powre out upon him.” The early London baptist Clement Writer also extolled The Sufficiencie, claiming personal knowledge of the circumstances of the Nag’s Head assembly. Writer’s friend, the Leveller William Walwyn, similarly recalled the tale of the Nag’s Head, and alluded to How’s sermon in criticizing the notion that “riches, and estates, and things of this world, should prefer men to offices, and places of trust”; Walwyn instead lauded the example of Christ, who “despised not to be esteemed the Son of a Carpenter, and chose simple herdsmen for his Prophets, and poor fishermen for his Apostles.”32 The beatification of the cobbler was not universal. His gospel of simplicity was laced with pro-separatist polemic, identifying true churches as gathered groups of believers, worshipping in opposition to the “houses of lime and stone” of the wicked “Nationall Church.” The tithes, priesthood, and vestments of England’s church were “worldly rudiments,” and the only right course was separation: “let none of Gods servant[s] stand with one foot on Mount-Sion, and another on Babylon.” This, with his fierce attack on human learning, alarmed the ministers at the Nag’s Head, and Goodwin spread rumors that How had “made a Calfe (meaning a false and unsound exposition) and . . . danced about it.” To stop these reports, How passed his sermon to the Margery Mar-Prelate Press.33 The Nag’s Head meeting thus exposed rumbling conflicts within the puritan community, even as it also paradoxically showed how that community defused internal differences, permitting ongoing ­dialogue in protected eddies like Wilson’s tavern. Beyond godly circles, the sermon proved even more polarizing and disruptive. The “famous preaching Cobler” quickly became the object of anxiety and mockery. In the following months, anti-puritan propagandists turned How into a symbol of disordered puritanism run amok.34 This was part of a wider trend whereby the regime’s allies whipped up fears about sectarian puritanism, tarring more mainstream reformists with the brush of separatist anarchy.35 Here was the flip side of a newly assertive nonconformist extremism, energized by more efficient outlets for propaganda. While new adherents were recruited, many people were repelled by the vocal presence of sectaries like How: radicalization was accompanied by polarization. Rising fear of puritan schism helped the king’s friends to claw back initiative in the early 1640s, laying the groundwork for a royalist party.36

32  S. How, The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching (1644), unpag.; T. Hall, Vindiciae Literarum, The Schools Guarded (1655), sigs. E7r–E8r; S. How, The Sufficiency of the Spirits Teaching (1655), sig. F4v; C. Writer, An Apologetical Narration (1658), 35; W. Walwyn, Walwyns Just Defence (1649), 24. 33 How, Sufficiencie (1640), sigs. A2r–v, E3v–E4r, Fv. 34  [J. Taylor,] A Swarme of Sectaries (1641), 8–11; The Coblers threed is cut (1640); [J. Taylor,] The Brownists Conventicle (1641), 6; [J. Taylor,] The Brownists Synagogue (1641), 2; [J. Taylor,] A full and compleat Answer (1642), 6; A Dialogue between Sacke and Six (1642), sigs. A2r, A3r; The Speech of a Warden (1642), sig. A3r. 35  See, e.g., the “Satire Against Sepratists,” East Sussex Record Office, FRE 600. 36  T. Harris, “Charles I and Public Opinion on the Eve of the English Civil War,” in S. Taylor and G. Tapsell, eds., The Nature of the English Revolution Revisited (Woodbridge, 2013), 13–25.

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H E N RY B U RTO N , T H E C A N O N S O F 16 4 0 , A N D T H E   S C OT T I S H I N VA S I O N The secret press of 1640, like its Dutch precursors, mixed patronage of separatist writings with support for work by more mainstream puritans. Its next book was Henry Burton’s A Replie to a Relation. Of the Conference between William Laude and Mr. Fisher the Jesuite, an examination of Laud’s 1622 disputation with the Jesuit, John Percy (alias Fisher). Burton wrote it in prison on Guernsey, using smuggled paper and quills cannibalized from feather dusters. Finished in June 1639, the manuscript on Burton’s account was then “sent away for England” to be printed. Here, it was executed by the Margery Press, using all its telltale ornaments and type. Burton wrote that the book “did very hardly escape the Bishops beagles, hunting it up and downe, while it was a printing,” leaving no doubt that the risky, secretive work took place in London.37 Burton’s Replie built on themes introduced in For God, and the King, using Laud’s own words to show that the archbishop was leading England back to ­popery. Laud’s case that Rome was a true (if corrupt) church proved that the primate was betraying Protestantism; through Laud’s innovations, the Church of England had now effectively merged with Rome. Burton’s brutal punishment had radicalized him: he declared that he had withdrawn from the Church of England, and  would remain apart “till you separate from all communion and conformity with . . . Babylon.”38 The stridency of Burton’s new de facto separatism matched rising tensions in  Charles’s kingdoms during the summer of 1640. The failure of the Short Parliament was greeted with despair by most English subjects. In London, anger billowed against Laud, widely perceived as the cause of all woes; libels were posted at the Exchange and elsewhere, and rioters attacked Lambeth Palace.39 Although these tumults were suppressed, this was hardly a propitious environment in which to rally the country for renewed war on Scotland. Yet this is precisely what Charles attempted, despite collapsing revenues and mutiny among pressed soldiers.40 As disorder unfolded, the regime struggled to reassert authority. Convocation, normally meeting only while parliament sat, was kept in session after the dissolution to frame a new set of church canons. Those canons, approved in May, elicited the opposite of the effect intended, inflaming opinion against the regime. Of greatest concern was Canon Six, which imposed an oath on all clerics, binding them never to “consent to alter the Government of this Church, by Arch-bishops, Bishops, Deanes, and Arch-deacons, &c. as it stands now established.” Quite apart from the fact that many English people had come to question rule by bishops, suspicions quickly swelled against the hidden sting lurking within the seemingly 37  H. Burton, A Narration of the Life of Mr. Henry Burton (1643), 22. 38  [H. Burton,] A Replie to a Relation (1640), 70. 39  D. Cressy, England on Edge: Crisis and Revolution, 1640–1642 (Oxford, 2006), 110–22. 40 Cressy, England on Edge, 155–7.

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casual “&c.” tacked onto the passage. Opponents of the “etcetera oath,” as it was soon known, wondered what, exactly, they were being asked to swear.41 The promulgation of the canons, with the mobilization against the Scots, provoked strong resistance, and petitions against the canons were readied in several counties. In early August, the regime received word of correspondence between the Scots and sympathizers in London, and it was reported that there “is usually a meeting every friday at Mrs Wilsons at the Naggs head in Cateaten street,” showing that her tavern was a nerve center for Scots’ well-wishers. On August 6, a group of clerics, including John Goodwin, Cornelius Burges, and Edmund Calamy, reportedly met to consult “about a peticion against the Oath.”42 The authorities monitored these activities, but the delicate situation meant they were reluctant to move against prominent leaders. Anxiety was overflowing because, by early August, the kingdoms were braced for renewed military conflict. Even before the clerics met about their petition, the Scottish Committee of Estates, convening on August 3, voted to invade England. The same day, the Committee approved a declaration explaining “the intentiones of the army” and dispatched it for the “spreading of same.”43 By August 7, news of this manifesto reached Westminster, and by August 11, printed copies of The Intentions of the Armie of the Kingdome of Scotland, Declared to their Brethren of England were circulating from London to other parts of the kingdom.44 In all, five English editions of the book were printed—two in Scotland, one by William Christiaens in Leiden, and two from the secret press in London (although in a form that differed markedly from the official Edinburgh version).45 By late August, copies had been found in Cambridgeshire, Sussex, Hertfordshire, and Northamptonshire. From that county, it was reported that the “booke called the Intentions of the Scotts etc. I heare, swarmes about London, (and here too).”46 Hot demand ensured that the tract also circulated in manuscript, with Englishmen transcribing the text from published copies. Many of these swarming copies, particularly in London and the south, were printed by the Margery Mar-Prelate Press.47 In issuing The Intentions two weeks before their invasion, the Scots aimed to show that they came as “dearest brethren” and liberators. They sought not “to enrich our selves with . . . possessions,” but to defend themselves: how could they remain “within the borders till our throats be cut, and our Religion, Laws and Countrey destroyed? Or, shall we bestirre our selves, and seek our safeguard, peace 41  Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical (1640), sigs. Ev–E3; S. R. Gardiner, History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 10 vols. (1883–4), 9:142–8; Cressy, England on Edge, 149–52. 42  SP 16/463/54, fols. 199r–200r. 43  G. M. Paul, ed., “Fragment of the Diary of Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Wariston, 1639,” Publications of the Scottish History Society, 26 (1896), 97. 44  BL, Harleian MS. 383, fol. 182r; SP 16/464/57. 45  Bryson (STC 21920; 21919); Christiaens (STC 21919.5); London (STC 21921; 21921.5). 46  SP 16/463/90–1; SP 16/464/57; SP 16/465/8, 12, 60; HL, Ellesmere MS. 7849. 47  Secretary Windebank’s annotated copy was from Margery’s press. SP 16/465/86. For MS copies, see BL, Add. MS. 15891, fols. 236–9; CUL, MS. Mm.4.10, fols. 6–14; Surrey History Centre, LM/1916. These MSS match the Margery editions more closely than the Edinburgh versions, suggesting they were based on the former.

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and liberty in England.” To soothe fears, they promised that once their own s­ upplies were consumed, “we shall crave nothing but upon sufficient surety of payment how soon possibly it can be made.”48 Remarkably, despite the Scots’ professed intention to invade, and despite the campaign to blanket England with the Scottish manifesto, Charles and his advisors long remained convinced that the Scottish buildup was a bluff.49 The king, who finally dashed north as the gravity of the situation became clear, was disabused of this misapprehension on August 20, when the Scots poured over the border. English forces put up only token resistance and, on August 28, Charles’s army was defeated at Newburn. The Scots quickly occupied Northumberland and Durham, a task made easier since many English subjects initially welcomed the invasion, partly as a result of the barrage of fraternal propaganda launched in ­previous weeks.50 With a foreign army on English soil, tensions rose in London. The king proclaimed the Scots and their English “Adherents and Assistants” to be “Rebels and Traitours” (and indeed, from this point, the secret printers could be in no doubt that they were open to treason charges).51 Nevertheless, the Scots’ allies, far from backing down, sought to use the crisis for political gain. Convening in the capital, dissident peers signed a petition asking Charles to call parliament.52 The peers’ example was emulated by the citizens of London and the city clergy, who prepared similar petitions of their own. On September 10, Laud received word from an informant, detailing these oppositional activities. The letter began with news of the citizens’ petition, then revealed that “Mr Guard and Primacombe have informed me that there are thirty in the City have joyned together to mainetaine a private presse to print seditious and libellous books and in particular one intituled a reply to a relacion of the conference betweene William Laud and Mr. Fisher the Jesuite which the said Guard hath dispersed to the late Parliament men and to diverse others of note and to diverse of the Lords and hath promised mee to acquaint me with those that are contributory to the presse.” The informant claimed the secret press was organized as a syndicate, backed by a large pool of urban supporters. This allegation is rendered more plausible given his assertion that A Replie to a Relation had been printed by the new secret press (a fact established beyond doubt by modern bibliographers). Moreover, a link was drawn to the Scottish propaganda, also indubitably produced by the press; the shadowy “Mr Guard,” the informant’s source, had “dispersed the Scottish Pamphletts . . . and lurks about Grayes Inn and goes in a sattin doublet with his man Primacombe following him with a Cloake bagge full of books and hath his Cloake lined with a great broade gold lace.” Guard also claimed that “the Scots had not come into England but were sent for by the Lo[rds],” showing that some believed the Scots’ invasion had been invited by oppositional peers, a claim 48  The Intentions of the Armie of the Kingdome of Scotland (1640), 2, 9, 11. 49  SP 16/463/50; SP 16/463/62. 50 Cressy, England on Edge, 94. 51  Larkin, ed., Proclamations, 2:726–8. 52  J. Cartwright, ed., “Papers relating to the Delinquency of Lord Savile. 1642–1646,” Camden Miscellany, Volume the Eighth, Camden Society, N.S., 31 (1883), 2; Adamson, NR, 55–8.

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that has excited interest to the present day.53 The informant suggested the press was the brainchild of London activists, but also hinted at loose contacts stretching to the heights of the political elite, reaching the peerage and extending to the Scots. These ties were probably indirect, with ample cushion inserted between the operators and more exalted grandees, particularly important now that the press’s activities flirted with treason. Laud, eager to disrupt mobilization in the city, shared his intelligence: on September 16, “Printing” was discussed in the Privy Council. Two days later, the council issued warrants to search the homes of four London laymen and the cleric Cornelius Burges. The warrants enjoined messengers to seize “all such papers Bookes and Letters as yow shall find.”54 Burges was an organizer of the petition against the canons, widely suspected of having traveled to Scotland, but the move against him failed, for he had already gone north to petition the king.55 Of the four laymen named, two can be identified: “Marshall, a Tailor in Stillyard, Tower-hill,” was Griffith Marshall, a Tower Hill tailor who was part of the extended separatist network discussed in Chapter 1, counting among his closest associates Edmund Rozer and William Kiffin.56 Another warrant targeted “Jones a Dyar,” probably Thomas Jones, a Lambeth dyer, whose wife, Sarah, was a pillar of the Jacob–Jessey gathered church.57 The quarry was illicit books: a letter of September 29 noted that the council issued “divers warrants . . . to search . . . mens houses with in the Citty . . . to discover what popish bookes and other forbidden bookes they have in their houses, there being some scandalous bookes printed and divulged to the prejudice of the Government.” This suggests that Marshall and Jones, men enmeshed in the sectarian circuit discussed in Chapter 1, were targeted for dispersion of pro-Scottish works, perhaps even for involvement in the secret printing consortium. However, “divers houses have beene alreadie searcht, yet are none of those bookes found.”58 If the goal was to disable the secret press and its distribution network, or to smoke out clandestine contacts with the Scots or suspect grandees, the raids failed. The precise extent of such contacts is unclear. There survives no evidence of direct ties between the press and the Covenanters, nor, despite clear signs of political syncopation, can concrete links be demonstrated with the grandees in the circle of Warwick, Saye, and Pym. The most suggestive—although inconclusive—evidence for such links emerged in October. After the invasion, the Scots’ allies faced the challenge of sustaining public sympathy. The longer the Scots’ army remained, draining resources from the north, the less sincere their pious protestations looked. 53  SP 16/467/9, fol. 16r. The informant’s name was excised. For “Guard,” see also SP 16/463/90, fol. 281; cf. Adamson, NR, 44–50. 54  SP 16/467/75, fol. 157r; SP 16/467/92–5; TNA, PC 2/52, fol. 369r. 55 BL, Add. MS. 11045, fol. 121r; E. Scrope, ed., State Papers Collected by Edward, Earl of Clarendon, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1767–86), 2:117. 56  TNA, PROB 11/202/453; PROB 11/201/469. In Mar. 1644, Marshall left bequests to children of Rozer and Kiffin; Rozer was overseer of his will and in 1647 received a bequest from his widow, Anne; both were likely attached to Rozer’s church. 57  S. Wright, “Sarah Jones and the Jacob–Jessey Church: The Relation of a Gentlewoman,” The Electronic British Library Journal (2004), 4–8. 58  BL, Add. MS. 11045, fol. 118r.

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Stories multiplied in England about Scottish depredations, spread partly by crown surrogates, using both print and manuscript.59 In early October, as Scottish and English negotiators treated at Ripon, the English commissioners received petitions from the occupied counties, denouncing the Scots’ conduct.60 The Scots quickly answered these “lybells,” and, on October 10, they passed a rejoinder to the English negotiators, Bedford and Mandeville, along with another paper, explaining the Scots’ refusal to move the treaty to York.61 These two manuscripts soon appeared together in a pamphlet, Our Demands of the English Lords Manifested, “Printed, by Margery Mar-Prelat” on the London secret press. This was the press’s lone Scottish declaration not also printed at Edinburgh by the Scots; the operators of the press thus obtained the two texts in manuscript. At first glance, this hints that Bedford and Mandeville, key dissident peers, leaked the papers straight to the press. However, close comparison of the Scots’ original “answer” with the version printed by “Margery Mar-Prelat” shows that the London edition differed greatly from the manuscript the lords received at Ripon, suggesting the document was not fed directly to the printers in pristine form.62 More likely, their version derived from a corrupt manuscript, hinting at layers of intermediation between the peers in the north and the London press. While it is plausible that Bedford or Mandeville did indeed leak the documents, the papers evidently first circulated in scribal copies, before arriving, in altered form, with the printers.63 This suggests that, despite obvious alignment of interest between the Margery Mar-Prelate Press and leading oppositional politicians, contacts remained indirect. Around the same time, the secret press printed its last Scottish manifesto, The Lawfulnesse of our Expedition into England Manifested. This tract intensified the Covenanters’ English propaganda campaign by demanding the end of “Prelacy in England.” The version published on the secret press in London announced on its title page that it had been “Printed, first in Scotland, by Robert Bryson, and now Reprinted in England, by Margery Mar-Prelat” (Figure 2.3).64 The christening of the press with the “Margery Mar-Prelate” imprint showed that its operators recognized the kinship of their enterprise with that earlier, celebrated secret printing 59  The Demands and Behaviour of the Rebels of Scotland (1640); M.P., Good newes from the North (1640); BL, Harleian MS. 1576, pp. 677–80; BL, Add. MS. 72432, fols. 122–3; Add. MS. 15891, fol. 240v; Add. MS. 28011, fols. 46–7; Add. MS. 11045, fol. 128r–v; Bod. L., MS. Carte 1, fols. 245–6; MS. Carte 77, fol. 452r; HL, Ellesmere MS. 7859; Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, DSS 1/4/36A/14. 60  BL, Sloane MS. 3317, fol. 13r. 61  National Library of Scotland, Adv. MS. 33.4.6, fols. 17r, 19v–21v, 27v–29r; J. Bruce, ed., Notes of the Treaty Carried on at Ripon, Camden Society, O.S., 100 (1869), 25–6. 62  For the Scots’ version, see National Library of Scotland, Adv. MS. 33.4.6, fols. 19v–21v; this was very close to the version received by the English regime (SP 16/469, fols. 71–2); cf. Our Demands of the English Lords Manifested (1640), unpag. 63  For MSS of both in Bridgewater’s papers, each closer to the originals than Margery’s version, see HL, Ellesmere MSS 7742, 7744. For an MS of the second, also much closer to the original, see Northamptonshire Archives, FH/N/B/0581. Possibly, however, the Margery operators simply doctored the text. 64  The Lawfulnesse of our Expedition into England Manifested (1640), t.p., 4, 6. Printed in Scotland by Oct. 5, it was available in the north by Oct 10; the London edition’s date is uncertain. Bruce, ed., Ripon, 24; SP 16/468/137, fol. 257r; SP 16/469/77ii; SP 16/469/87.

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Figure 2.3.  The Lawfulnesse of our Expedition into England Manifested (1640), t.p. Reproduced from HL, RB 44844.

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venture, the Martin Marprelate press.65 In identifying their effort with Martin, the printers were not merely celebrating this radical, ludic piece of puritan lore; they were hinting that they saw their effort as a re-edification of the roving, hidden Mar-Prelate Press. The move suggested brazen willingness to engage in playful ­subversion of the bishops and their friends. The same impish spirit was also, perhaps, evident in the admission that the press was operating not in Holland, but “in  England.” The new impudence was likely prompted by a major political ­turnabout: in late September, the king announced the calling of a new parliament. Shielded by awareness that the political winds were turning, the Margery ­Mar-Prelate operators intensified their activities. E N G L A N D S C O M P L A I N T TO J E S U S C H R I S T Summer 1640 also saw the composition of Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ against the Bishops Canons. This scathing attack on the canons has been the source of occasional comment in the past.66 Written between June and October 1640, and published by the secret press in November, the pamphlet bore no name, but internal evidence strongly suggests that, like the other major work of the press that summer, Englands Complaint was penned by Henry Burton.67 Its author was a learned scholar, probably a clergyman, who (like Burton) had grown up in “a place, where they had not Scarce one Sermon in Seaven yeares.”68 Most tellingly, the book replicated arguments Burton canvassed elsewhere, and contained entire phrases lifted from Burton’s Replie to Laud’s Relation (a work pilloried in Englands Complaint on grounds parallel to those used by Burton).69 It included a passage denouncing the rough usage of Burton’s wife when she tried to visit him in his Guernsey prison.70 Englands Complaint was certainly written either by Henry Burton or by someone who shared an identical background, had made a minutely detailed study of 65  For an overview, see J. Black, “The Martin Marprelate Tracts (1588–89) and the Popular Voice,” History Compass, 6 (2008), 1091–1106. 66  Como, “Secret Printing,” 64–7; M. Braddick, God’s Fury, England’s Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars (London, 2008), 108–10; J. Donohue, Fire under the Ashes: An Atlantic History of the English Revolution (Chicago, 2013), 111–13; for a reading different from the one here, cf. C. Prior, “Cannons and Constitutions,” in C. Prior and G. Burgess, England’s Wars of Religion, Revisited (Farnham, 2011), 101–24. 67  Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ against the Bishops Canons (1640). Early sections were begun before parliament was called in Sept. 1640 (Charles was urged to “call a Parliament” [sig. Bv]); final sections were written after news of “the Parliament now coming” arrived (sig. F4v). 68  Complaint, sigs. D4v, E3v, G2r (for clerical status). 69  For attacks on Laud’s Relation, see Complaint, sigs. B2v, B4v–C, C2v, E4r, F2v; for specific parallels: “his Answer . . . being expunged as Impertinent and Scandalous”; “his Answere being . . .  expunged . . . as Impertinent and Scandalous.” (Replie, 5; Complaint, sig. B2v); Burton glossed Laud’s mention of a beehive, writing “your Priest[s] . . . are Drones . . . if not Waspes and Hornets”; the Complaint used the same passage in Laud’s Relation to brand Convocation “a Waspes, or Hornets nest.” (Replie, 41; Complaint, sig. F2v). Burton decried “notorious Popish Books,” citing “Shelfords five . . . Treatises,” “Salis his devotions” and “Femall Glory”; the Complaint blasted “notorious Popish Books,” including “a Booke of . . . Shelford,” “Femall Glory,” and “Salis his Devotions.” (Replie, 84; Complaint, sig. Cr). 70  Complaint, sigs. B2v–B3r.

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Burton’s most recent book (faithfully duplicating passages from it), and knew fresh details of Burton’s incarceration in the Channel Islands. Yet the book’s precise authorship is less important than its content, which was incendiary and, in the context of English politics, exceptionally radical. Framed as a lament to Jesus Christ on behalf of oppressed England, it began with a preamble: the author protested that “we” had tried to avoid thinking “the least evill of our King,” striving “to interpret all his actions” as the work of “bad Officers.” The Complainant had labored to ascribe all that was “amisse in Church or Commonweale” to policies foisted on Charles “without his knowledge.” Yet this was no longer possible. The author rehearsed a familiar list of abominations, which paralleled those denounced in Burton’s Powder Plot sermons—altars, Sabbath desecration, corruption of doctrine, the persecution of godly ministers, all now confirmed through the illegal canons and oath. The Complainant then asked, in view of this “flood of Innovations . . . which by Royall Authority have made a terrible universal invasion and irruption both into thy Spirituall Kingdome, and this Temporal, threatning speedily to sweep all away at once: what shall we think?” The answer was sad but clear: “that (for the iniquities of the Land) oppression in the State, persecutions of thy Ministers, effusion of innocent blood of thy Servants . . . a contemptuous trampling of all Laws divine and humane underfeet . . . is it not lawfull for us to thinke at least, yea to beleeve, that thou in thy just judgement restrained and withheld from us the benigne influence of the Kings heart, and . . . (for a time at least, for our humiliation) given him up to be Seduced by the Prelates and their Romish faction, and to be . . . led by their Councels.” The king could no longer be absolved from guilt. Indeed, the seduction was so profound that “he will rather hazard all his Kingdomes, then . . . disobey their Councels.”71 All of Charles’s crowns were at risk. The author then turned to the first canon, which held that subjects owed the king supply and passive obedience. This permitted an account of the nature of monarchical authority. In a manner echoing almost verbatim Burton’s words in For God, and the King, the author explained that subjects owed the king obedience “as he governeth us . . . according to the Law of God, and the good Laws of the Kingdome, maintaining the Rights and Liberties of his free borne Subjects according to the said Laws, which every King of this Realme at his Coronation doth solemnly sweare and covenant with his People to observe, and they thereupon to obey him accordingly.” To claim, as the canon did, that the king’s power was “independent” was therefore deceptive. It was independent of “Forraigne Power,” but in domains of religion and civil authority, royal power was carefully hedged and controlled. The king was “not independent in respect of God, whose Deputy he is.” Nor was his civil power “independent, or absolute, as all Tyrannicall States as that of the Turke; seeing the Kingdome of England is tempered, seasoned and conditioned with good Laws, which are the ordinary rules of good and just Government of the Subjects.” To support the claim that England was not an absolute monarchy, the author cited two authorities Burton had extolled in For God, and the King, the Petition of Right 71  Complaint, sigs. A2v–A4r.

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and James I’s speech to parliament in 1610, in which James critiqued absolute monarchy “depending onely on the will of the Prince.”72 Crucially, then, the canon’s directive that it was “the duty of Subjects to Supply their King” was a pathway to tyranny. The decision as to what constituted “due support” was rightly determined “according to the ancient Laws and Government of the Realme,” that is “by Parliament, and not by any independent or unlimited will of the Prince.” As the author insisted, “the property and freedome of the Subjects Estates is this, to possesse every man his peculiar goods not as Slaves, to be at the Princes command, when he will call, as it is in the Turkish Tyranny: but as free men . . . and that by the usuall way of Parliament.” To yield to “illegal exactions”— the obvious referent being Ship Money—tended to the “maintaining of an absolute Tyranny over our soules, and bodies, and goods.” All this was a direct result of the mutual covenant between England’s monarchs and their people. In other polities, kings might exert an “absolute Monarchie over the People, to command their bodies and goods at . . . pleasure,” but this was a result either of brute conquest or “a mutuall consent and covenant between the Prince and People, that they will be his vassals upon such conditions; as among the Turks.” In England, neither of these applied. For a time after 1066, William the Conqueror and his heirs governed by “clubbe Law of Conquest,” but subsequent kings, growing “weary of it, as feareing the dangerous issues of Tyranny . . . made a Covenant with the People, and good Laws with their consent, and Charters for their Liberties,” an obvious reference to Magna Carta. Charles was warned that there was only one path to receiving “due support” from his subjects: “let him but call a Parliament, and yeeld to the redressing of their heavy grievances, and he shall find his people most ready to” provide supply.73 Failure to do so would be catastrophic, for the author left no doubt that in the case of pervasive violation of the mutual contract, resistance—including armed resistance—was both legitimate and necessary. Responding to the first canon’s clause that subjects should never “bear arms against their King offensive, or defensive, upon any pretence,” the Complainant offered a fierce rejoinder: If a King maintaine a Faction about him, which goe about to oppresse his whole Kingdome, and People in their Laws and Liberties, and most of all in the true Religion, so as he will not rule them by the good Laws of the Kingdome, but seeks to make all his Subjects, Slaves, by bringing their soules, Bodies, estates under a miserable bondage: is it not now high time for the whole State either to labour to heale the breach, or if necessity (when there is no other remedy) to stand up as one man to defend themselves and their Countrey, untill the faction shalbe utterly cashered, and so the King reforme himselfe, and renew the Covenant and Conditions of the Kingdome to the good and just Satisfaction of the People.

In keeping with Calvinist authorities, he held that such armed insurrection should not be pursued by “private persons,” but this was an indisputable statement of what is usually termed “resistance theory.” As the author noted, “this point 72  Complaint, sigs. A4v–Br; cf. H. Burton, For God, and the King (1636), 39. 73  Complaint, sig. Br–v.

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t­ rencheth upon the Scots,” who had recently followed precisely this path. He then justified the Covenanters’ rebellion “to free their Religion from Antichristian usurpation, and their good Laws and Liberties from a violent violation.”74 Here was a vision of England’s constitution, with parliament at its epicenter, but which also encompassed a series of ancient laws and liberties, all sealed by voluntary contract between ruler and subject. None of the elements from which the Complainant constructed his case were novel. Ancient constitutionalism was ­widespread in legal circles and, as we have seen, Prynne’s Ship Money manuscript systematically deployed it to oppose Caroline fiscal policy. Similarly, contractual thought, of a kind promoted by Burton in his Gunpowder Plot sermons, can  occasionally be observed before 1640, although rarely in public.75 The Complainant’s position was unusual in that he seamlessly wove together these two strands of argument: first, a natural-law-based, contractual theory, whereby monarchs were bound by covenant with their people (who were, by implication, the source of political legitimacy, if not sovereignty, and who retained a right to resist if the contract was violated); second, an ancient constitutionalism that insisted on peculiar English rights, liberties, and legal customs, all deemed fundamental to the governance of the commonwealth, and which placed severe strictures on the sovereign. In the prewar period, these two modes of argument tended to remain distinct, and to be promoted by different groups of people.76 The author of Englands Complaint was therefore combining older, if controversial, strands of argument to forge a new and radical version of political theory, one that pointed directly to the still more extreme expressions of popular and parliamentary sovereignty articulated at the outset of the war two years later.77 In offering this charged political formulation, in taking these arguments out of the realm of abstract theory and applying them to contemporary English events, and in carefully suggesting that Charles had lapsed into tyranny, Englands Complaint represented a subtle but real ideological escalation. The danger to the English state was, however, inextricably tied to a parallel attack on true religion. Here was the other dimension of the tide of innovation that threatened “to sweep all away at once.” As in Burton’s 1636 formulation, the link between the twin plots against church and state was popery, again embodied by the hidden instruments of Catholicism, the prelates. The bishops were chiefly responsible for leading the king into calamitous innovations on both religious and ­temporal fronts. Yet there should be no mistake: the spiritual order the Complainant promoted was not the Church of England established in the Elizabethan settlement. Despite his screed against innovation, this was no conservative defense of the pre-Laudian status quo. While the author mainly accepted the doctrinal substance of the English 74  Complaint, sig. B3r–v. 75  J. P. Sommerville, Royalists and Patriots: Politics and Ideology in England, 1603–1640, 2nd ed. (London, 1999), 68–77. 76 Sommerville, Royalists and Patriots, 102, notes that lawyers rarely used contract theory in the period. 77  See Chapters 5 and 6, below.

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reformation, he suggested that at least some of the thirty-nine articles were corrupt and inconsonant with scripture.78 But it was the church’s government that drew his most vitriolic wrath. Diocesan bishops were, in the Complainant’s view, completely illegitimate. Although Laudians had worsened the system’s evil by asserting that episcopacy existed jure divino, recent churchmen had merely made prelatical government “more Antichristian then it was before, by adding a new claime of Divine Authority to their Antichristian Jurisdiction.” The Church of England was thus wholly corrupt: “the Discipline and Government” of the church “is altogether Antichristian, Tyrannical, and a meere usurpation, and in the whole practise of it, and in all the Rites and Ceremonies, against the word of God.” Indeed, the “Beast” of Revelation 13 was none other than “the Hierarchicall or Prelatical Government”; the offices of the church, including “Archbishops . . . or Archdeacons,” were wholly unscriptural and “absolutely Antichristian, bearing the image of the Beast.” Yet as the previous passage suggests, “all the Rites and Ceremonies” were rotten. This included not only recent innovations, such as altar-wise communion tables, but older ceremonies embedded in the legally established prayer book, including “kneeling at communion” and reading of Apocrypha.79 The situation demanded not piecemeal reform, but wholesale demolition of the Church of England and its replacement with something radically different. Among their many crimes, the bishops (while purporting to enhance regal authority) in fact stripped the king of his proper ecclesiastical power, a claim that again mirrored Burton.80 However, as the author made clear, royal spiritual power was strictly circumscribed. Against the king’s claim that he approved the canons “by his Prerogative Royall, and Supreme Authority in Causes Ecclesiastical,” the Complainant asked whether Christ had “given to any mortall Creature, to any Kings on Earth, any such Prerogative Royall, any such Supreme Authority over thy Church, as to alter Religion at his pleasure,” “to make voyd . . . the Saving Doctrines of thy word,” or to “sit in thy Throne, over the Soules . . . of thy People, captivating and oppressing them under the burthens of humane inventions.” The answer to this was clearly negative: “Christ” was “the onely Lawgiver of his Church,” and insofar as the king possessed ecclesiastical supremacy, it was only “to maintaine the true Religion, which is not to be regulated according to mens fancies, but according to thy word onely.”81 Moreover, even the king’s stewardship of true religion was tightly controlled. All “matters of Religion, concerning a whole Nation, ought not to be concluded, without the Counsell and consent of the whole Body representative of the Land,” that is, parliament. Just as taxes and laws required consent, so general changes in the spiritual order required parliamentary approval, without which “it is an absolute Tyranny over the Soules and Consciences of the whole Nation.”82 While the doctrine of the king-in-parliament meant monarchs would shape such changes, on this view the English royal supremacy was narrowly c­ onstrained on one side by the rigid dictates of God’s word (which left virtually no room for things 78  Complaint, sigs. A3r, C4r, G2r. 79  Complaint, sigs. C3r, C4r–v, Gr. 80  Complaint, sigs. F3v–F4v. 81  Complaint, sigs. A4r, Bv, Dv. 82  Complaint, sig. Fv.

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indifferent) and on the other by parliamentary consent, necessary for all non-trivial shifts in religious order. Yet parliament was no more entitled than the king to enjoin a religious order that violated God’s word. And the author left clues as to the rule God had instituted for his church. The Complainant was forced to admit that the word episkopos appeared in the Bible: “we find the name indeed in Scripture, but not a Diocesan Bishop, but such a one, as was set over a particular Congregation, to feed the flocke of God.” Bishops were mere ministers, tending single congregations. Elsewhere, the author likewise signaled that the “particular Congregation” was the essential unit of spiritual governance. Thus, excommunication did not “belong to the Prelate,” who by usurping the sanction took “away all power from every Minister of his Congregation, to whom with others appointed by the Parish, according to Gods word, belongs the power of Ecclesiastical Censures.”83 This passage, which evidently placed plenary power of discipline in the minister and elders of the parish, strongly implies that the Complainant embraced a form of parochial congregationalism; presbyterians gave parish elders power of the keys, but also allowed classes, which comprehended ministers and elders of other congregations, to apply church censures, including excommunication, marking a central distinction between congregationalism and presbyterianism.84 In attacking the canons, Englands Complaint thus insisted that the king, not just evil counselors, bore responsibility for the nation’s disordered state; that the authority of English kings relied on a mutual covenant with subjects, in which monarchs agreed to govern through ancient laws, liberties, and parliament; that subjects possessed a right of armed resistance if the covenant was violated; that the king and his advisors had systematically violated this covenant; that the king’s Scottish subjects, in arms against Charles, were wholly justified in resistance; that the king and his counselors had likewise demolished true religion in England, setting up innovations, while defending an anti-Christian episcopal order; and that the Church of England, including both bishops and ceremonies, needed to be razed to the ground and replaced by a new polity. By the time he finished his book, the author knew that Charles had called parliament, and expressed hope that the assembly would reverse this desperate situation. Failure would bring dire consequences. As the author warned, Charles was hazarding his three kingdoms and risking God’s judgment: “if these things be not reformed, a blacke day is hastening on a pace,” and the king would not be immune, for “with thee there is no respect of persons”: “O how terrible art thou, ô Lord, to proud and obstinate Sinners, when not Kings Crowns and Scepters can secure or defend them from thy just hand?”85

83  Complaint, sigs. Dr, F2r. 84  For Scots’ practice, see M. Todd, “‘None to Haunt, Frequent, Nor Intercommon with Them.’ The Problem of Excommunication in the Scottish Kirk,” in R. Mentzer, F. Moreil, and P. Chareyre, eds., Dire l’interdit: The Vocabulary of Censure and Exclusion in the Early Modern Reformed Tradition (Leiden, 2010), 219–36; for English presbyterians, see MPWA, 5:210–11. 85  Complaint, sigs. B4r, F4v.

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P R I N T I N G I N T H E T I M E O F PA R L I A M E N T: THE ORIGINS OF IDEAS OF PRESS FREEDOM The Long Parliament changed calculations for those managing the Margery ­Mar-Prelate Press. The new parliament was crackling with discontent, and the king’s feeble position, together with an occupying Scottish army, meant a dramatic turn in fortunes was inevitable. Responding to the shift at Westminster, the operators of the press engaged in more assertive activities, starting with the publication of Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ. November 1640 also saw the press issue two other tracts. Lord Bishops, None of the Lords Bishops again attacked the church’s government, reflecting arguments of Englands Complaint, in particular the claim that the New Testament episkopos was functionally the same as a presbyter, that is, the minister of a single congregation. As in Englands Complaint, it was asserted that “between the Prelates, and between their Ceremonies, the Church of England, and her Discipline is become Antichristian.” In terms nearly identical to Englands Complaint, the author defended the puritan triumvirate, suggesting parliament should review whether they had stood “to defend their ancient Rights and Liberties and those good Laws of the Land, which as the Ligatures doe bind . . . the King and his Subjects together: and which both Prince and People are bound by mutuall Covenant, and Sacred Oath to maintaine.”86 While the book was anonymous, William Lamont has persuasively argued that its author was Henry Burton.87 November also saw the release of the press’s third pamphlet under the “Margery Mar-Prelate” imprint. Vox Borealis, or the Northern Discoverie was a fictive dialogue between two Scots, Jamie and Willie (Figure 15.1). The work opened with a doggerel verse placing the pamphlet and the secret press in a genealogy of anti-episcopal satire: “Martin-Mar-Prelat was a bonny Lad, / His brave adventures made the Prelats mad: / Though he be dead, yet he hath left behind / A Generation of the Martin kind. / Yea, there’s a certaine aged bonny Lasse, / As well as he; that brings Exploits to passe; / Tell not the Bishops, and you t’know her Name, / Margery Mar-Prelat, of renowed fame.” The dialogue borrowed conventions from ­newsletters, stage plays, and verse libels to lampoon bishops, papists, and despised courtiers, while defending the Scots. It was electric with menace, invoking images of the “Hempen Halter” and the “Gallowes” awaiting prelates and their friends.88 In this, the tract reflected a widespread sense that the parliament brought a moment of purgative political retribution. The same mood swiftly carried first Laud, then Wentworth and a number of other Caroline advisors to prison or exile after the start of the session. Vox Borealis also offers an essential clue about the press’s operators. This was not the last time Marprelate was invoked: in 1645, the Leveller Richard Overton 86  Lord Bishops, None of the Lords Bishops (1640), sigs. A3r, C3v, D3v, K4r. 87  W. Lamont, “Prynne, Burton, and the Puritan Triumph,” HL Quarterly, 27 (1964), 103–13. 88  Vox Borealis, or the Northern Discoverie (1640), sig. A2v, A4v, B2r; the imprint gave “the yeare coming on, 1641,” but “Novemb: 1640” is written on BL, 1104.b.37.

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adopted the persona of “Martin Mar-Priest,” the fictional hero of a series of tolerationist tracts. On this basis, a tradition of scholarship has identified Overton as the likely author of Vox Borealis; more recently, extending this logic, David Adams hypothesized that Overton was involved in the operations of the secret press that printed Vox Borealis.89 The attribution of the tract to Overton is plausible, and his link to the “Margery Mar-Prelate Press” of 1640 is beyond reasonable doubt, as will be shown below on the basis of independent textual and physical evidence. Overton landed in the world of surreptitious print through the extended network of Anglo-Dutch religious refugees. He was probably the Richard Overton who matriculated at Cambridge in 1631.90 He left without a degree, evidently disaffected with Laud’s church, and soon fled to Amsterdam. Here, at some stage before 1641, he made contact with the Mennonites, and offered up a Latin confession of faith, referring to himself as “lately of the Church of England”; having renounced its errors, he sought baptism and entry to the Waterlanders’ church.91 This places Overton in Amsterdam, where materials for the Margery Mar-Prelate Press were acquired. It is not unreasonable to surmise that he was involved in the enterprise from its inception. By October 1640, when the “Margery” imprint was first used, his hand was certainly at work. In the following weeks, the press extended its push for sweeping reformation, producing tracts by Henry Burton and the silenced ministers Lewes Hughes and George Walker.92 Kinship with the Marprelate enterprise was solidified by reissuing the Martinist piece, A Dialogue. Wherin is Plainly Layd open the Tyrannicall Dealing of Lord Bishops against Gods Children, first published at the height of the Marprelate controversy in 1589. The title page noted that it was “Reprinted in the time of Parliament.” The press soon issued a second tract “Printed in the time of Parliament.”93 This points to an important aspect of the secret press’s imagined function, helping to make sense of the broader “explosion” of print from 1640. For reasons historians have yet to explain, there emerged in certain circles during the unsettled parliaments of the 1620s a belief that rules governing press licensing were suspended during “a Parliament-time (when the press is open to all comers).”94 89  D. Wolfe, “Unsigned Pamphlets of Richard Overton: 1641–1649,” HL Quarterly, 21 (1957–8), 167–8, 178–9; M. Gimelfarb-Brack, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, Justice!: La vie et l’oeuvre de Richard Overton, Niveleur (Berne, 1979), 120–6, 432–3; D. R. Adams, “Religion and Reason in the Thought of Richard Overton, the Leveller” (PhD diss., Cambridge University, 2003). 90  Alum. Cant., 3:289; M. Heinemann, “Popular Drama and Leveller Style–Richard Overton and John Harris,” in M. Cornforth, Rebels and their Causes: Essays in Honour of A.L. Morton (London, 1978), 69–92; N. McDowell, “Latin Drama and Leveller Ideas: Pedagogy and Power in the Writings of Richard Overton,” The Seventeenth Century, 18 (2003), 230–51. 91  Burrage, 2:216–18, positing a date of 1615. Overton’s claim to be “lately of the Church of England” (“nuper Anglicanae Ecclesiae”) puts the confession before 1641, when he openly published fiercely anti-episcopal books in London. 92  H. Burton, Jesu-Worship Confuted (1640); L. Hughes, Certaine Grievances Well Worthy the Serious Consideration of . . . Parliament (1640); a copy of the latter bears an MS note “Janu: 13. 1640.” HL, RB 20871; [G. Walker,] A Sermon Preached in London by a Faithfull Minister Of Christ (1641). 93  A Dialogue. Wherin is Plainly Layd open the Tyrannicall Dealing of Lord Bishops (1640), t.p.; L.F., A Speedy Remedie against Spirituall Incontinencie (1640), t.p. 94 P. Heylyn, Cyprianus Anglicus (1671), 148, cited by J. Peacey, Politicians and Pamphleteers: Propaganda During the English Civil Wars and Interregnum (Aldershot, 2004), 330, who first noted this

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The logic here may be hypothetically reconstructed: the convention of parliament was a moment when the virtual nation, represented by MPs, assembled as the king’s great council, to give the crown advice and to transmit the kingdom’s grievances. This function, sharpened by fashionable classical concepts of parrhesia, undergirded the parliamentary principle of free speech, well established by James I’s reign. MPs had to be free from retribution to provide frank counsel. So, likewise, during this pivotal moment subjects needed freedom to report grievances and to petition for redress. The notion that the press should be open during parliament seems to have extended and combined the logic of these two principles—parliamentary free speech and a presumed privilege of free petition. Just as MPs needed to offer honest advice to the king, so the press needed to be unrestrained to allow “free informations” about the commonwealth during the key period of contact between monarch and country.95 The use of the formula “Printed in the time of Parliament” hints that the MarPrelate operators grasped and sheltered behind this principle. How many publishers and authors shared this conviction is unclear, but certainly, as soon as the Long Parliament convened, a flood of unlicensed books spilled from city presses. This was partly a result of the retreat of the licensing authorities, but it perhaps also flowed from belief among some that parliament intended to shield publishers and writers from punishment. Without question, the idea that the press should be unfettered “in the time of Parliament” was well formed by mid-1641, and thereafter it became an article of faith among more radical parliamentarians, particularly in Overton’s circle. As the Long Parliament became a semi-permanent fixture, the principle provided a pathway into more expansive arguments for press freedom as an essential instrument of public welfare at all times.96 The claim that the press should be free in parliament-time was the indispensable genetic precursor to more familiar, universal claims regarding free speech and freedom of the press. TOTA L S E PA R AT I O N , “ I N D E P E N D E N T C H U RC H E S ,” A N D T H E L I M I T S O F M A G I S T E R I A L C O E RC I O N Late in 1640, the Margery Mar-Prelate Press put out a series of separatist tracts. Information for the Ignorant, penned by “N.E.,” and A Speedy Remedie against Spirituall Incontinencie, by “L.F.,” argued for the irremediable pollution of the English church; but both were also products of older disputes over whether any communion with  the establishment was permissible. These questions bedeviled London’s move; in the Histriomastix case, Michael Sparke, Prynne’s publisher, allegedly claimed “he would and durst Print any thing in time of Parliament”; [T. Frankland,] The Annals of King James and King Charles the First (1681), 447; see also A. Leighton, An Epitome or Briefe Discoverie (1646), 13. 95  A Pearle in a Dounghill (1646), 3; for parrhesia and parliamentary free speech, see D. Colclough, Freedom of Speech in Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 2005). See also D. Como, “The Origins of the Concept of Freedom of the Press” (forthcoming). 96  See Chapters 3, 10, 11, and 13. R. Martin, The Free and Open Press: The Founding of American Democratic Press Liberty, 1640–1800 (New York, 2001), 16–25, first noted this species of argument for the later 1640s.

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“Jacob church” from the 1620s, leading to a series of defections, in which radicalized members, such as Samuel How, abandoned “semi-separatism” for outright Brownism. Both “N.E.” and “L.F.” were advocates of the way of “Total Separation,” believing that even casual contact with the Church of England was wholly unlawful.97 Yet each emphasized not just the importance of total separation, but also the precise church form commanded by God. As N.E. put it, “Jesus Christ in his new Testament never instituded no Nationall nor Provinciall, nor no universall Church, which then must needs have universall Officers, but only particular churches, or Congregations, many of which may be in one Kingdome or Province.” There were no legitimate national churches. There were only particular congregations, “all of them independent bodies,” “having all administeriall power within themselves, depending upon none.” A crucial touchstone of the true church was its autonomy. This independence also reached to the temporal sphere, for God’s true churches were purely spiritual, obeying Christ alone as head, and had nothing whatever to do with the civil arm. Yet N.E. went further, allowing his claims for the independency of true churches to bleed into a generalized principle, whereby all matters of conscience were immune from civil coercion: “it is altogether sinfull, and unlawfull for any whatsoever to inflict any bodily or corporall punishment upon any for spirituall things, or matters of conscience . . . which wicked practise notwithstanding is not only used by the Diabolicall, and Satanicall Prelats here in England, but also by the Magistrates and Priests in New-England, who ungodly, wickedly, and sinfully imprison, banish, and take away mens goods, and that even for Conscience sake.”98 This deprived temporal authorities of all mechanisms for religious coercion, pointing towards arguments soon made for universal liberty of conscience. This thus gestured at budding differences among advocates of “congregational” church governance. N.E. had already identified the “New England Way,” with its fusion of church power and magisterial oversight, as a threat. News of the treatment of Hutchinson, Williams, and others had penetrated English separatist circles, leading to doubts about the New England polity, with important consequences for the understanding of church–state relations. The broader significance of this book should not be dismissed—the initials N.E. represented the terminal letters of John’s Lilburne’s name, as he spelled it, and Lilburne indeed later claimed that he wrote Information for the Ignorant.99 This self-attribution is beyond doubt: the tract duplicated material from Lilburne’s manuscript prison writings, which were not published until years later.100 In the same weeks, the press also printed Lilburne’s A Coppy of a Letter written by John Lilburne. Close Prisoner in the Wards of the Fleet. This pamphlet bore none of the press’s incriminating ornaments, but it 97 N.E., Information for the Ignorant (1640), sig. B3v; L.F., Speedy Remedie, 11, 27. 98 N.E., Information, sig. B4r–v. 99  J. Lilburne, The Innocent Man’s second-Proffer (1649), lists “An Information for the Ignorant” among his early works. 100  J. Lilburne, An Answer to Nine Arguments. Written by T.B. (1645), 38, printing an MS Lilburne wrote in 1638: Christ “in the new Testament did never institute no nationall Ch. nor left Lawes, nor Officers for the governing thereof, but the Church that he instituted, are free and independent bodies, or Congregations depending upon none but only upon Christ their Head”; cf. N.E., Information, sig. B4r, quoted above.

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used a typeface of identical size and appearance, and the handful of broken letters in the body of the text are all visible in verifiable works of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, proving irrefutably that it was indeed produced by the secret press (Appendix 1).101 The press thus produced two works by the separatist star, Lilburne. L.F., the author of A Speedy Remedie, did not dwell on knotty questions of ­magisterial jurisdiction, and at one point he criticized both N.E. and Samuel How for doting on the unmediated power of the spirit.102 But L.F. agreed with Lilburne on “Total Separation” and church order: “onely . . . the Separated . . . independent, spirituall particular politicke bodies or Corporation Churches, are true.” The author also recognized the disjuncture with other reformed churches, dismissing “the Presbyterians” as “Antichristian.”103 L.F. insisted that the “Civill Corporation . . . is the divine patterne and platforme of Christs Church.” Like urban corporations, chartered by earthly kings, churches were spiritual corporations, chartered by Christ; their members were gathered by “mutuall covenant with their King Christ Jesus, and one with another.” Civil government, then, provided the explicit model for the true church. This easy slippage between the temporal and spiritual domains, in which language and concepts of secular government were used to describe the church, offered a glimpse of why adherents of congregational forms tended to be more comfortable than others with political solutions that embraced dispersed, ascending modes of civil authority. In L.F.’s view, the evidence of scripture proved “every such true Church to be a free and perfect State.” Each congregation was an “Independant Church,” instituted by “mutuall covenant,” composed of a “free and willing people,” with all officers “freely chosen” and duly elected by members.104 Christ may have been king, but the free states composing his monarchy were p ­ olities characterized by autonomy, voluntary consent, and self-governance. Moreover, in owning the label “independent,” first used by the “congregationalist” Jacob, both L.F. and N.E. aggressively appropriated the nomenclature for themselves, paving the way for the adoption of the labels “independents” and “independency,” soon to be the most important new party epithets of the era. J O H N A RC H E R A N D T H E M I L L E N N I U M One of the last books executed by the press was perhaps its most influential—John Archer’s The Personall Raigne of Christ upon Earth. Archer, as we have seen, had gone from a lectureship in London to the vicarage of All Saints, Hertford, and finally to the pastorate of a gathered church at Arnhem. In 1639 he died, leaving a corpus of manuscript writings. The first of these posthumous works to see light was The Personall Raigne, published, without author’s name, by the Margery ­Mar-Prelate Press in early 1641. Archer offered a blueprint for Christians seeking 101  A separate edition, printed by a different press, also survives: Bod. L., Firth e.59(1). 102 L.F., Speedy Remedie, 34–7. 103 L.F., Speedy Remedie, 54, sig. H3r. 104 L.F., Speedy Remedie, 47, 62, 64, sigs. H3r–H4r. For congregationalism and republicanism, see M. Winship, Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and City on a Hill (Cambridge, MA, 2012).

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to understand the end times. His book revealed an overt millenarianism: the ­thousand-year kingdom of Revelation referred to a future reign of the saints on earth. This line of thought was relatively new to England, having been popularized by Thomas Brightman’s 1609 book on Revelation. But it has been argued that, prior to the 1640s, open millenarianism remained rare, even among nonconformist extremists.105 Archer’s book helped to change this, bringing millenarianism to a mass audience. Archer argued that Christ’s imminent return would begin the Fifth Monarchy, a thousand-year period culminating in the Last Judgment. Christ would descend to earth, subjecting all temporal rulers: “The high ones, that is, the Kings, and their Monarchies, shall fall before the Lord.” The righteous would rise from the grave, and Christ would erect his universal kingdom, to be governed “not by tyranny, oppression, and sensually, but with honour, peace, riches.” Christ would then return to heaven, leaving the saints to rule a kingdom purged of most unbelievers. This period of peace and long life was a kind of halfway house on the road to full heavenly glory. In the last days of his millennial kingdom, Christ would return, inaugurating the “generall time of judgment” and the end of the world. Crucially, the millennial kingdom was expected within the lifetimes of Archer’s readers: the 1650s would bring the Jews’ conversion, and around 1666 antichrist’s decline would begin. The conflict with the beast would end around 1700, when Christ would personally return.106 Archer offered these meditations as plausible hypotheses rather than fixed predictions. But his analysis insisted that the world was on the brink of a glorious transformation, initiating a literal kingdom of Christ on earth. This vision had several important corollaries: first, it suggested imminent cosmic change, in which great alterations, involving the toppling of antichrist, were in the offing. Second, in this phase mysteries of faith would be unveiled: the beginning of antichrist’s fall  would bring “the Revelation of Gods Truth and Worship more clearely then . . . before, and so a state of greater Light and puritie of Worship.” This belief in an imminent period of new revelation and “greater Light” would be endemic in the 1640s. Third, however, Christ’s irruption would remake temporal government: in the years before 1666, “all Princes shall fall by degrees to tyrannie and oppression, and enslaving their Subjects.” But “Christ having a purpose to swallow up all Kingly power, he will wearie the World of it . . . and when all the World groanes under tyranny and oppression of Kings, then will he come and throw downe all their Thrones, and erect his owne onely, who alone is fit to rule the World Monarchically.”107 The prognosis for the kings of the earth—especially aspiring tyrants—was not optimistic. 105  T. D. Bozeman, To Live Ancient Lives: The Primitivist Dimension in Puritanism (Chapel Hill, 1988), 193–236. For apocalypticism, see P. Christianson, Reformers and Babylon: English Apocalyptic Visions from the Reformation to the Eve of the Civil War (Toronto, 1978); C. Gribben, The Puritan Millennium: Literature and Theology, 1550–1682 (Dublin, 2000); J. Jue, Heaven upon Earth: Joseph Mede (1686–1638) and the Legacy of Millenarianism (Dordrecht, 2006). 106  [J. Archer,] The Personall Raigne of Christ upon Earth (1641), 3, 12, 16–24, 36–7, 48–9, 52–6. 107  Personall Raigne, 53, 57.

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In Bernard Capp’s view, these words constituted a “true revolutionary voice.” Many found the siren song irresistible. Archer’s book was republished three times in the following two years, then repeatedly in the 1660s, and its influence can be traced throughout the period, not least among so-called “Fifth Monarchists,” who were deeply affected by it.108 While its direct influence should not be underestimated, Archer’s tract illustrates a broader efflorescence of apocalyptic writing and thought, much of it overtly millenarian, which flared in the 1640s. These works often diverged wildly in specifics, but many shared features of Archer’s treatise— hopes of imminent change, often accompanied by cosmic conflict; expectations of transformative “new light” in spiritual matters; and predictions of massive upheavals in human government, typically tinged with a sense that God was coming to p ­ urify the temporal domain as well as the spiritual. These inchoate expectations suffused parliamentarian discourse, helping to shape the political and social visions explored in this study. Sometimes these hopes continued to be attached to specific prophecies of Christ’s direct rule, as with Fifth Monarchists; yet these expectations at times became detached from any discrete eschatological blueprint, fostering a general mood of anticipation of new spiritual truths and profound changes in human government. Although shared by many people, including presbyterians, millenarian expectation was particularly acute among congregationalists, such as Archer and his Arnhem co-pastor Thomas Goodwin, and other species of “independents”— separatists, baptists, and sectaries.109 Here, at the godly periphery, an apocalyptic ambience loosened strictures of tradition and orthodoxy, authorizing visions of change and discontinuity that would shake the polity to its core. T H E E N D O F T H E M A RG E RY M A R - P R E L AT E P R E S S The Margery Mar-Prelate Press was abetted in producing this stream of adventurous texts by the Long Parliament, which at first allowed a near total abandonment of press censorship. While some works continued to be approved by licensers, hundreds surged into print with no oversight. This relative free-for-all persisted into early 1641. In late February, a reaction began, prompted by more conservative elements in the upper house, and aided by leading stationers, who sought to cement their monopoly. This resistance to unrestrained printing gathered momentum, rising alongside tensions at Westminster. Not surprisingly, the Margery ­Mar-Prelate Press was the first notable casualty. On March 1, 1641, the House of Lords heard that the charges against Strafford had been printed without authorization. Stationers’ Company officials were s­ ummoned 108  B. Capp, “The Political Dimension of Apocalyptic Thought,” in C. A. Patrides and J. Wittreich, eds., The Apocalypse in English Renaissance Thought and Literature (Ithaca, 1984), 110; B. Capp, The Fifth Monarchy Men (London, 1972), 46; W. Johnston, Revelation Restored: The Apocalypse in Later Seventeenth-Century England (Woodbridge, 2011), 41. 109 C. Gribben, “The Church of Scotland and the English Apocalyptic Imagination,” Scottish Historical Review, 88 (2009), 51–2; M. Bell, Apocalypse How? Baptist Movements during the English Revolution (Macon, GA, 2000).

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to answer for it. Company leaders used this to launch a general sortie against unlicensed publication. When they appeared on March 4, they brought a long list of offenders. Singled out for particular opprobrium were Thomas Paine and Matthew Simmons, printers who had executed a stream of obnoxious publications. Also prominent on the list, however, were interloping publishers, who had violated the company monopoly. The worst culprit was Henry Walker, an ironmonger turned religious writer, who issued numerous anti-episcopal pamphlets without license. Walker was emerging as a central puritan publicist in London; his case will be explored in Chapter 4.110 Also targeted was a second interloper. The bookseller Richard Lownes deposed that “that John welles of moore fields did printe the answere to my Lo: of Cant booke against Fisher, and that he receaved 80 li. By those bookes, And that he likewise printed the Answere to the Cannons.”111 Lownes was clearly alluding to Burton’s Replie to a Relation and Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ against the Bishops Canons, both identified by modern bibliographers as products of the London secret press, adding credibility to his information. The accused, John Wells, was a shadowy figure. A Sussex youth of this name was apprenticed to the bookseller Francis Grove in 1633, but failed to receive his freedom, and it is possible that this young man, disenfranchised and underemployed, set up as a publisher in Moorfields, becoming entangled in the world of clandestine print.112 Wells’s involvement with the Margery Mar-Prelate Press must remain speculative, but, as shown below, he undoubtedly emerged as a publisher of highly controversial material in these months, lending credence to the charge. Goaded by the stationers—who also urged parliament to confirm their power to “search and seize” unlicensed books—the peers formed an investigative committee, and several offenders, including Paine, were summoned. In the end, although some lords tried to give the stationers reinvigorated police power, the house agreed only to call three of the worst offenders for “exemplary Punishment,” including Wells and Walker. Walker admitted to dispersing pamphlets, and Wells likewise “confessed the publishing of divers Books.” The two were jailed in the Fleet, but they were quickly freed, and despite the stern warnings of the Lords the affair ­suggested that there remained too much political resistance and dissonance to reimpose a rigorous regime of censorship.113 Nevertheless, in the next weeks, signs emerged of a more concerted will to tackle the new print anarchy. On May 3, 1641, the lords learned that “the Company of Stationers have discovered a secrete presse under grounde, and printe what they please, and when the stationers come to search for them the[y] shutt the doores 110  LJ 4:174–6; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/53 (Mar. 4, 1641). 111  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/53 (Mar. 4, 1641). 112 McKenzie, SCA, 76. The publisher was possibly not Grove’s man. Records for St. Giles Cripplegate, the parish encompassing most of Moorfields, 1641–5, show one John Wells (a barbersurgeon): LMA, P69/GIS/A/002/MS06419/003, fols. 96r, 109v, 134r. He was perhaps the citizen barber-surgeon John Wells: LMA, DL/A/D/002/MS10091/015, fol. 44r. 113  LJ 4:175–6, 182, 186; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/5/9, 132, 147. See also M. Mendle, “De Facto Freedom, De Facto Authority: Press and Parliament, 1640–1643,” HJ, 38 (1995), 314–18.

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upon them.” The peers ordered a JP and the stationers to go to “a House near Bunnhill, in Finsebury Fields; and to let the Master of the said House know, that it is informed that there is private Printing-press going in his House or Cellar; and to command them to let the said Stationers see whether any such Press be there.” The press in question was surely the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. This raid evidently killed the operation, for it abruptly ceased activity in 1641.114 When seized, the press was possibly producing its final book, William Prynne’s The Antipathie of the English Lordly Prelacie, both to Regall Monarchy, and Civill Unity. As Prynne explained, he assembled these papers against the bishops while jailed on Jersey, passing them to “another persecuted Gentleman, who . . . carried them beyond the Seas, where they were preserved till after my late returne from Exile . . . and not many moneths since . . . were unexpectedly returned to my hands in safety, whiles the businesse of Episcopacy was in agitation” before parliament, that is, in early 1641. Obviously, the manuscript had been returned to him in England, and he now resorted to the secret press in London to print his work. However, only the first portion of the body of the text (quires B through N) was executed by the press, and then only in certain copies. The second part of the book was printed entirely on a different press.115 Although this sort of composite printing was common, in this case the discontinuity was likely the result of disruption by the authorities. A newsletter written soon after confirms this picture. Reporting on events of June 8, 1641, the author noted that, “Not long agoe,” The Antipathie of the English Lordly Prelacie had been “suppressed in the Presse,” and an offensive passage in its preface “shewen his Majesty who tooke great displeasure at it.”116 Prynne and his friends were apparently able to override royal doubts, and in July the book received an imprimatur from parliament, and its publication proceeded.117 Presumably, seized sheets from the secret press were restored to Prynne and his publisher Michael Sparke. But with the Margery Mar-Prelate Press out of commission, another printer was needed to complete the book. The press itself was now in the hands of the Stationers’ Company. T H E A F T E R L I F E O F T H E P R E S S : R I C H A R D OV E RTO N , PETER COLE, BENJAMIN ALLEN To assemble the final pieces of the puzzle of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, it is necessary to jump forward in time. Perhaps uneasy over their legal right to destroy others’ property, the stationers apparently held the press for nearly two years. After the start of the war, a deal was made with its “owner,” allowing for its transfer to 114  PA, BRY/18, fol. 53r; LJ 4:232. 115  W. Prynne, The Antipathie of the English Lordly Prelacie (1641), sigs. ¶4v, ¶¶¶4r; for a copy from the secret press, see BL, 854.c.2; for a copy wholly by other printers, see HL, RB 57544. 116  BL, Sloane MS. 1467, fols. 94v–95r; W. Prynne, The Second Part of the Antipathie of the English Lordly Prelacie (1641), sigs. bv–b2v. 117  SR, 1:27.

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a free stationer. On March 1, 1643, the Stationers’ Company court book recorded that “The Presse and Letter which was taken in Bell alley over against Finsbury is by order of Court to be delivered to Peter Cole for Richard Overton the owner thereof and the said Peter Cole then engaged himselfe upon his Creditt and honesty that the said Presse should not be used in a disorderly way.”118 This was surely the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. The Lords’ order of May 3, 1641 placed the secret press in a house “near Bunnhill, in Finsebury Fields,” while the stationers claimed the seizure took place in “Bell alley over against Finsbury.” Bell Alley was a passage off Golding Lane, a five-minute walk from Bunhill, within Finsbury manor.119 The location thus closely matches the site mentioned in the Lords’ order. Crucially, the stationers’ evidence dissolves all doubt about Richard Overton’s involvement. Whether or not the press had been backed by a consortium, when it was seized, it was regarded as Overton’s property. For further confirmation, we need to turn to Peter Cole, Overton’s trustee. Cole had been an apprentice with Benjamin Allen under the stationer John Bellamy, the early congregationalist, and, as with Allen, the godly atmosphere of the household affected young Cole. When Cole began trading as a bookseller in 1637, his first known publication was undertaken in partnership with Allen.120 By the early 1640s, Cole had become a separatist sympathizer, who confessed that he seriously considered joining “a Church of Brownists.”121 It is thus no shock to find him partnered with Overton in gathering up the remains of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. The link between Overton and Cole endured into 1644, as we will see. Important, for present purposes, is that Cole, previously a bookseller, in mid-1643 took up as a printer, using Overton’s press and perhaps acquiring another. From June 1643, Cole began to issue tracts with the damaged initial letters used first by Veseler and Stam, then by the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. Along with the press itself, some of the printers’ materials used were thus transferred to Cole; indeed, Cole deployed several of these ornaments into the 1660s.122 There can be no question here—the ornaments under consideration bear clear imperfections and cracks, identifying them with certainty as the same physical objects employed by the secret press in 1640 (Figures 2.2, 7.1, 15.1). Moreover, this lifts any doubt that the ornaments were being used in England: their presence in books printed by and for Cole 118  Stat. Co., Court Book C, Mar. 1, 1642/3, fol. 187v (McKenzie and Bell, LBT, 1:84). 119  For “Bell Alley in Goldinglane” see LMA, P69/GIS/A/002/MS06419/003, fol. 56v; The Witch of Wapping (1652), 7; for Bunhill, in Finsbury Fields, opening into “The Alley Leading into Goulding Lane,” see J. R. Sewell, The Artillery Ground and Fields in Finsbury: Two Maps of 1641 and 1705. Publications of the London Topographical Society, 120 (1977), plate I. Golding Lane was in Finsbury manor: LMA, CLC/313/L/F/014/MS25632, fol. 61r. 120  W. Clowes, A Profitable and Necessarie Booke of Observations (1637), STC 5445.7. 121  Gangraena, 1:111–12. 122  Mr. Challenor his Confession and Speech (Printed by Peter Cole, 1643), 1; S. Simpson, A Sermon Preached at Westminster before Sundry of the House of Commons (Printed for Peter Cole, 1643), sig. ¶r, 1; W. Spurstowe, Englands Patterne and Duty in it’s Monthly Fasts (Printed for Peter Cole, 1643), sig. ¶2r, 1; J. Burroughs, Gospel-worship (Printed for Peter Cole and R.W., 1647), 1; P. Sterry, The Way of God with his People (Printed by Peter Cole, 1657), unfol.; N. Culpeper, Galen’s Art of Physick (Printed by Peter Cole, 1662), 1.

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in London in 1643 renders it certain that the press known by previous generations as the “Cloppenburg Press” ended its life on English soil. Cole’s absorption of these printing materials did not sever his ties with Overton, and in early 1644 Overton used Cole’s print house, and one of the offending ornaments, to produce his famous book, Mans Mortallitie, an event detailed below. Moreover, when his relationship with Cole ended, Overton still had access to the  “Margery Mar-Prelate” ornaments, and absconded with at least one of the ­arabesque letters, using it in his own secret printing operation in 1646. It is uncertain how Overton came into contact with Cole. The most plausible intermediary was, however, Benjamin Allen, who offers a second glimpse of the afterlife of the Margery Mar-Prelate enterprise. In 1642, Allen acquired remaining, unsold sheets of John Archer’s Personall Raigne of Christ, printed by the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. He slapped a new singleton title page onto the old Margery Mar-Prelate copies, with his own imprint and the author’s name (incorrectly given as “Henry Archer”).123 Allen swiftly sold out the remaindered books; later in 1642, he published two more editions (with Archer’s name corrected), followed by a fourth in 1643.124 That Allen swept up leftover copies of one of the last works of the Mar-Prelate operation suggests he may have been involved in the enterprise from the start. As a fulcrum in the Anglo-Dutch smuggling network of the 1630s, and a puritan stationer of “independent” proclivity, he was just the sort of man who might have brokered the acquisition of printing materials from the Low Countries, before helping to distribute the output. His ties to the press’s operators, along with the earlier acquisition of Stam’s printer’s ornaments, hint at the direct continuity between the Margery Mar-Prelate Press and the Anglo-Dutch underground network examined in Chapter 1. C I RC U L AT I O N , R E A D E R S H I P, A N D R E C E P T I O N Intellectual historians and historians of print are often faced with variations of the same challenge. Books and ideas may have been produced, but it is often difficult to measure their influence or to gauge readership. Fortunately, in the case of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, substantive evidence survives to allow for conclusions about circulation, pricing, and readership. This in turn permits indirect conclusions regarding demand and influence. Beyond the peddler “Mr Guard”—who supposedly sold tracts from a sack— nothing is known of how the books were retailed. As we will see in subsequent chapters, however, unlicensed books were distributed through multiple channels, often simultaneously. Itinerant peddling, like that of Guard, adapted longstanding practices of ballad hawking, and its peripatetic, informal nature made it an attractive 123  Henry Archer, The Personall Reign of Christ upon Earth (1642). Wing A3615. 124  Wing A3616, A3617, A3618. Similarly, unsold copies of A Dialogue. Wherin is Plainly Layd open the Tyrannicall Dealing of the Lord Bishops were reissued with a cancel title page as The Character of a Puritan (1643). Wing C1987.

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way of vending illicit books. In some later cases, private individuals who were not stationers also became nodes of clandestine distribution, using shops or homes to arrange sales with (presumably) trusted clients. But, as before 1640, the chief sites of distribution were apparently the bookshops of legitimate stationers, who often sold unlicensed works alongside their authorized stock, although likely with some circumspection and subterfuge. In whatever manner they were retailed, Margery Mar-Prelate’s books were widely available in the city. On January 13, 1641, a reader with the initials “A.A.” obtained the press’s edition of Lewes Hughes’s attack on the prayer book.125 “A.A.” was a voracious consumer: many civil-war pamphlets with his initials survive today, often bearing information about date and cost, strongly suggesting that he was based in London.126 In this case, “A.A.” recorded the price of 6 pence he paid for this pamphlet of two and a half sheets. This was a steep price for a work of this length: unbound books during this period typically fetched 1d. or less per sheet.127 “A.A.” thus paid a premium in excess of 100 percent to obtain this illicit book. Similarly, Samuel Hartlib paid 6d. for The Intentions of the Armie of the Kingdome of Scotland, roughly treble the usual market price for a licensed quarto of two sheets.128 From this, we can make two indirect observations. First, the Margery MarPrelate Press was potentially very lucrative. Crude calculations suggest that, given standard pricing for paper and labor, Hughes’s attack on the liturgy retailed for more than eight times its production cost.129 This does not account for overhead and hidden surcharges that might have attended a furtive print operation, but it seems clear that someone (perhaps everyone) in the supply chain was making windfall profits. It is no surprise that Mr. Guard’s cloak was “lined with a great broade gold lace.” Some of the profits were perhaps used to disperse free copies, to  fund the next round of books, or to repay the syndicate allegedly backing the operation. Second, the pamphlets could fetch such high prices only because there existed heavy demand. The forbidden nature of the books, their unabashed topicality, and the risky conditions of sale ensured that consumers were willing to pay unusually high prices. This “price premium” for unlicensed books did not last long into the 125  HL, RB 20871. 126  Newberry Library, Case J 5453.2669 1645–1648; Folger Shakespeare Library, S481, S494, U41, V5, 154–114q, 154–001q, 154–014q, 154–073q, 154–092q, 150–167q (the last three he obtained the day Thomason got copies in London, suggesting site of purchase; others were mostly bought within a week of Thomason). 127  SP 16/478, fol. 26v: in 1640/1, B. Jonson, Ben: Jonson’s Execration against Vulcan (1640), seven sheets, sold for 6d.; Ovid’s Banquet of Sence (1639), four sheets, sold for 4d.; Bod. L., Pam. C 44 (6), #38, t.p. The Replication of Mr. Glynn, April 1641, two and a half sheets, sold for 2d. 128 Sheffield University Library, Hartlib Papers, 23/3/7A, in M. Greengrass, M. Leslie, and M. Hannon, The Hartlib Papers (Sheffield: HRI Online Publications, 2013), https://www.dhi.ac.uk/ hartlib/view?shelf=23%2F3%2F7. This assumes he bought Margery’s edition (likely but uncertain). 129  P. Blayney, “The Publication of Playbooks,” in J. Cox and D. Kastan, eds., A New History of Early English Drama (New York, 1997), 405–11, suggesting a cost of 0.25d. to produce a quarto sheet; Peacey, Public Politics, 244–6, shows civil-war printers charged 0.1d. to 0.36d. per quarto sheet (with real production cost lower, as this included printers’ profit). At 0.23d. per sheet, 1,000 copies of Hughes’s book (rounded up to 3 sheets), would have cost 690d., to produce; if all 1,000 copies retailed at A.A.’s price of 6d., the edition would have fetched 6,000d. (£25).

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1640s. As the novelty of unlicensed printing faded, unauthorized books, even those from secret presses, in many cases ceased to command exorbitant prices. In 1640–1, however, the Margery Mar-Prelate operation remained unusual in its ­output and production techniques. Angry English subjects, eager for the messages promoted in these pamphlets, were willing to pay generously to obtain them. Other cases likewise suggest that the books were coveted in London, despite their cost. The Martinist tract A Dialogue was acquired by John Middlemore, a city merchant.130 Another wealthy London trader, Walter Boothby, similarly signed his copy of Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ.131 As Paul Seaver has shown, Nehemiah Wallington, the London turner, also obtained Englands Complaint. Wallington copied in his commonplace book one of the tract’s most incendiary passages, extolling resistance to tyrannical monarchs who violated covenants with the people.132 Yet the books circulated beyond London. The most striking example derives from Henry Oxinden, gentleman of Barham in Kent. Oxinden was enthralled by the radical literature streaming from the clandestine press. In 1640–1, he received from London no fewer than seven of the nineteen Margery Mar-Prelate tracts; he scrupulously copied notes from them, including portions of Vox Borealis and Englands Complaint. Like Wallington, Oxinden gravitated towards the most inflammatory passages in Englands Complaint, reproducing fragments arguing against Turkish tyranny and in favor of inviolable covenants between kings and people.133 In the cases of Wallington and Oxinden, both strong parliamentarians, eagerness to copy these materials, together with knowledge of later politico-religious commitments, suggest they were sympathetic readers. This was not always the case. Early modern buyers avidly consumed works with which they disagreed. This was likely so for one reader, a learned Lincolnshire puritan, whose commonplace book survives in the Hertfordshire Archives. This reader copied attacks on Arminianism, set forms of prayer, and the etcetera oath, while also recording sermons preached in late 1640 by godly clerics in the county, before he traveled to London. In the same pages, the diarist noted that he had “Lent to mr Wallis at London the Coblers sermon,” clearly referring to Samuel How’s The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching.134 It is doubtful that the owner, a mainstream puritan of Calvinist leanings, embraced How’s conclusions. But that the book reached this Lincolnshire saint, and that it was traded in circles stretching between the East Midlands and London, hints at the way the tracts spread outward and at the frisson of interest created by their ­forbidden content. 130  Middlemore’s copy was sold privately (2009). For title page, with signature, see https://web. archive.org/web/20160702141519/https://history.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/middlemore_ marprelate_0.pdf. The signature matches the merchant’s: TNA, PROB 10/680, “John Middlemore.” 131  W. A. Clark Memorial Library, Pam. Coll., title page; for matching signatures, see Boothby’s journal, Bod. L., MS. Eng. c. 2693, fols. 822, 832, 852. 132  P. Seaver, Wallington’s World: A Puritan Artisan in Seventeenth-Century London (Stanford, 1985), 161–2; BL, Add. MS. 21935, fols. 11v–15v. 133  “Henry Oxinden,” ODNB; BL, Add. MS. 28000, fol. 283r; BL, Add. MS. 28011, fols. 50–3, 56–7, 98r, 99r. 134  Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, D/EP F11, unpag.

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If Margery’s books circulated across a wide geographical and social spectrum, the texts also traveled in more traditional networks of radical puritan distribution that had anchored the dispersion of controversial works in the 1630s. Striking evidence for this survives in one extant copy of Vox Borealis. On its final page, the pamphlet bears a handwritten note, “At Lun vahue 5 miles south west of Chepstow Mr Roth minister of the place,” with a list of staging posts—Reading, Newbury, Marlborough, Chippenham, Chipping Sodbury, Aust Ferry, Chepstow—on the way from London to William Wroth’s village of Llanvaches.135 These are evidently postal directions, designed to dispatch Vox Borealis to the “Apostle of Wales” and his gathered flock. Whether it arrived at its destination is unknown, but the note, scrawled before Wroth’s death in 1641, highlights the sinews that bound London’s radical puritan community to the emerging West Country axis of South Wales and Bristol, and underscores the overlap between these communities and the distribution network surrounding the Margery Mar-Prelate venture. T H E I M PA C T O F T H E M A RG E RY M A R - P R E L AT E P R E S S The brief, spectacular life of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press served in many ways to inaugurate the pyrotechnics of civil-war print culture. To an extent, its activities represented a direct continuation of the clandestine trade examined in Chapter 1. But the press’s location in London, its close connection to pro-Scots collaborators in England, and the willingness of its operators to exploit parliament’s lax oversight all contributed to an enterprise more ambitious and effective than anything that preceded it. Particularly important were the Scots’ declarations. Raymond’s work on pamphleteering suggests that the Scottish crisis, and the effusion of pro-Scottish propaganda in England, served as the forge for the newly explosive print culture of the 1640s. The Margery Mar-Prelate Press was indispensable to the pro-Scottish propaganda blitz of 1640. Moreover, the other items printed by the press—subversive theological books, scalding attacks on the religio-political establishment, a bawdy mock newsbook, a reprint of an older, proscribed satire, works by the separatist martyr Lilburne—were materials that earlier would have been circulated in manuscript or, at best, shipped to Holland for production. The press thus offers a snapshot of the process through which a clandestine world of contraband books and illicit manuscripts of previous decades was transmuted, under the conditions of the British political crisis, into the more open, freewheeling universe of rapid-fire print propaganda of civil-war London; it offers a window onto a transitional moment, in which the boundaries of political communication were being redrawn, with lasting consequences. In the immediate context of 1640, the Margery Mar-Prelate enterprise was no less remarkable. Not only were its operators seeking to inflame a crisis that paralyzed the government and led to the invasion of England; they also exploited that crisis to insinuate their novel conceits into the public domain. The architects of the 135  Houghton Library, Harvard University, *EC65.A100.641v, sig. D2v.

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press used the crisis as an ideological platform, taking advantage of widespread disaffection to promote ideas that were deeply unconventional. Of course, the press’s output was not wholly self-consistent; there were different voices here, from How’s spiritist separatism, to the apparent parochial congregationalism of Englands Complaint, to the “erastian” presbyterianism of Prynne. Yet the core vision was clear: the existing Church of England needed to be demolished, and replaced by something wholly different—in view of most of the authors, a system of independent congregations. In promoting this vision, the pamphlets articulated motifs soon to be infectious within parliamentarian circles—including contract theory, egalitarian exaltation of the poor and lowly, arguments for total liberty of conscience, and overt millenarianism. It must be emphasized that, while such ideas were extreme and atypical, this was not a case of a sudden intrusion of alien or Scottish formulations into England. These ideas had long been gestating among forward English activists, and the crisis of 1640 merely provided an unprecedented opportunity to disseminate them abroad. The evidence of circulation suggests the project met with success. Unhappy English subjects were primed for the messages in Margery’s books. This is not to say that everyone who read them was won over to the most extreme ideas put ­forward. Reading an old Martinist dialogue did not make one a separatist. By 1643 Henry Oxinden, for instance, was willing to defend moderated episcopacy against tyrannizing presbyterianism.136 By contrast, Middlemore, Boothby, and Wallington were all by the mid-1640s presbyterian sympathizers; if exposed to the congregationalist works produced by the press, these readers were unconvinced. However, all proved to be deeply committed parliamentarians. Indeed, Middlemore, Boothby, and Wallington showed attachment to militant war-party counsels in coming years, including courses widely associated with “independency.”137 The claim is not that these individuals simply read these books and were converted. Rather, their appetite for these illicit puritan books, and their immersion in the social contexts in which such texts were circulated, signal that they were becoming ensconced in the most radical wing of parliament’s coalition. And that wing was acquiring an informal propaganda apparatus, composed of printers, writers, and distributors who would soon be rabid supporters of parliament. Yet, as with the Margery Mar-Prelate enterprise, these “para-propagandists” also frequently promoted their own visions for church and state, ones not necessarily commensurate with those embraced by the political leadership at Westminster. From the start of the crisis of 1640, this informal publicity arm was built inordinately by those at the most extreme end of the ideological spectrum—separatists and other sectaries, whose commitment to the destruction of episcopacy was total. In launching and maintaining the secret press, these activists acquired indispensable skills in manipulating public opinion and promoting c­ ontroversial causes. The most obvious offspring of the Margery Mar-Prelate operation was Richard Overton, 136  BL, Add. MS. 28000, fols. 295r–296v. 137  For Boothby, see Chapters  5 and 11; for Wallington, see Chapter  14; Middlemore was the ­largest city donor to the “General Rising” in 1643: SP 28/167, unfol.; TNA, PROB 11/201/399.

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who cut his teeth as the chief steward of the press. But others involved in the story told here—Wells, Allen, Cole, Walker, Lilburne—also imbibed the lessons learned in 1640 and early 1641. Perhaps the most important insight they reaped was that by assuming influential positions as mouthpieces for parliament’s cause, these frankly marginal figures could put their own stamp on that cause, molding it to their own ends. Of course, this influence was limited, and the epicenter of political power remained in Westminster. Those opposed to the policies of the personal rule looked for leadership to the political heavyweights of the two houses—Pym, Hampden, Warwick, Saye, and others—who drove reform in the Long Parliament. Importantly, though, these two domains cannot be separated. Even if there was no direct contact between the Margery Press and pro-Scottish grandees at Westminster, Pym’s oppositional Junto thrived off the unfettered world of print that sprang into being in 1640. This explains why the Long Parliament in its early weeks—when Pym’s circle held sway—permitted complete disruption of ecclesiastical censorship. The new environment of scurrilous anti-episcopal invective was advantageous to the political leadership. And this likewise explains why, when the Margery Press was shut down, no similar operation arose immediately to replace it. By mid-1641, propagandists were able to operate with relative impunity, using existing, legal presses. It was this permissive ambience of pro-parliamentary chauvinism, winked at and even encouraged by potentates in the two houses, which allowed more adventurous parliamentarian publishers and authors to experiment and flourish.

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3 The Rubble of Episcopacy Parliament, Religious Mobilization, and the “Generall Liberty” of the Press, 1641 Benign neglect facilitated new conditions of press openness. But this did not mean that politicians at Westminster were insulated from the material pouring into the public domain. External pressure at times shaped the tactics adopted by leaders in the two houses. Petitioning campaigns, pamphleteering, and concomitant changes in sentiment could not be ignored, particularly among those driving the movement for reform. These MPs relied on reputations as popular champions, channeling the grievances of the “country,” and they thus needed to heed the opinions of those they claimed to represent. Yet this made them vulnerable to pervasive prejudices against “popularity” and plebeian sedition. Parliament’s emerging leadership thus proved responsive to the activities of those beyond Westminster, but the shape of those responses differed: at times, leaders modified positions in the face of public pressure; at others, they adopted measures to safeguard their stature from the excesses of would-be backers; while in some cases, they entered direct, symbiotic coordination with popular supporters. This chapter and the next explore the relationship between outside pressure campaigns and the more rarefied world of parliamentary maneuver, revealing how these two realms intersected in the months before the civil war. This chapter focuses on attempts to use the press to galvanize constituencies behind different visions of religious settlement in 1641, and in turn on the ways these publicity campaigns were tightly linked to the increasingly acrimonious politics of the Long Parliament, where lords and MPs began to grapple with contested issues of church reform. In the process, there emerged within the godly reformist front a set of infant, amorphous ecclesiological groupings. On the one side, these months witnessed the public assertion of subtly different gradations of sectarian and congregationalist opinion, which came increasingly to be lumped by both friends and enemies under the rubric of “independency.” Meanwhile, there also appeared an equally fluid but self-conscious grouping, anchored by influential godly ministers, gravitating towards versions of presbyterianism. The maneuvers and squabbles of these nascent factions, exacerbated and exploited by pro-episcopal enemies of reform, erupted into parliament, producing several significant effects. First, in the course of these disputes the unregulated press freedom that characterized the early months of the Long Parliament came under challenge, resulting in pressure for the first time on a series of godly authors and publicists, and leading to the explicit articulation of a theory of press liberty in

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the time of parliament, which had been gestured at in the Margery Mar-Prelate books. Second, hard-line sectarian puritans began to canvass extreme and (for many) disturbingly radical visions that rejected the entire fabric of the church as wholly anti-Christian, while at the same time formulating visions of religious liberty as a matter of right. Finally, these rising conflicts convinced influential godly leaders that it was essential to suppress these disagreements, leading to a formal accord which, if only imperfectly and temporarily, contained internal dispute in the interests of tearing down prelacy. E P I S C O PA C Y, RO OT A N D B R A N C H , A N D T H E S E C TA R I A N C H A L L E N G E At the start of the Long Parliament, leaders of the “Junto” did not seek abolition of episcopacy. Bedford, Pym, Warwick, and their circle pursued a cautious program of reform, designed to purge the church of Laudianism and to restore bishops to their apostolic station. The leadership at Westminster, working with the clique of divines who helped organize against the canons in 1640, sought serious religious reform. But as the minister Cornelius Burges later wrote, Junto grandees did not at first seek “extirpacion of all Episcopacy; but, only to reduce it to the Primitive.” Burges claimed inside knowledge “because the manageing of that busines lay upon mee . . . before a number of Lords and Commons, with whom (by their appointment) Mr. [John] White of Dorchester, Mr. [Stephen] Marshal, Mr. [Edmund] Calamy, my self and one or two ministers more, mett twice every week, at some of their lodgings. Among them, was the . . . Earle of Warwick, the Lord Say, Lord Brook, with some other Nobles, Mr [John] Hampden, Mr [John] Pim, &c., and not one was for total abolishing of . . . any, but usurped Episcopacy.” For some (Brooke and Saye), willingness to countenance “moderated episcopacy” was largely tactical; in other cases (Bedford and Pym), it was likely sincere.1 The public upshot of these meetings was a clerical Petition and Remonstrance, presented by Burges and others to the Commons in January 1641, calling for reform in doctrine, ceremonies, and government, but not the end of episcopacy.2 This caution soon ran up against the more aggressive posture of zealous allies outside parliament. In December 1640, Londoners mobilized 15,000 signatures for a petition calling for “Root and Branch” extirpation of lordly prelacy. Copycat petitions, sometimes aping the London text, soon arrived from other counties.3 Meanwhile, anti-episcopal tracts, such as those of Margery Mar-Prelate, flooded from London presses, helping to cement opposition to the bishops. This was hardly 1  N. H. Keeble and G. F. Nuttall, eds., Calendar of the Correspondence of Richard Baxter, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1991), 1:409–10; S. R. Gardiner, History of England from the Accession of James I to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 10 vols. (1884), 9:281. 2  CJ 2:72; POSLP, 2:343–6; the Remonstrance, often presumed lost, survives in BL, Harleian MS. 5108, fols. 45–110. 3  A. Fletcher, The Outbreak of the English Civil War (New York, 1981), 91–9; L. B. Larking, ed., Proceedings, Principally in the County of Kent, Camden Society, O.S., 80 (1862), 25–38.

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uncontested—the prevalence of these voices provoked an assertive countermovement in favor of the government and liturgy of the church.4 In early 1641, Bedford, Pym, and their friends thus continued to entertain moves towards “moderated episcopacy” by backing committees formed in both houses (each bolstered by Burges, Calamy, and other clerical allies) which weighed reforms to the existing regime.5 By May, hopes for a settlement built on reduced episcopacy collapsed, and the Junto gravitated towards more radical measures. There were a number of reasons for this. For a start, the weeks before early May witnessed outpourings of pressure from London, chiefly for Strafford’s execution, but also voicing frustration that no religious change had been forthcoming.6 The Scots, meanwhile, intimated that peace was impossible without abolition of episcopacy.7 Together, pressure from London powerbrokers and the Scots squeezed the leadership towards more extreme courses: as one observer wrote in May, Root and Branch abolition had been presented as necessary in the Commons, “for the Scotts will not goe unles it be so, nor the citizens lend any money for payment of the Scotts.”8 Moreover, calculations also shifted with the “Army Plot” in early May. Charles’s exploration of an armed coup, publicly exposed, snuffed hopes of an amicable deal with Junto leaders and produced two notable consequences: first, the passage of the “Protestation,” a vow binding takers to support king, parliament, and Protestantism; and second, a statute barring parliament’s dissolution without its approval.9 This lent a degree of security, allowing MPs to pursue riskier courses. Finally, on May 9, the death of Bedford removed a conciliatory, pro-episcopal voice. With Pym and others eager to retain support of London allies and the Scots, the path was clear for an overt attack on episcopacy. The greatest precipitant of the move towards Root and Branch reform was, however, the failure of the first real attempt to reduce episcopal power—the bill stripping bishops of temporal jurisdiction, including membership in the House of Lords. The upper house rebuffed this assault on its traditional constitution and, on May 24, the peers rejected the provision removing the bishops. Leading the resistance were the prelates themselves, who voted as a bloc against their own exclusion, with Bishop Williams reported as a particularly prominent defender.10 This strengthened the hand of more extreme elements in the Commons. On May 27, 1641, a bill for 4  J. Maltby, Prayer Book and People in Elizabethan and Early Stuart England (Cambridge, 1998), 83–237. 5  W. A. Shaw, A History of the English Church During the Civil Wars and Under the Commonwealth, 1640–1660, 2 vols. (London, 1900), 1:42–76; M. Mendle, Dangerous Positions: Mixed Government, the Estates of the Realm, and the Making of the Answer to the XIX Propositions (University, AL, 1986), 141–7; J. Spalding and M. Brass, “Reduction of Episcopacy as a Means to Unity in England, 1640–1662,” Church History, 30 (1961), 414–32; A. Ford, James Ussher: Theology, History, and Politics in Early-Modern Ireland and England (Oxford, 2007), 235–56. 6  B. Manning, The English People and the English Revolution, 1640–1649 (London, 1976), 3–9; Russell, FBM, 264. 7 Russell, FBM, 268–73. 8  Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Osborn MSS. File 8096. 9  For the definitive account of the Protestation, see J. Walter, Covenanting Citizens: The Protestation Oath and Popular Political Culture in the English Revolution (Oxford, 2017), which like the present study stresses interactions between high and popular politics. 10  Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, XII.B.37, pp. 80–1; The Diurnall Occurrences (1642), 109. E.523[1].

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Root and Branch abolition of episcopacy was introduced in the house, having been placed in Sir Edward Dering’s hands by Sir Arthur Hesilrige, with backing from Sir Henry Vane Jr. and Oliver Cromwell. But Pym, Hampden, and Denzil Holles spoke for the bill, publicly casting their lot with more dedicated enemies of the bishops, and carrying along MPs who had previously expressed willingness to retain a purged episcopal system. For some, the bill perhaps remained a negotiating ploy to get the Lords to revisit the issue of the prelates’ votes.11 But the move suggested a hardening of will, widely shared by observers beyond parliament, many of whom now expressed hope of the “turninge out of the Byshops . . . since now there is noe other remedy for Cure of the disease.”12 This full-blown anti-episcopal turn initiated a new polarizing dynamic. Many subjects, including some who had backed modest anti-Laudian reforms, now retreated towards a pro-episcopal party, which began to mount piecemeal resistance. The Lords’ order to shut down the Margery Mar-Prelate Press in early May was a sign of this shifting mood. Meanwhile, on the other side, among the godly awareness that parliamentary leaders had decisively rejected the established church regime in effect authorized ever more aggressive attacks on that order and encouraged a movement among rank-and-file supporters towards more extreme solutions; once it was admitted that bishops were wholly illegitimate, it became easier to reject virtually everything that had been countenanced under the old order. But as grassroots activists worked themselves into an anti-episcopal froth, the leadership and their clerical allies remained reticent in putting forward alternatives to episcopacy. The prominent divines around Pym and Warwick avoided definitive statements on  the subject. The famed Smectymnuan tracts, for instance, co-written partly by Marshall and Calamy, were opposed to the episcopal status quo but vague on whether primitive bishops or outright presbyterianism was preferable. This reticence mirrored the tactical caution evident from the start in Pym’s circle. It was also, perhaps, born of awareness that the issue could divide the godly; already in March 1641, the Scots in London had felt out returned congregationalist ministers of Holland (Thomas Goodwin, Jeremiah Burroughs, and others), and together they “agreed to speak nothing of any thing wherein we differ” until the bishops had been ousted.13 Whatever the motivation, the relative silence of godly heavyweights on matters of church government left the field open for more strident, radical voices to fill the void, at a moment when the leadership in Westminster had effectively declared open season on episcopacy and everything associated with it. These polarizing developments can be observed in the Commons on May 18, during the conflicts over the bishops’ voice in the upper house. That day, the MP Henry Belasyse produced a recent broadsheet, John Turner’s The Saints Beliefe. 11  A Collection of Speeches Made by Sir Edward Dering (1642), 62–5; POSLP, 4:605–18, esp. Holles’s speech at p. 608, citing the bishops’ opposition to their removal from the house; C. Holmes, Seventeenth-Century Lincolnshire (Lincoln, 1980), 144; S. McGee, An Industrious Mind: The Worlds of Sir Simonds D’ewes (Stanford, 2015), 318–19, 337–40. 12  Bristol Archives, AC/C/36074/136e; Fletcher, Outbreak, 99. 13  Baillie, 1:311; for Scots-congregationalist cooperation in early 1641, see H. Powell, The Crisis of British Protestantism: Church Power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–44 (Manchester, 2015), 16–53.

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Turner, a Kentish chandler and rigid separatist, had spent much of the 1630s in prison. His broadside was mainly a simple catechetical text, based on the Apostles’ Creed, with a couple of major deviations. Most importantly, the work declared that God instituted “by his Apostles particular Churches here on earth, and no other; every ordinance of God belonging to every one of them; all of equall authority, no one being greater or lesser then other, either in power or priviledges,” and that “every Church hath power from God to elect and ordaine their own Officers, receive in Beleevers, and Excommunicate any one of them that lives in transgression, without the helpe or assistance of any.”14 In effect, Turner transformed the Apostles’ Creed into a “congregationalist” manifesto. Belasyse, a future royalist, was surely responding to rising conflict over the bishops, which led defenders of episcopacy to try to divert attention onto disorderly schismatics. Here was a perfect example of the way assertive sectarian activity, in pulpit and press, helped to consolidate a pro-church movement, providing fodder for defenders of the old order to mobilize against reform. The Kentish candle-maker Turner fit the bill perfectly, portending a nightmarish future of social disorder and anarchy, in which basic formularies of faith were at risk. But this was no mere stunt, performed by Belasyse to score polemical points. The Saints Beleife did represent a major intervention, and as such a genuine threat. It was an attempt, at a moment of rising doubt over episcopacy, to put forward a clear, simple model to define God’s true alternative, and Turner’s paper was apparently produced in massive quantities: there survive today three separate editions, as well two partially reset impressions, suggesting that many thousands of copies were distributed. The chief culprit was William Larner, named as publisher of two of these settings. This was the first known work of a bookseller soon to be one of London’s most devoted sectarian publishers, as well as a chief backer of the Leveller movement in the late 1640s. Another edition was produced for William Browne, a Dorchester bookbinder who had been in trouble in the 1630s, suggesting the paper spread far beyond the city.15 In the Commons, the text was read out and adjudged “scandalous”; order was made to suppress it and hunt down the printer. Turner was summoned “as a Delinquent, for . . . causing a new Belief to be printed, without Authority.” This attack on a godly victim of Laudian persecution prompted uneasiness. After the vote, Sir Simonds D’ewes perused the paper and “found nothing amiss in it.”16 The significance of the move should not be downplayed; this was evidently the first case since the start of parliament in which the Commons acted against the author and printer of a palpably godly publication. The maneuver was initiated by an MP 14  J. Turner, The Saints Beliefe (1641). Wing T3324; R. J. Acheson, “Sion’s Saint: John Turner of Sutton Valence,” Archaeolologia Cantiana, 99 (1983), 183–97. 15  “William Larner,” ODNB. For the likely order: Wing T3324 (Society of Antiquaries Library, Lemon 330), “Printed . . . for William Larnar”; lightly reset as Wing T3324A (“Reprinted . . . for William Larnar”); Wing T3324B in fact masks two settings, one identical to previous settings, but with the colophon removed, a second with partially reset material at the foot of the page; for the latter, and for a distinct third edition, uncatalogued in Wing, see Bod. L., Johnson a.57 (79a and 79b); Wing T3324C was printed for “W. Browne of Dorchester,” for whom see SP 16/324, fol. 12v. 16  CJ 2:148–9; POSLP, 4:435.

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who was not a friend to the Junto, and the move hinted at the ways overheated puritanism might be used to discredit reform, even as it also suggested that zealous sectaries were rushing forward to fill the vacuum left as episcopacy collapsed. Members of the reigning Junto recognized the threat. On June 5, shortly before the house was to resume debate on Root and Branch, Denzil Holles told the Commons of “divers . . . mechanical men,” who had been preaching “up and down in the town.” Holles, who a week earlier had backed Root and Branch reform, now decried John Green and John Spencer, leaders of a separatist church in Crutched Friars. Their activities, Holles claimed, redounded “to the scandal . . . of the House as if instead of suppressing popery we intended to bring in atheism and confusion.” Holles’s information came from John White, one of the chief divines advising Pym and his circle. White’s collusion with Holles suggests that, having backed Root and Branch, Pym’s friends were making an overt show of their freedom from sectarian taint. The goal was presumably to disrupt the rhetorical position Belasyse had staked, which in effect equated Root and Branch reform with rule by mad sectarian artisans. Green, Spencer, and other lay preachers appeared and several MPs wanted them “severely punished,” but they escaped with a stern warning.17 T H E P R OT E S TAT I O N P R OT E S T E D , “ I N D E P E N D E N C Y,” A N D T H E “ G E N E R A L L L I B E RT Y ” O F T H E P R E S S While Holles and his friends could afford to sacrifice the likes of Green and Spencer, no such course was available when, shortly after, a more formidable character entered the debate on church government. In June 1641, Henry Burton anonymously published The Protestation Protested: Or, A short Remonstrance, shewing what is principally required of all those that have or doe take the last Parliamentary Protestation.18 The recent Protestation enjoined subjects to maintain “true Reformed Protestant Religion, expressed in the Doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and Popish Innovations.” While this formula seemed to valorize the Church of England, Burton, in an act of intellectual jujitsu, turned the logic of the Protestation against itself, asserting that anyone taking the vow must reject the Church of England in its current form.19 The liturgy and government of the English church were wholly anti-Christian, arguments in tune with Burton’s writings of 1640, ­executed on the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. New, however, was Burton’s claim for God’s true pattern of church government. As the Church of England was “a nationall Church,” it would be difficult “if not . . . impossible to constitute it . . . agreeable in all points to a true visible Congregation of Christ.” A true church was instead “particular,” composed of “visible Saints,” by whom “Christs Ordinances are administred in . . . purity, and . . . none are admitted” 17  POSLP, 4:615, 735, 737; 5:11–12, 17. 18  It was in print by June 24: SP 16/481/60, fol. 115v. 19  See Walter, Covenanting Citizens, 24–5, showing that the inclusion of the “Church of England” was a controversial, rearguard amendment, defanging the radical version proposed by the Junto.

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to “the Congregation, but such are approved . . . by the whole Assembly,” having “freely enter[ed] into Covenant” to adhere to God’s word.20 These churches were, moreover, autonomous; Burton overtly identified his system as “the Church-way of independency” and embraced “independent Church-government.”21 These particular churches were not cut off from each other, since they would “advise, and conferre with” other visible churches. But they possessed no power over one another. Parliament’s duty was thus to ensure liberty for Christians to erect true churches on the congregational model. Burton admitted this would leave the profane mass of the populace unchurched. Parliament was free to construct whatever kind of “Nationall Church” it saw fit: “for the manner of Government of Parishes, whether by a Presbytry, or otherwise, that . . . I leave to the prudence of those, in whose hands it is put: let it be what it will, so as still a due respect be had to those Congregations . . . which desire an exemption.”22 In effect, Burton advocated a two-tiered vision of church government: parliament would create a state church, composed of the masses, out of which true saints might gather their own particular congregations. Freedom to gather churches was not absolute: the state could pass laws against “knowne Heresies,” blasphemy, and idolatry. These laws would ensure that saints, in their independent churches, would not stray into ­perilous territory.23 Burton’s authorship was an open secret and The Protestation Protested quickly went through two editions, igniting a storm of controversy and eliciting responses in print and manuscript.24 Perhaps the most important effect was to introduce the New England Way to a wider audience, folding the church form under the rubric of “independency.” While similar language had been used by Henry Jacob, and then by later separatists, Burton’s tract embraced the idiom and applied it squarely to non-separating congregationalism. Although he privately rejected overt separatism, his book’s description of the true church was indistinguishable from that of Turner in The Saints Beliefe, and Burton’s work thus encouraged a conflation of the two under the umbrella of “independency.”25 More generally, the tract prodded readers—including many who had not yet contemplated questions of church order—to confront ecclesiological battles simmering in puritan clerical coteries since the 1630s. Richard Baxter, then an aspiring cleric in the west, claimed that “till Mr. Burton Published his Protestation protested, I never thought what Presbytery or Independency were, nor ever spake with a man that seemed to know it.”26

20  The Protestation Protested: Or, A short Remonstrance (1641), sigs. B3r, Cr, C2v. 21  Protestation Protested, sigs. C2r, C3v. 22  Protestation Protested, sigs. Cr, C3v, C4r. 23  Protestation Protested, sig. C4r. 24  Bod. L., MS. Tanner 66, fol. 109r; [J. Hall,] A Survay of that Foolish, Seditious, Scandalous, Prophane Libell, the Protestation Protested (1641); J. Geree, Vindiciae Voti. Or a Vindication of the True Sense of the Nationall Covenant (1641); Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Osborn MSS. File 8488. 25  For Burton on “total separation,” see D. Brown, Two Conferences Between Some of those that are called Separatists & Independents (1650), 1–8. 26  R. Baxter, The True History of Councils Enlarged and Defended (1682), 90; see also BL, Stowe MS. 184, fol. 43v.

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With heated debate over bishops in parliament, the pamphlet soon became a political football. On July 10, the Commons returned to discuss the Root and Branch bill, and William Pleydell, a defender of the church, challenged advocates to specify the “new form of government before we abolished the old,” then brandished a copy of The Protestation Protested, and began to read the pamphlet aloud. His gambit sought to delay debate while highlighting the sectarian foundations of Root and Branch. Not surprisingly, D’ewes spoke “to prevent his reading of any part of the pamphlet,” claiming that he had “heard . . . it was a very dangerous and seditious book,” and that therefore “every moderate honest man did abhor it.” Backed by Fiennes and other members of the Junto, D’ewes forestalled the reading of the pamphlet.27 But once The Protestation Protested was pronounced seditious, it could not be dismissed: one news writer related, “Some of the House of Comons will needes have the Author of the Protestation Protested to bee hanged.”28 When debate over the Root and Branch bill concluded, the house summoned the printer, Gregory Dexter, whose early experience with underground print was examined in Chapter 1. Dexter admitted he printed The Protestation Protested, but “denied to tell who gave him the copy,” earning a trip to the Gatehouse. The matter was referred to Sir Edward Dering’s Committee for Printing, which was to examine Dexter, hunt down the book’s author, and investigate “the scandal to this House.”29 Dering’s committee questioned Dexter, who refused to name his source. When asked by what license he printed the book, Dexter responded that “he had no authority for setting his letters to this treatice, but the generall liberty . . . used whilst this parliament is sitting.”30 Dexter’s words offer crucial proof that some London publishers had imbibed the doctrine outlined in Chapter 2: that during “time of parliament” the press was open to all comers. As we will see, this was reinforced by a belief—mistaken, it seems—that the Long Parliament in its first weeks ratified this principle by explicitly pronouncing the press free while parliament sat. Dexter’s treatment might have hinted that this faith was misplaced. But the belief was already apparently well rooted, and the Commons’ newfound determination to regulate the press would be seen by more radical supporters as a kind of apostasy, whereby parliament abandoned its first principles. Dexter admitted that he had sold the entire impression of 2,000 copies to the bookseller Samuel Satterthwaite, a young stationer with a taste for congregationalist books. Satterthwaite confessed that Burton was reputedly the author, but refused to name those who had told him so. Dering’s committee thus drafted a report recommending that Dexter and Satterthwaite should be punished and the book burned for having “assumed to interpret the protestation of the parliament” according to “a sence different from the protestation.”31 While book burning was

27  POSLP, 5:587–8. 28  BL, Sloane MS. 1467, fol. 15r–v. 29  POSLP, 5:585, 590. 30  POSLP, 5:688–9, corrected against the original, BL, Stowe MS. 354, fol. 111. 31  POSLP, 5:688–9; BL, Stowe MS. 354, fols. 111–12.

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a fairly tame ritual punishment, the prospect of parliament immolating a tract by the martyr Burton was certain to elicit distress in some quarters.32 Thus, moves were made to protect Burton. Several godly MPs, including Vane, Cromwell, and Harley, “diligently attended the Committee” to lobby for Burton. These efforts succeeded, and Dering failed to make the report. As a result, no formal action was taken. But by shielding Burton and his book, the Root and Branchers risked their standing, and as Anthony Fletcher has argued, “nothing . . . did the leadership more harm in July 1641 than its association with this radical propagandist.”33 Meanwhile, Dexter languished in prison for six weeks, until his petition for release was granted.34 His treatment, which followed the seizure of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press and the move against Turner’s broadsheet, suggested the carefree atmosphere of near total liberty enjoyed by vigorous puritan publishers and authors during the early months of the Long Parliament was in danger. Likewise, it signaled that the great battle over church government was set to begin. I N D E P E N D E N T “ P E T I T I O N S ” A N D T H E E M E RG E N C E OF ENGLISH PRESBYTERIANISM Among those outraged by The Protestation Protested was Thomas Edwards. Edwards had sparred with the congregationalist starlet John Archer and denounced the New England Way at Hertford in the 1630s. By 1640, Edwards was back in London. His arrival in national politics was sealed on March 12, 1641, when he and seventeen other ministers petitioned the upper house requesting a new system of press licensing, anchored by “Orthodoxe and godly men,” to replace episcopal censorship, which had fostered only “popery, Arminianisme, Superstition, and Prophanenes.” This petition clearly emanated from the clique of divines advising Pym and the Junto: it was signed by John White, Edmund Calamy, and Stephen Marshall. In addition, however, several subscribers would soon provide the backbone of hardline, city presbyterianism, including Edwards, Lazarus Seaman, and George Walker.35 The petition thus hinted at the coalescence of a reformist clerical organization, with intimate connections to the reigning Junto, but also with a distinctly anti-sectarian, if not overtly presbyterian, temper. The petition arrived in the midst of the first attempt in the Lords to check unlicensed printing—a move resulting in the imprisonment of John Wells, an alleged activist behind the Margery Press— suggesting again that the Junto’s clerical affiliates were seeking to make a show of orthodoxy and commitment to order, while simultaneously co-opting a maneuver that threatened godly reform. Edwards’s rising profile was confirmed when he became the first godly author to rebuke Burton. By July 12, 1641, he had prepared Reasons against the Independent 32  D. Cressy, “Book Burning in Tudor and Stuart England,” Sixteenth Century Studies, 36 (2005), 359–74. 33  POSLP, 5:686; Fletcher, Outbreak, 89, 113; BL, Add. MS. 31954, fol. 185r; J. Rushworth, Historical Collections. The Third Part; in Two Volumes (1692), 699. 34  POSLP, 6:530, 538. 35  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/54 (Mar. 12, 1641); LJ 4:182–3.

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Government of Particular Congregations.36 Edwards’s justification for breaking silence was twofold: first, he received “credible information . . . of some Petitions drawne, to be presented” to parliament in favor of “Toleration of some Congregations, to enjoy an Independent Government.” Second, he complained of the “Printing also their desire of a Toleration . . . as witnesse the Protestation Protested.”37 Since there were no detailed expositions of the New England Way in print, Edwards drew on The Protestation Protested, along with another tract, written in answer to a pro-episcopal petition, and widely known to be the work of a congregationalist.38 Yet Edwards also cited manuscripts circulating among the godly, including papers (discussed in Chapter 1), which had bounced between Massachusetts and England in the 1630s, as well as others sent from gathered churches in Holland. Cognoscenti would have recognized that Edwards was publicizing debates that had been pursued, vigorously but quietly, in puritan clerical circles for five years. These manuscripts were insufficient to the task; he also drew on printed works by the separatists John Robinson and John Canne.39 Edwards hence knowingly conflated New England congregationalism and outright separatism, fusing both under the rubric of “Independancy” and labeling proponents “Independants” (a noun Edwards may have invented and certainly popularized).40 He thus solidified an identification Burton’s tract had tacitly invited and, ironically, played a key role in shaping “independency” as label and concept. Edwards’s book was not a systematic statement on church government. He believed God’s word left a clear pattern for church government, and his passing comments showed that he thought this pattern presbyterian in form.41 But his concern was not to extract this pattern; rather, he furiously exposed the dangers of congregationalism. Edwards showed deep concern with social order: the “Law of Nature with right reason is against . . . Independancy, dictating and leading us to dependency, a subordination and a consociation in government.” Independency violated this hierarchical principle, wherein lesser parts subordinated themselves to the whole for the greater good. Against the “Democraticall” bent of independency, Edwards insisted that the “forme of government . . . appointed by Christ in his Church” was “Aristocraticall,” that is, governed by synods.42 Tolerating the new church form would lead to total fragmentation, as each cluster of opinionists would withdraw to form new churches. Anabaptism and Familism would flourish beneath the cloak of independency.43 Edwards’s most significant move was to insist that, according to independents, “Kings and Princes, or States . . . have no power” over spiritual matters since in “all things of the visible Church Christ is an Immediate Governour to the Saints.” 36  SR, 1:28. 37 T. Edwards, Reasons against the Independent Government of Particular Congregations (1641), sig. **r–v. 38  The Petition for the Prelates Briefly Examined (1641); Powell, Crisis, 22–9. 39 Edwards, Reasons, 12, 16, 18, 29, 31–4, 41, 50. 40 Edwards, Reasons, sig. *3v, 3–4, 20, 37, 54–5. 41 Edwards, Reasons, 4–8, 15–16. 42 Edwards, Reasons, 10–13, 16. 43 Edwards, Reasons, 26–7, 33–5.

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Independency was contrary to the “Lawes and Statutes of the Land,” whereby parliament had invested “all Jurisdiction, Superiority, Spirituall and Ecclesiasticall” in the king.44 The pretensions of congregationalists thus threatened the royal supremacy and, more generally, secular control of the church. This was a serious vulnerability for congregationalists; in asserting the jure divino nature of their system, and demanding it should be tolerated, they were to a degree curtailing the right of civil governors to regulate spiritual affairs.45 How Edwards’s argument was to be squared with his own belief that a “forme of government” had been “appointed by Christ in his Church” was a question left unanswered. But this appeal to the erastian instincts of his audience established a chief route of attack for presbyterians in coming years. Edwards was not alone in seeing the threat posed by a newly assertive congregational front. On July 12, 1641, just after Dexter was jailed, and the same day Edwards’s book was registered for print, a group of London ministers wrote to the Scottish General Assembly, praising the Scots for “advancing of the worke of reformation among ourselves,” and proclaiming that the “Churches of England and Scotland” should be “imbarqued upon the same bottome.” They celebrated that God had now “raised up our hopes of removing the yoke of Episcopacie,” but lamented that “sundry other forms of Church-government are . . . projected to be set up in the room thereof.” Worryingly, “some Brethren . . . hold the whole power of Church-government” was to be “decreed by the most voyces . . . of every particular congregation.” According to these brethren, “particular congregations . . . lawfully may . . . execute all matters pertaining to the government of themselves . . . without any authoritative . . . concurrence or interposition of any other persons or churches whatsoever, condemning all imperative and decisive power of classes, or compound Presbyteries and Synods, as a meere usurpation.” The letter requested the “judgment” of the General Assembly, not least “because we . . . hear from those of the aforesaid judgment, that some . . . amongst your selves . . . encline unto . . . that way of government.” The Scots dispatched a response, refuting the congregationalist positions, and denying any Scots were of “different judgement.”46 The surviving copy of the Londoners’ letter omitted the names of the signatories, thus concealing from posterity the identities of the clerics involved. But with Edwards’s tract, the letter offers clear evidence of rising concern over congregationalism among the fraternity of London puritan ministers, suggesting that an amorphous proto-presbyterian grouping that had taken shape in the later 1630s, and which began to reveal itself more clearly with the petition for godly press licensing in March, was now assuming more concrete form. No hard evidence survives to assess Edwards’s claim that congregationalists were readying petitions for sufferance of independent churches. However, it is certain that in 1641 radical puritans did circulate notional “petitions” in support of toleration. 44 Edwards, Reasons, 29–31. 45  Recent attempts to portray congregationalists as “Erastian” are only partially correct; many of their more “Erastian” statements were self-conscious bids to subvert the polemical tactic deployed here. 46  Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1638–1842 (Edinburgh, 1843), 49–51; Baillie, 1:364–5.

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The most elaborate of these texts, surviving in manuscript, and addressed “To . . . the Lords Knights Cittizens and Burgesses . . . of Parliament,” described itself as “The humble Remonstrance” of the king’s subjects “misserabely persecuted” by “The Prelates.”47 At twenty-eight pages, this was not the sort of concise document typically presented as a petition. It said nothing, moreover, about church government, making no allusion to congregationalism. Instead, it applied scripture to make an overarching case for absolute religious toleration. Christ was the only head of the church, and his kingdom was wholly spiritual. Religious freedom was to be extended even to practitioners of idolatry or “falce Religion,” whom “the Majestrate hath noe power to punishe: but ought to Defend, and to punish those that doe intrench upon them.”48 There were thus clear limits to the reach of kings and parliaments: “the power of Governeinge the inhabitants of the Earth, is comitted to the Lawfull magestrates therof with lymittation; to exercise over mens bodies to keep them from intrenching one upon anothers Civill right. And the Majestrates of the Earth have noe power to decree, but in matters of Justice and equitie, between man and man.” Spiritual affairs were not within the cognizance of the state, and “the injoyment of the liberties of our consciences” “for which wee sue” did “of right to belong unto us.”49 In all this, the manuscript built on a venerable tradition of separatist argument— stretching back to King James, and recently reiterated in the Margery Mar-Prelate tract, Information for the Ignorant—but now ratcheted up and flatly rendered in a patois of rights.50 Here, liberty of conscience was presented as a universal right, and the magistrates’ only duty in this realm was to stop subjects from infringing one another’s religious freedom. This was rather different from Burton’s vision of the magistrate tolerating gathered congregations, while enforcing laws against heresy and idolatry. It is unclear whether the rumors Edwards heard referred to this document. But there certainly was at least some political mobilization around the text. Late in 1641, the “humble Remonstrance” was redacted, softened, and transformed into a “humble Petition” to king and parliament from those “miserably persecuted by the Prelates.” It is unclear if any attempt was made formally to present it. Without doubt, however, it was printed as a broadside, noting at its foot “By Edward Barber, sometimes Prisoner in Newgate.”51 The involvement of Barber, a pioneering anabaptist preacher, confirms the sectarian milieu that produced the Remonstrance, and shows that there were efforts to bring the issue of religious toleration to parliament’s attention in late 1641. Other, similar “petitions” for toleration, of uncertain 47  Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. R.4.40, pp. 1, 26. Its date is fixed by references to the “late Convocation” and the “present Revolt of the Catalonians,” as well as its redaction by Edward Barber in late 1641. 48  Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. R.4.40, pp. 2–3, 7, 11–12. 49  Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. R.4.40, pp. 2, 8–9, 20, 25–6. 50  For an overview, see W. K. Jordan, The Development of Religious Toleration in England: From the Accession of James I to the Convention of the Long Parliament (1603–1640), 2nd ed. (Gloucester, MA, 1965), 216–314. 51  To the Kings most Excellent Majesty, and the Honorable Court of Parliament (1641). BL, 669.f.4[31]; Thomason’s placement in his bound volumes put it in Nov.–Dec. 1641; cf. Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. R.4.40, pp. 1–4, 7, 24, 27–8.

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provenance, were also evidently floating through sectarian circles, and may likewise have reached MPs.52 T H E “A L D E R M A N B U RY A C C O R D ” This increasingly fraught situation, with godly factions rallying behind different visions of settlement, persisted into autumn 1641. Tensions were exacerbated by a backlash against the reformist wing of the Commons. The king’s journey to Scotland, and the resulting adjournment of parliament in September, stalled the push for Root and Branch. The Junto and their agents continued to work towards abolition of the bishops, but, faced by intransigence in the upper chamber, their strategy shifted to toppling thirteen of the most obnoxious prelates with a legal charge of praemunire for involvement in the canons of 1640. It was hoped that once they were eliminated, Root and Branch might be rammed through the upper house.53 The success of this strategy was far from certain, however, and the period from September to November 1641 saw the political fortunes of the leadership at a low ebb, as failure to deliver meaningful reform, coupled with a vocal pro-church reaction, pointed towards a possible dissolution. In view of this challenging situation, the godly clerisy in London united to overcome destabilizing internal conflicts. In late 1641, probably November or early December, a meeting was held at Calamy’s house, the epicenter of London clerical organization. At this meeting, which included the leading congregationalists, Goodwin and Nye, a formal accord was brokered. First, it was agreed that “Godly Ministers . . . should continue” to use the “least offensive” parts of the liturgy, as “the Bishops fought under that Banner . . . suggesting . . . Parliament would take away the . . . Prayer Booke . . . which they made use of to save their owne standing.” The goal of Root and Branch was intact, but the tactical caution evident from the outset remained. Second, “Ministers finding that the preaching of . . . Lay-men . . . in the publique Congregations was a great . . . offence . . . a way was agreed upon by the Ministers . . . to take them off that practise, and some of the Company (judged . . . powerfull with them) were chosen . . . to deale with them.” Finally, “A mutuall silence was agreed upon for both sides, both in preaching, printing, and conferring with the people, (and especially Parliament men) of any of the points in difference betweene us.” This silence was not to extend to denouncing sectarianism, and all agreed to “joyne together to preach against the Anabaptists and rigid Brownists.” To this, the congregationalists acceded, “only they desired first to bring in a Narrative to us of all their opinions that they held in difference,” which they promised to deliver “with all convenient speed,” after which they would join in rebuking the 52  S. Wright, “Edward Barber (c. 1595–1663) and his Friends (Part  1),” Baptist Quarterly, 41 (2006), 355–70; A Copie of Two Writings sent to the Parliament ([Amsterdam], 1641), sigs. A2r–A3r. 53  The strategy was articulated on Sept. 8, 1641, by their leading clerical advisor, John White of Dorchester, in a letter later seized and printed by royalists. Mercurius Aulicus (Mar. 26, 1644/E.40[32]), 892–3.

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sectaries. The agreement was sealed by subscription to a formal document, to be left in Calamy’s hands. The “Aldermanbury Accord,” as it is often known, was later subject to fierce debate; enemies claimed the congregationalists delayed their account of church government, absconded with the signed accord, then broke the truce.54 Yet if the “accord” led to later accusations of partisan skullduggery, in the short term it papered over widening differences, defusing conflict when the entire reformist program seemed in danger. For two years leading congregationalist divines and their critics largely refrained from public squabbling. Even Thomas Edwards, who disliked the deal, agreed “totally both in preaching and printing [to] decline all those points of difference.”55 The accord’s program for muzzling sectaries proved harder to implement, and succeeded chiefly in sowing ill will in radical puritan circles. Richard Overton, keeper of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press, later recalled that “At an Assembly of . . . an 100. Priests, at Mr. Calamy’s . . . about a Petition against the Bishops,” it was objected that “Heresies would further spread, if Bishops were put downe,” whereupon the clerics “sent for Mr. Green, and Mr. Spencer, of the Separate Congregations, to desire them . . . [to] suspend their open meetings, and be more private in their practice, for their publike meeting was an obstacle to the suppression of the Bishops.”56 Calamy allegedly told the separatists that after bishops were abolished “they might have free liberty of their practice.” Overton’s claim that the meeting was intended to frame a petition “against the Bishops” throws further light on the conclave, for on December 20 the group around Calamy did present a petition to parliament (although in keeping with their incremental tactics, the ministers avoided explicit calls for the end of episcopacy).57 Overton’s anecdote gives a glimpse of the sectaries’ side of the story, in which they were lured into cooperation through bogus promises of toleration. In the event, sectarian preachers and publicists who were not privy to the signed “accord” proved impossible to corral. Green and Spencer may have desisted briefly from public preaching, but they soon returned to their ways.58 Other sympathizers agitated from London pulpits: Hanserd Knollys, an accused antinomian and ­separatist, just back from New England, was in trouble in December for a “seditious” sermon. The lecturer of St. Bennet Gracechurch, Enoch Grey, was remanded the same day for comparing the “ministrie of the Church of England . . . to the priests of Baul,” declaring that “the goverment of Christ his Church ought to bee independent”

54 T. Edwards, Antapologia: Or, a Full Answer to the Apologeticall Narration (1644), 238–43; W. Rathband, A Briefe Narration of some Church Courses (1644), sig. A2r–v; J. Vicars, The Schismatick Sifted (1646), 15–19, dating it “About the beginning of the second yeer of the sitting of the Parliament”; [J. Goodwin,] Anapologesiates Antapologias (1646), 252. Richard Overton’s claim that the meeting was for a clerical petition fixes Dec. 1641 as the probable date. 55 Edwards, Antapologia, 242. 56  [R. Overton,] A Sacred Decretall (1645), 12. 57  CJ 2:350; To the Honourable the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses . . . The humble Petition of sundry Ministers intrusted to solicite the Petition and Remonstrance formerly exhibited (1641). 58  J. Spencer, The Spirituall Warfare: A Sermon Preached In the Parish Church of St. Michael Crook-lane in London, on the 30 of March (1642).

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and preaching “in commendation of Seperatists.”59 While the accord banned ecclesiological debate among a learned, godly elite, it left renegades and lay preachers to dispense separatist versions of “independency” in pulpits and private venues. The same was true in print, where clerical silence paradoxically left the field open to more radical voices. Among the most active promoters was William Larner. At the end of 1641, he produced three unlicensed pamphlets securing his role as a leading sectarian publisher. The first was Katherine Chidley’s answer to Edwards’s Reasons against the Independent Government. Chidley had been a Brownist pioneer in Shrewsbury before moving to London to join the strict separatist church that also included the book smuggler Rice Boye.60 Her tract was mainly a blow-byblow refutation of Edwards, but it did convey a strong sense of the power accorded by separatists to their congregants, who were given total autonomy to elect and ordain elders and ministers, without interference, including the mediating power of church officers. The most remarkable feature of the book was that it was printed at all—women did not as a rule engage in open polemic during this period—and its publication confirms the quotidian spiritual authority separatists extended to ordinary church members, including females. Perhaps due to the “Aldermanbury Accord,” Chidley’s work was the only printed response to Edwards. While humiliating for the minister, this had deeper significance, in that the congregational form of “Independant churches” was left to be defined by its most extreme proponents.61 Larner’s next notable publication, A Glimpse of Sions Glory, appeared in November. A Glimpse claimed to be a fast sermon, preached in Holland in 1641 at the gathering of a church. Larner and his collaborator, William Kiffin, obtained notes of the sermon; apparently uncertain of its exact provenance, but sure that it would advance their cause, they opted to publish it. The “great Truth” manifested in the pamphlet, as Kiffin wrote in his preface, was “that Christ hath given . . . Power to his Church, not to a Hierarchy, neither to a Nationall Presbytery, but to a company of Saints in a Congregational way.”62 A Glimpse was presented as an exposition of the divine sanction of congregationalism, in direct contradistinction to presbyterianism, and its publication was thus chiefly intended as an intervention into rising debates over church order. Again, it was thrust into the public eye, and given a polemical gloss, by the separatist leader Kiffin. Yet historians have tended to see its importance elsewhere, for two reasons. First, it expressed an unvarnished millenarianism. Revelation 20 referred to “Jesus Christ comming and reigning heere gloriously for a Thousand yeares,” alongside his saints.63 Like John Archer, the author thought this kingdom was nigh: antichrist’s 59 LJ 4:494; Lambeth Palace Library MS. 3391, fol. 41; Como, Blown by the Spirit, 67–8; H. Knollys, The Life and Death of That Old Disciple of Jesus Christ, and Eminent Minister of the Gospel, Mr. Hanserd Knollys (1692), 17–18. 60  I. Gentles, “London Levellers in the English Revolution: The Chidleys and their Circle,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 29 (1978), 281–309. 61 K. Chidley, The Justification of the Independant Churches of Christ (1641), 3–8; A. Hughes, Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution (Oxford, 2004), 52–3. 62  A Glimpse of Sions Glory (1641), sig. ¶r, 2, 32–3. BL, E.175[5]. Thomason bound his copy among items from Nov. 1641. 63  Glimpse, 12–15.

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fall was predicted to begin in 1650, and the wheels were already in motion.64 Crucial to antichrist’s collapse was the re-establishment of God’s true church order: “because you are beginning this despised Worke, gathering a Church together . . . the Communion of Saints, and independency of Congregations God will honour.” The gathering of churches was “a Foundation of abundance of glory that God shall have, and will continue till the comming of Christ.”65 The author offered a rapturous vision in which mysteries of faith would be unveiled, until finally Christ ruled with his saints. At this point, it was “questionable whether there shall be need of Ordinances.”66 As with Archer, then, Christ’s coming kingdom would bring unprecedented new knowledge—ultimately, perhaps, an end to outward church forms. This was an apocalyptic vision that would prove deeply seductive for many saints in coming years.67 A second reason for scholarly interest in A Glimpse of Sions Glory is that, despite its separatist publishers, the sermon was the work of a more respectable puritan divine. Larner and Kiffin apparently knew this, for in some copies Larner appended a title page, noting it was preached “at a generall fast day in Holland. By T.G.” This has sparked a long debate over authorship, leading some to conclude that it was preached by Thomas Goodwin, Archer’s co-pastor in the Arnhem gathered church.68 In fact, the sermon was almost certainly the work of another congregationalist, the Rotterdam exile, Jeremiah Burroughs.69 Larner thus knew the sermon came from an expatriated congregationalist, but was likely wrong about which one. Irrespective of the true author, Larner and Kiffin succeeded, if backhandedly, in subsuming the Dutch congregationalists under their own banner. The sermon’s heady millenarianism, coupled with its explicit endorsement of “independency of Congregations,” was projected before the wider world, given an explicitly anti-presbyterian gloss, and suggestively yoked to the intellectually respectable congregationalist divines, just back from Holland, who were in these very weeks forging an alliance of silence with their London critics. Indeed, although uncertainties remain, it is tempting to ­wonder whether Larner and Kiffin were engaged in deliberate polemical hijacking— essentially herding the divines into their own camp, forging a public construct of “independency” as God’s true alternative to prelacy, while exploiting the congregationalists’ own words to bolster an extreme, sectarian version of church order. The third work published by Larner was his edition of John Lilburne’s sufferings, A Christian Mans Triall, which emerged in December. Adorned with a stylish engraving of the separatist martyr, the book gave an account of Lilburne’s punishment in 1637–8 for involvement in the illegal book trade.70 Like A Glimpse, the tract bore 64  Glimpse, 4–7, 32. 65  Glimpse, 33. 66  Glimpse, 16, 23–7. 67  See Chapter 15. 68  J. Wilson, “A Glimpse of Sions Glory,” Church History, 31 (1962), 66–73. Inspection of one such copy, Folger Shakespeare Library, K710.8, suggests the “T.G.” title page was a later addition. 69  P. Christianson, Reformers and Babylon: English Apocalyptic Visions from the Reformation to the Civil War (Toronto, 1978), 251–2; N. Homes, The Resurrection Revealed (1654), 53; see also notes on three sermons preached by Burroughs at Stepney in 1645, duplicating much of the argument, organization, and source matter of A Glimpse. Cf. Glimpse, 21–9; J. Burroughs, Jerusalems Glory Breaking forth into the World (1675), esp. 45–73. 70  J. Lilburne, The Christian Mans Triall (1641). Its place in Thomason’s volume suggests it was released in late Dec.; it reproduced and expanded A Worke of the Beast ([Amsterdam: Richt Right Press], 1638).

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a laudatory epistle from Kiffin. Lilburne, who had been freed at the start of the new parliament, was already renowned for his sufferings. But A Christian Mans Triall aimed to turn a young, marginal figure, of extreme separatist opinion, into a major celebrity, and place him on the puritan plinth alongside Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne. And by December 1641, Lilburne was emerging as a prominent leader of the London street, as England’s political crisis descended into open violence. T H E RU B B L E O F E P I S C O PA C Y A N D THE RISE OF ANABAPTISM Before turning to the crowd politics and street battles of winter 1641–2, it is important to weigh one final consequence of the polemical contretemps analyzed in this chapter. As we will see, during the final weeks of 1641, and despite their earlier posturing against sectarianism, parliament’s reformist leaders began to encourage an increasingly febrile anti-episcopal mood—conniving at mass demonstrations and petitions against bishops, while winking at threats of mob violence. In doing so, they tacitly authorized and valorized ever more radical attacks on the existing church order. Yet despite this, Junto leaders and their leading clerical allies became, if anything, more guarded about articulating concrete programs to replace episcopacy, a silence that now took formal shape in the written accord signed at Aldermanbury. Even as grass-roots backers surged to a fever pitch of anti-episcopal fury, the intellectual and political leadership of the godly front receded into public silence and caution. This, coupled with the noisy preaching and polemic of sectaries, helped to ensure that many now embraced radical forms that made the cleanest break possible with antichrist’s priests and temples. A spectacular illustration can be seen in the Jacob–Jessey gathered church of London. The church benefited from the vehement anti-episcopal atmosphere, and swelled so large that in 1640 it split in two. Around the same time, some of its members, led by Richard Blunt, swept up by revulsion against all forms of antiChristian tyranny, began to question infant baptism. As the controversies of 1641 unfolded, those doubting the practice, but unsure how to proceed, sent Blunt to the Netherlands to confer with anabaptists there. Upon receipt of advice from abroad about reinstituting believers’ baptism, and after extensive conference, Blunt and his followers in January 1642 embarked on the baptism of fifty-three members of the Jessey church. Although there were already small pockets of baptists in London and elsewhere—Edward Barber being a conspicuous example—the mass rebaptism marked a turning point, both symbolic and real, as newly emboldened saints washed away all ties to the anti-Christian Church of England, taking radical independency in a new direction.71 Large numbers of separatists and nonconformists—including Kiffin, Larner, Dexter, Knollys, and Spencer—soon followed suit. The final attack on the bishops thus catapulted aloft an exceedingly aggressive form of evangelical sectarianism. 71  Burrage, 2:302–4.

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As we will see, this general atmosphere of anti-prelatical rage perfectly suited the political agenda of Pym and his allies, and Junto leaders were able to summon all of the godly parties surveyed in this chapter in a climactic attack on episcopacy that winter. However, the apparent unanimity of this godly front—artificially exaggerated by the enforced silence of the Aldermanbury Accord—masked the deep and ultimately fatal fissures that were forming, and indeed growing more pronounced, as many saints planted their own partisan flags in the rubble of episcopacy.

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4 “Extremities, Not Fit to be Named” Crowds, Print, and Constitutional Improvisation This chapter turns from religious pamphleteering to focus on the relationship between the demotic politics of London—crowd action, street politics, and mass petitioning—and the more elevated world of parliamentary maneuver. The winter of 1641–2 was a period of intense instability, witnessing the mobilization of unruly crowds, gangs of armed partisans, and ominous monster petitions, all auguring the descent into open war. Yet as we will see, these crowd actions were hardly the work of a shapeless mob; they were instead closely tied to immediate political maneuver unfolding in Westminster, eliding any distinction between “high” and “popular” politics. Indeed, it will be demonstrated that there was a feedback loop between, on the one hand, the crowds and petitioners, and, on the other, parliamentary grandees, who sought to harness and exploit the popular mobilizations that erupted during these weeks. Yet this chapter also seeks to drill more deeply into the nature of these popular mobilizations and to explore both the personnel and techniques of mobilization involved. It will be shown that crowd actions of the period were sometimes accompanied by, even organized through, printed material, designed to channel or shape the behavior or political consciousness of the common people being rallied for action. This chapter thus examines the ways print was increasingly used not just to transmit ideas, but to serve as an instrument of political organization—that is, as an appendage and prop to other forms of popular political activity. But, crucially, these examples of “instrumentalized” print also allow us to think about ideological change: both in terms of implicit conceptualization and explicit content, these printed works injected into the public domain novel political assumptions, of escalating political and constitutional radicalism. T H E S T RU G G L E F O R W E S T M I N S T E R In parliament, the last months of 1641 were plagued by spiraling polarization. Partly, this resulted from the Irish rebellion, which raised volatile questions about securing the king’s realms. Yet it also flowed from division in the houses. Observing growing resistance in the upper chamber from May, Charles and his advisors adopted a policy of building a party in the Lords to stifle momentum towards reform. This met with success, and the Commons’ continuing efforts to impeach

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the bishops and oust them from the upper house were buried by the peers. Other initiatives, including an attempt to petition the king to dismiss suspect counselors, were also rejected in the upper house.1 But the king’s strategy came at a cost. The political intransigence of the upper house was seen by many as dangerous obstructionism. Deep frustration began to rise in London and beyond. This erupted on November 12, when the city government, approached for money to relieve Ireland, responded by calling for the arrest of “all the great Lords of the Popish Religion” and the ouster of the prelates from the upper house, where the “malignitie of the Bishopps” had stopped “many good . . . motions.”2 In the next weeks, these frustrations boiled over into direct crowd action. The winter saw three distinct bursts of demonstrations in Westminster, which have been chronicled in detail elsewhere.3 The initial burst, on November 24, was sparked by the Grand Remonstrance, when impassioned debate in the Commons nearly resulted in open violence; one or more MPs, led by the London burgess John Venn, sent to London, calling for help, and hundreds rushed to Westminster, hearing that “the best affected partie weere likelie to be overborne.”4 The king’s return from Scotland the next day only raised tensions; Charles dismissed the guard, under the Earl of Essex, established for parliament’s protection, and instead appointed the mistrusted Earl of Dorset to command. Four days later, “having heard that the guard was discharged,” larger crowds appeared, armed with “swords and clubbs” and bearing a more overt message: “downe with the Papist Lords and the Bishops.” These demonstrators clashed with Dorset’s men, bringing out even bigger crowds in subsequent days.5 On December 1, a petition was presented to the Commons from those on the receiving end of Dorset’s violence. One of the two spokesmen was Jeremiah Baynes, a prosperous Southwark brewer. The other was the tailor Griffith Marshall. As noted, Marshall had been the target of a privy-council warrant hunting for forbidden books in September 1640. He was enmeshed in London’s sectarian community, counting as two of his closest friends the separatists Kiffin and Edmund Rozer.6 Pym espied opportunity, and that day he responded to the Lords’ request to suppress the crowds by remarking “God forbid that the howse of Commons Should . . . dishearten people to obteine their just desires in such a way.”7 Despite this indulgent posture, the first bout of demonstrations ended in the second week of December. The political stalemate in the two houses worsened, however, with the Lords stalling another key measure, the Impressment Bill, seen as necessary for relief of Ireland. London activists now turned to focused, mass pressure to remove the bishops and popish lords. A campaign was launched in the city and suburbs to 1  R. Cust, Charles I and the Aristocracy, 1625–1642 (Cambridge, 2013), 238–67. 2  W. H. Coates, ed., The Journal of Sir Simonds D’ewes: From the Recess of the Long Parliament to the Withdrawal of King Charles from London (New Haven, 1952), 133. 3 Lindley, PPR, 96–136, remains the best account. 4 Coates, Journal, 186–7, 214–16. 5 Coates, Journal, 211, 222; His Majesties Speciall Command under the Great Seale (1641), sigs. A3r–A4r. 6  CJ 2:329; Coates, Journal, 222; TNA, PROB 11/202/453. 7  Bod. L., MS. Clarendon 21, fol. 56v; for the Dec. 1 date, cf. Coates, Journal, 222; CJ 2:329.

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petition parliament. Although efforts were made to disrupt this campaign, it had the backing of powerful elements in the city elite, and on December 11, an orderly delegation of well-heeled citizens presented a petition with 15,000 hands demanding “that the Popish Lords and Bishops may be removed out of the House of Peeres.”8 The mode of presentation aimed to avoid the impression that the petitioners were a rabble of plebs and sectaries. This exercise in image control was perhaps undercut in the next days, when another petition, more radical in content, was mounted by apprentices and recent freemen of London. This petition also called for the arrest of “the Popish Lords,” but was explicit in demanding “the prelacy [be] rooted up.” The Lord Mayor tried to obstruct the petition—questioning and imprisoning promoters—but on December 23, the document was presented to the Commons with 30,000 names attached.9 That such a petition could quickly garner so many signatories reveals that anti-episcopal opinion in London had reached feverish heights, leaving multitudes ready to embrace new church forms. Although the apprentices followed the example of their social betters, their lowly status and their sharper petition, with its massive number of subscribers, carried an air of threat, suggesting these young people might soon be roused for more direct action. Lurking behind these maneuvers was a rising contest for military control. This struggle was visible at two levels. First, in parliament, dispute over the Impressment Bill was in part a battle over whether the two houses, rather than the king alone, could police conscription of soldiers. This bled into the broader issue of control of the military; on December 7, when the Impressment Bill stalled in the Lords, Sir Arthur Hesilrige introduced a measure for settling the kingdom’s militia under a single commander. Although it was shelved as too extreme, Hesilrige’s measure hinted at the strategy of more militant MPs, and laid out the path of the future.10 Outside the two houses, a second, more urgent contest was taking place over who would control the space around parliament and Whitehall. The initial crowds in November had assembled out of anxiety that force might be used against the houses, and those who appeared presented themselves as a kind of informal guard. The second wave of crowd action, which followed Christmas, represented a more naked battle for physical control of the precincts of Westminster. Already, in the week before Christmas, rumors of a royal armed coup circulated, and city apprentices were boasting that they were “able if need bee to over-match” any move against parliament.11 Such fears were stoked by the arrival in Westminster of ­officers from the disbanded northern army, who came to claim arrears and to take up posts in the relief force for Ireland.12 Their appearance created worries that the 8 Coates, Journal, 270–3; To the Honourable the Knights Citizens, and Burgesses . . . The Humble Petition of Aldermen, Common-Councel-men, Subsidy-men, and other Inhabitants of the Citie of London (1641). 9  To the Kings most excellent Majestie in the Parliament . . . The humble petition of the Apprentices, and those whose time of Apprenticeships are lately expired (1641); Clarendon, 1:449–50; Coates, Journal, 337; for a sheet of signatures, see BL, Egerton MS. 1048, fols. 26–8. 10 Coates, Journal, 244–5; L. Schwoerer, “ ‘The Fittest Subject for a King’s Quarrel’: An Essay on the Militia Controversy 1641–2,” JBS, 11 (1971), 49–57. 11  BL, Sloane MS. 1467, fol. 146. 12  Clarendon, 1:456.

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king had at his disposal an informal armed force. These anxieties grew when, just before the apprentices submitted their petition, Londoners learned that the king had named a new Lieutenant of the Tower, Thomas Lunsford, widely seen as illaffected to parliament. This was viewed as a preparatory measure towards overawing the city, and prominent Londoners quickly signed a petition calling for Lunsford’s removal, presented to the lower house moments after the apprentices delivered their petition. The Commons asked the Lords’ house to join in petitioning the king for Lunsford’s removal, but the peers refused, a move that inflamed suspicion in London over popish traitors in the upper chamber.13 A tense break followed for Christmas, during which rumors of popish plots flew through the city. On December 26, the Lord Mayor heard that the young men were mobilizing, and he hastened to the king to “acquaint him with a tumultuous rising of the Prentices and other inferior persons of London, who had given out that if Col. Lunsford were not removed . . . there would some further inconvenience happen.” Sensing the danger, Charles and his council sought to defuse the situation by removing Lunsford.14 Nevertheless, before this decision could be made public, a large group of demonstrators descended the next day on Westminster. The protesters were on hand both to object to Lunsford and to press their petition against episcopacy. The ill-tempered crowd manhandled the Earl of Dover and Archbishop Williams, amidst cries of “No Bishops, No Bishops.” This ignited the powder keg, propelling affairs towards open violence. A series of confrontations erupted between the swordsmen congregating around the king and the young Londoners, resulting in three days of ­skirmishes, in which many were injured and some killed.15 Prominent among the leaders of the Londoners were Sir Richard Wiseman (who died from his wounds) and John Lilburne, who later claimed that “the greatest number” of the demonstrators present, “even Sir Richard Wiseman, himself,” appeared in Westminster at Lilburne’s own “incitement.” Although this boast was colored by Lilburnian self-promotion, contemporary sources named only Wiseman and Lilburne among the demonstrators, suggesting that they were indeed chief leaders of the crowd.16 The king was deeply alarmed, and on December 28 orders were drawn authorizing the Mayor to shoot demonstrators who refused to disperse; if the Mayor got the order, he was unwilling or unable to act on it.17 With the city in mutiny, the king, far from seeking to tamp down the conflicts, instead solidified his informal armed force at Whitehall. On December 29, and again on January 1, he feasted congregating Irish officers. On December 30, he welcomed 500 gentlemen from 13 Lindley, PPR, 104–6. Some have mistakenly claimed that the Leveller Richard Overton signed this petition; the signatory was in fact Richard Overton, girdler of St. Peter Cheapside. Cf. PA, MP, HL/PO/JO/10/1/75 (Dec. 23, 1641); Bod. L., MS. Ashmole 420, fols. 266v–267r. 14  Diurnall Occurrences ( Jan. 3 1642/E.201[5]), sig. A2r; TNA, PC 2/53, fol. 97r. 15 HMC, Report on the Manuscripts of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu (London, 1900), 137–8; PJLP, 1:131; Diurnall Occurrences ( Jan. 3, 1642/E.201[5]), sigs. A2r–A3r; Diurnall Occurrences in Parliament From the 27. of December, to the 2d. of Januarie 1641 (1642), 2–4; Lindley, PPR, 106–13. 16  J. Lilburne, Englands weeping spectacle (1648), 3; Diurnall Occurrences in Parliament From the 27. of December, 3–4; The Scots Loyaltie to The Protestants of England and Ireland (1642), sig. A3r. 17  SP 16/486/99; J. Rushworth, Historical Collections. The Third Part; In Two Volumes (1692), 470.

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the Inns of Court, who had appeared upon “report brought to them that the king’s person was in danger.” A de facto Court of Guard was set up at Whitehall, prompting bloody clashes with the demonstrators.18 Meanwhile, Charles refused the houses’ plea to have a guard established under Essex for parliament’s protection. The street fights of late December represented a grave intensification of England’s political crisis. Contemporaries began to talk openly of civil war, and started for the first time to use the soon omnipresent epithets “Roundhead” and “Cavalier.”19 Nevertheless, it seemed that the king’s forces had gained the upper hand in the struggle to control the palace environs. By December 30, having been mauled by the king’s cavaliers, few, if any, demonstrators appeared in Westminster’s streets. Ironically, that day the bishops, who had been scared away from the upper house by the demonstrations, handed their enemies victory. Following Williams’s lead, twelve bishops drafted a petition to the king, protesting that decisions taken by parliament under such conditions could not be free. The king unwisely forwarded this petition to the Lords on December 30. The peers were displeased, and when they informed the Commons, the lower house quickly voted that the petition impugned the very being of parliament. Charges of treason were drawn against the twelve; unlike the earlier charge of praemunire, this capital charge meant that the bishops were immediately imprisoned to await trial, removing them from the upper house. Williams and his fellow prelates delivered to Pym’s allies the outcome they had sought for eight months, although it was the crowd that served as the catalyst for the dramatic reversal. It was presumably at this stage that Charles settled on his design to charge the “Five Members” with treason. Shaken by hostile crowds, and alarmed by the loss of control in London, the king well understood that the imprisonment of the bishops reduced the sway he had been building in the upper house. He may have been ­further unsettled by swirling rumors that the lower house intended to follow the removal of the bishops by impeaching the queen, a move that would have a greater chance of success in the absence of the churchmen.20 The king perhaps sensed a narrowing window of opportunity. The dispersal of the crowds after December 29, together with the sudden influx of loyalist swordsmen to court, meant that the king had a fleeting chance to impose his will, by force if necessary. Acting on the advice of Digby, Charles ordered his attorney general to draw treason charges against Pym, Hampden, Hesilrige, Holles, Strode, and Kimbolton, and then, on January 4, made his famously botched attempt to arrest the accused in the lower house, backed by some 400 “desperate soldiers . . . and . . . ill-affected persons,” including ringleaders of the gangs that had battled the Londoners in previous days.21 The move against the MPs destroyed the goodwill the king had accumulated in recent months. It confirmed all the fears that had animated the London rioters, and suggested that Charles’s commitment to parliamentary governance was 18  Diurnall Occurrences (Jan. 3, 1642/E.201[5]), sigs. A3v–A4v; Coates, Journal, 368; PJLP, 1:8–9; Lindley, PPR, 111–12. 19  A. Fletcher, The Outbreak of the English Civil War (New York, 1981), 178. 20 HMC, Montagu, 139; PJLP, 1:65–6, 200. 21  PJLP, 1:9–13, 23, 91–2, 181; Clarendon, 1:479–85. For Digby’s role, see Adamson, NR, 483–97.

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a sham. The accused retreated into hiding in the city; they were followed shortly by the rest of the house, which agreed to convene in London as a committee, safe from the king’s praetorian bands. “ TO YO U R T E N T S ”: C ROW D S , PA M P H L E T S , AND THE FLIGHT OF THE KING Charles, however, remained hopeful that he could extract the accused from the city. On January 5, he personally attended the Guildhall, where his demand to produce the MPs met with jeers. Returning to Whitehall, he encountered unruly crowds, crying out “privilege of parliament,” making it the “worst day . . . that ever he had.”22 Among other affronts, Charles witnessed a printed pamphlet tossed into his coach by Henry Walker, the sometime ironmonger, who had emerged in the previous year as a notorious propagandist. The pamphlet, entitled VII. Articles Drawen Up Against Lord Kimelton, reproduced the charges against Kimbolton and the five members, together with an account of the king’s sortie against parliament on January 4. The tract included on its last page a petition, which, when the king heard it read aloud, added final insult to a dismal day.23 Walker’s brief petition was deceptively simple. It implored the king “to meditate on . . . I. Kings. 12.15, 16,” then reproduced that scriptural passage.24 These verses described King Rehoboam refusing to hearken to his people’s will, prompting the tribes to rally “to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine owne.” It was not lost on Charles that Rehoboam was a failed king who heeded evil counsel and tyrannized his people. Even more alarming, of course, was the result: in taking to their tents, the Israelites began armed resistance against their king, deposing him and choosing Jeroboam in his place: “So Israel rebelled against the House of David unto this day.” The first manifestation of resistance (outlined two verses later) was an incident in which the Israelites stoned Rehoboam’s tax collector and forced the king to flee, terrified, in his chariot, suggesting the cunningly choreographed nature of Walker’s intervention. Walker’s petition offered readers a rough script for biblically sanctioned resistance to their monarch, tacked onto a description of an armed attempt against the people’s tribunes in parliament. The pamphlet, and the anarchic means of its delivery, epitomized the king’s utter loss of control of his capital. The next day, January 6, Charles met with his Privy Council. The day’s first act was to order Chief Justice Bramston to find the author and printer of “a certaine Printed petition to his Majestie at the end of a Pamflet with this Title Seven Articles drawne against the Lord Kimbelton.” Walker and his printer, Thomas Paine, were arrested, and on January 7, Bramston received royal orders noting the apprehension of “persons, who have printed and published seditious pamphlets,” and instructing 22 HMC, Montagu, 141. 23  VII. Articles Drawen Up Against Lord Kimelton. M. Iohn Pimme. M. Densil Hollis. S. Artgur Haslerick. M. Hamden. M. Stroud (1642). The pamphlet has previously been thought lost: E. Sirluck, “To your Tents O Israel: A Lost Pamphlet,” HL Quarterly, 19 (1956), 301–5. 24  VII. Articles, 6.

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him to determine “what course may be . . . taken for the legall . . . punishment of offenders” to deter others “from committing the like offence.”25 Walker and Paine were interrogated by Bramston and details of the pamphlet’s origins emerged. Although Walker denied authorship, Paine proved more cooperative. On the night of January 4, just after the attempt on the five members, and hearing of the king’s coming visit, Walker resorted to Paine’s print house to churn out a work publicizing the day’s events. Here, Walker “plotted and contrived with” Paine “to write and print a perrilous Petition to his Majesty, and borrowed the Printers wives Bible, out of which he tooke his Theame out of the first of Kings, Chap. 12, ver. 16.” The two men stayed up “writing and printing all night, and all the next day those Libels were scattered,” suggesting Walker dispersed the pamphlets for free or cheaply among the crowds (marking a form of street-level dispersion that would be employed with regularity in coming years). Walker then repaired to St. Paul’s Churchyard to waylay the king. After receiving a signed confession from Paine that Walker wrote the petition, Bramston prepared to prosecute the two men.26 On January 8, the Commons’ grand committee, meeting in the city, got involved, summoning “Walker an Ironmonger and Payne a Printer . . . for printing a false Petition to his Majesty, without . . . consent of the Houses.” Perhaps in a gesture of goodwill to the king, the Commons ordered the two to be “turned over to the Kings-bench to answer it.”27 There was, however, a poignant futility to Charles’s pursuit of the contrivers of “To your Tents, O Israel” (as the king’s supporters labeled Walker’s petition). Through a series of escalating blunders, Charles had lost control of London, and the fact that his first response was to hound an obscure pamphleteer shows how few viable avenues were available to the king. Bramston followed the king’s instruction to prosecute seditious propagandists, pursuing another habitual offender alongside Walker and Paine. Sometime in early January, there appeared the cheap tract, The Aprentices Advice to the XII. Bishops. This collection of verses predicted the imminent demise of the impeached bishops, calling out each prelate by name, and channeling the voice of the riotous young demonstrators. Archbishop Williams was denounced as the “cause . . . Why the fell Courtiers did us hew and hack,” and was warned that “on thee our blood aveng’d shall be,” while Bishops Owen and Pierce were told that “for your trayterous geer, You and your brood, are like to pay full deare.” The sanguinary fantasy closed “Finis et Funis”—“the end and the rope”—leaving no doubt about where the author expected to bid the bishops farewell.28 With its tone of retributive bloodlust, and its blatant incitement of the apprentices to mob violence, the work quickly came to the authorities’ attention, and its printer, Gregory Dexter, was indicted for high treason.29 Dexter’s continuous activity, most recently as printer of The Protestation Protested, has already been outlined, and it is no surprise to find him embroiled in the paper wars following the street fighting of December. 25  TNA, PC 2/53, fols. 99v–100r; Lambeth Palace Library MS. 943, fol. 84r. 26  J. Taylor, The Whole Life and Progresse of Henry Walker the Ironmonger (1642), sig. A2v. 27  Diurnall Occurrences ( Jan. 10, 1642/E.201[7]), sig. A4v. 28  The Aprentices Advice to the XII. Bishops (1642), 1–5. 29  PJLP, 1:96, 103.

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Yet, taken with the activity of Walker and Paine, his pamphlet also suggested the degree to which the oppositional publishers and authors examined in previous chapters were experimenting with novel uses of print—in the first instance, through the scattering and dispersion of tracts in crowds, and in the second, by seeking to use pamphlets actually to incite outraged demonstrators and to channel their grievances. Dexter’s indictment, alongside Walker and Paine, represented the heavy-handed, if pyrrhic, counterattack of a regime in crisis. The king’s decision to flee the capital, taken as it became clear that London and its militia were wholly at the disposal of Pym and his allies, put paid to these prosecutions. Walker and Paine spent a week jailed in Southwark, and were then ferried across the Thames for trial at Newgate sessions, at which point “a Rout or rabble” assembled at Blackfriars, and “they were violently taken from their Keepers, rescued,” and went into hiding.30 Dexter’s escape was more dignified; he petitioned parliament for relief on January 18, and the case against him was evidently dropped, for Dexter and his partner Richard Oulton proved to be two of the most active and militant printers in the city through late January and February.31 The failure of these prosecutions was not forgotten, however, and for the king these unruly publications remained a symbol of the uprising that had driven him from London. THE LORDS, THE PETITION OF MANY THOUSAND POORE P E O P L E , A N D C O N S T I T U T I O N A L U P H E AVA L The third wave of London crowd action came in late January. With the king at Windsor, the political battle at Westminster intensified. Conflict now centered overtly on the question of military control. Hesilrige’s bill, to create a unified command under parliament’s aegis, unseasonable in early December, was now embraced by the Commons as essential policy. A measure was prepared in the lower house placing the country’s forts and militia under commanders named by the two houses.32 Meanwhile, a petition to the king was readied, calling on him to put the kingdom’s forces under leaders approved by parliament. In the last week of January, the Commons implored the upper house to join in sending this supplication to Charles. Once again, the peers balked, as a conservative bloc, cultivated by the king, stymied the effort. At this stage, the houses were inundated with a flood of petitions rivaling anything seen since the start of parliament. Beginning on January 20 with two petitions from Essex, the houses received a series of remonstrances, demanding removal of the bishops and popish lords from parliament. The petitions from the country were often accompanied by orderly cavalcades of local gentry and ministers.33 More menacing were a set of petitions that began to emerge from London. On January 25, 30 Taylor, Henry Walker, sig. A3r. 31  PJLP, 1:96, 103. 32 Fletcher, Outbreak, 244–6; CJ 2:406; PJLP, 1:229. 33  LJ 4:534–41; B. Manning, The English People and the English Revolution, 1640–1649 (London, 1976), 104–10; J. Walter, Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution: The Colchester Plunderers (Cambridge, 1998), 201, 311–13, 319–20; PJLP, 1:118–25, 144–5, 160; CJ 2:391.

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the city government delivered separate statements to both houses in response to another loan request for Ireland. The city refused, lamenting the failure to secure the kingdom, and leaving no doubt that the obstructions were emanating from the upper house; their address to the Commons again denounced the bishops and popish lords. Now, however, there was a warning that if no action was taken, mounting economic crisis meant that the “innumerable multitudes of . . . poore men,” driven by “poverty and extremitie” might be forced “upon some dangerous and desperate attempts not fit to be expressed.” The statements were quickly printed by Dexter and Oulton for the godly bookseller John Bellamy.34 As if on cue, next day the Earl of Warwick informed the upper house of the coming of a detachment of “Young-Men, Apprentices, and Sea-Men” of London, who petitioned, complaining of the collapse of trade, wondering at the failure to put the country into a “Posture of defence,” and insisting that “hindrances thereof, whether persons or causes, may be declared.” This demand to name secret malefactors was followed by a scarcely veiled threat: “if present remedy be not afforded from the . . . Parliament . . . multitudes will be ready to take hold upon that remedy which is next at hand: Oppression (as Solomon saith) making wise men mad.” We know nothing about the organization of this petition, but it was soon printed by Dexter and Oulton for sale by William Larner.35 Despite these warnings, the Lords continued to resist pressure from the Commons jointly to solicit the king to entrust the kingdom’s military to parliament’s chosen officers. On January 31, crowds again swamped Westminster. A large contingent of men and women descended, seeking to petition the two houses.36 The Commons received what was one of the most remarkable petitions of the period, The humble Petition of many thousand poore people, in and about the Citie of London. The petitioners had apparently gathered at Moorfields, north of the city, then marched to Westminster. They again blamed the popish lords and bishops for a crisis that had stopped trade, so that “our miseries are growne unsupportable.” Echoing exactly the language of the apprentices and mariners five days earlier, the text warned that without a rapid solution, “your Petitioners shall . . . be inforced to lay hold of the next remedy which is at hand, to remove the disturbers of our peace.” To forestall this, they asked that the “hinderers of the happy proceedings of this Parliament . . . may be forthwith publiquely declared.” Having demanded the “removall” of the wicked “hinderers,” the petition asked that the “Noble-Worthies of the House of Peers, who concur with you in your happy Votes, may be earnestly desired to joyne with this Honourable House, and to sit and Vote as one intire body, which wee hope will remove from us our distracted feares.”37

34  A true Copie of the Master-piece Of all those Petitions (1642), 2–3, 8; PJLP, 1:162, 168. 35  LJ 4:544; To the Right Honourable the House of Peeres . . . The humble Petition of the Young-men, Apprentices, and Sea-Men, in and about the Citie of London (1642). 36  True Diurnal Occurrances (Feb. 7, 1642/E.201[13]), sigs. Av–A2r, noting 200–300 men present; PJLP, 1:233. 37  To the Honourable the House of Commons Assembled in Parliament. The humble Petition of many thousand poore people, in and about the Citie of London (1642).

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Observers were stunned. One called it a “Petition of an Extraordinary Nature.” Edward Hyde was more pointed: “this horrible petition,” he dubbed it, including it in full in his History of the Rebellion.38 Obviously, the threat of violence was ­disturbing, as was the demand to name publicly the lordly “hinderers.” But the call for “noble worthies” of the house “to joyne with this Honourable House, and to sit and Vote as one intire body” was indeed extraordinary.39 The petition urged well-affected lords actually to detach themselves from their own chamber, and to vote in a single, unitary assembly with their brethren in the Commons. Whether this was imagined as an emergency expedient is uncertain, but it was without doubt an exceptionally radical constitutional suggestion.40 We have only one clue about the mobilization behind the petition. It was printed in advance of its presentation “for Will. Larner and T.B. this 31 of January, 1642. For the use of the Petitioners who are to meet this present day in More Fields, and from thence to go to the house of Parliament with it in their hands.”41 In other words, Larner and his co-publisher produced their broadside as a rallying document, to direct people to Moorfields, and to be handed out to petitioners as they assembled to march on Westminster. This suggests Larner was heavily involved in the effort, which followed up, and indeed duplicated language from, the threatening petition of the apprentices and seamen five days earlier (also published by Larner). The goal was presumably to clot the precincts around the two houses, thus rendering palpable the threat contained in the document. More remarkably, the Commons played along with the gambit. Before parting, the petitioners explained that if they went directly “to the lords, they shall be delayed,” and therefore implored the lower house to intervene. Pym chimed in that there “must be a speedy remedy,” and proposed that “We must go to the lords,” and if “they will not all join, we must get such as we can and go to the king.” Denzil Holles was deputed to hand the petition to the peers at a conference, and he was backed by “the greater part of the house” which went up with him. Adverting to the “extraordinary” petition, Holles lectured that the “Cries of the Poor do pierce the Heavens” and foretold that economic paralysis would soon lead to more alarming events: “These Things, like a Flame, goes upward.” Shamelessly brandishing the prospect of mob violence, Holles warned the peers to join with the Commons in settling the kingdom “in a posture of defence.”42 This represented a high point of synergy between the “Junto” leadership and popular forces in London, assembled 38 HMC, The Manuscripts of the Earl Cowper . . . Vol. 2 (1888), 306; Clarendon, 1:549–50; BL, Add. MS. 64807, fols. 40v–41r. 39  But not wholly unprecedented: the early Protestant Henry Brinkelow made a parallel suggestion in 1542. K. Gunther and E. Shagan, “Protestant Radicalism and Political Thought in the Reign of Henry VIII,” Past and Present, 194 (2007), 44. 40  M. Mendle, Dangerous Positions: Mixed Government, the Estates of the Realm, and the Making of the Answer to the XIX Propositions (University, AL, 1986), 167–8, first noted the revolutionary implication; its importance has recently been reiterated in J. Donohue, Fire under the Ashes: An Atlantic History of the English Revolution (Chicago, 2013), 101–2 and J. Rees, The Leveller Revolution (London and New York, 2016), 21–2; MPs understood the intent; one noted the petition asked “that the House of Commons and Lords may sit together and vote.” PJLP, 1:235. 41  The humble Petition of many thousand. 42  PJLP, 1:229, 231, 236–7; LJ 4:559; see also PA, HL/PO/JO/10/14/8/3572, fols. 119–21.

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through a coordinated trinity of petitioning, print publicity, and direct crowd action—all pointed like a cannon at the upper house. This coordinated exercise in intimidation yielded a decisive turnabout. The next day, crowds again appeared, this time with women prominent. They had been on hand the day before, trying to submit a petition complementary to that of the poor men. Returning now in large numbers, they regaled passers-by with tales of economic woe, and physically abused several peers, including Lennox and Lord Keeper Littleton. As night fell, and with the women massed outside, the nobles received a report from Littleton on the previous evening’s conference with Holles, providing a lurid account of the petition of the poor, with its threat of violence and its radical constitutional solution. Immediately after, it was finally decided to admit the congregating petitioners. A dozen women were called to present their petition, which bewailed familiar grievances, and craved similar remedies, including the demand that “the Popish Lords and Bishopps” should be no “longer suffered to have voate in this . . . howse.”43 Then, without respite, Holles reappeared, again with a message from the Commons to join in soliciting the king to settle the militia. He ominously warned that “if the Major part carried it still, then he desired that those Noble Lords who were for it, would declare themselvs.”44 This wall of concerted pressure, coming late in the day, paid off. When the house began business at 2 p.m., sixty-seven peers were present.45 But as the light faded and the lords were buffeted by one indignity after another, peers began to depart. Some may have been put off by the “rude multitude” of women and the increasingly unappetizing flavor of the evening’s business. But it is possible the king helped tip the balance to his enemies. Charles was also enveloped in the ­anxiety provoked by this wave of aggressive petitioning. Rumors reached him “that a thousand Cittizens were Comeinge to him, with a peticion to Windsor.” He sent to the sheriff “to raise posse Comitatus” for his aid, but “there was not any came to him,” whereupon in panic he wrote to “some 14 Lords to come to him.” The royal summons reached Westminster on February 1 and may have prompted some loyalists to leave before the end of business.46 Whether because of the summons, the abusive crowds, or Holles’s hectoring, only fifty-six peers were present late that evening, and Charles’s thin majority evaporated. As the Earl of Dover described it, that “Night, many of our Lords beinge absent, it was carryed . . . to Joyne” with the lower house in the petition to Charles.47 The atmosphere of intimidation, so blatantly exploited by the Commons’ leadership, had broken the resistance in the lords that had given the king a political firebreak over previous months. And the pressure continued, helping to ensure that attendance in the upper house collapsed. The next day, a group of porters, 43  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/115 (Feb. 1, 1642); True Diurnal Occurrances (Feb. 7, 1642/E.201[13]), sig. A3r; PJLP, 1:240–1, 249; SP 16/489/4, fol. 16v. 44  Bod. L., MS. Clarendon 21, fol. 57r; PJLP, 1:250–1; the chronology, muddled in the journal, is clear in the manuscript minutes: PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1/8, Feb. 1, 1642. 45  PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1/8, Feb. 1, 1642. 46  SP 16/489, fols. 14r, 16v; LJ 4:558. 47 Bod. L., MS. Clarendon 21, fol. 57r; PJLP, 1:251; PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1/8, Feb. 1, 1642; Cust, Aristocracy, 273.

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“the lowest Members of the Citie of London,” appeared “all with white towels over their shoulders,” to petition the Commons. Their petition repeated standard grievances, complaining of deep economic malaise, and again warned that they would soon be driven to “extremities, not fit to be named, and to make good that saying, That necessity hath no Law.” Despite the thinly veiled threat, the house graciously accepted the petition.48 When parliament next sat, on February 4, more petitions reached the houses, first from Surrey, and then from the women of Southwark and London, who followed their petition to the Lords with one to the Commons. The female petitioners knew their supplication might “be thought strange, and unbeseeming our sex,” and they thus appended reasons explaining their “right and interest . . . in the common and publique cause of the Church.” The petition raised eyebrows, with some MPs observing that “There is no precedent for a petition from women.” Still, the Commons accepted the petition, which decried the “great danger” that lingered “as long as Popish Lords and superstitious Bishops are suffered to have their voice in the House.” The text called for suppressing popery and idolatry, and toppling the “Prelats, whose government” was “against the liberty of our conscience and the freedome of the Gospell.”49 This phrasing hinted that the petition’s authors came from the extreme end of the puritan spectrum. Accordingly, like the porters’ petition, the women’s petition was soon printed by Dexter and Oulton.50 That publication named the petitioners’ chief spokeswoman as Anne Stagge of Southwark.51 She was wife of Giles Stagge, a brewer who by 1642 was immersed in the capital’s fledgling baptist community.52 Anne’s brother was the surgeon John Greene, an anabaptist founder of Roger Williams’s Providence colony in 1638–9, and by 1642 a close ally of the infamous antinomian Samuel Gorton.53 Anne surely shared the family spiritual tendencies, and in 1646, when her brother and Gorton came to England to lobby for their plantation, she was identified as a “verie great” backer of Gorton, hosting his conventicles in her house.54 The mass petitioning showed no signs of letting up. Indeed, that same day papers circulated in the city, instructing that on Monday, “every man should have a good sword by his side and go to the parliament for an answer to their petition.” 48  To the Honourable the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses . . . The humble Petition of 15000. poore labouring men, known by the name of Porters (1641); PJLP, 1:259, 264–5. 49  A True Copie of the Petition of the Gentlewomen (1642), 1–6; PJLP, 1:276–7. 50  Petition of the Gentlewomen; Petition of 15000. poore labouring men. 51  Petition of the Gentlewomen, 6. 52 TNA, PROB 11/192/550; PROB 10/647, “Giles Stagge.” Dorothy Fishburne and Elizabeth Branson witnessed the 1642 codicil to Stagge’s will. Fishburne was among the Jacob church members rebaptized in Jan. 1642; Elizabeth was likely the wife of John Braunson, baptized beside Fishburne (Burrage, 2:303); Elizabeth got a bequest in the 1646 will of Thomas Shepheard (also baptized the same day), leader of Southwark’s earliest baptist church. TNA, PROB 11/196/301. 53  TNA, PROB 11/192/550; J. O. Austin, ed., Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (Baltimore, 2008), 88–9; W. R. Cutter, New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, 3rd Series, vol. 1 (New York, 1915), 224–5. 54  T. Edwards, The First and Second Part of Gangraena (1646), 144; Edwards’s claim is confirmed by Anne’s will, noting a “debt due . . . from Mr. Gorton.” TNA, PROB 11/339/528. For Gorton’s ­connections to radical London circles, see Donohue, Fire under the Ashes, 120–60, 170–9.

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Pym likewise received a note that “on Monday there will be 20,000 men in Moorfields which will come hither.” Clearly, this was a direct follow-up to the petition of January 31, promising more crowd intimidation. In a sign that the throngs were now alarming even the Commons, the lower house voted to write to the ministers of London to preach restraint.55 Nevertheless, many lords continued to refrain from attendance.56 This provided the opening Pym and his backers needed: the resistance of the upper house completely collapsed, and the Junto lords pushed through one key measure after another. On February 5, the upper chamber passed the bill for the bishops’ exclusion from parliament, the source of so much contention in the previous eight months. Although petitions continued to stream in, the crowd actions now abruptly ceased. On February 8, the Lords passed the long-delayed Impressment Bill. On February 9, the peers meekly approved the Commons’ newly minted Militia Ordinance, which vested control of county militias in parliament’s chosen officers. Crucially, the decision of the houses to frame this as an ordinance, rather than a bill, signaled that parliament was prepared to implement the decree without the king’s approval if necessary.57 The Militia Ordinance, and the subsequent struggle that erupted over control of the military, marked the slide from political crisis to war. T H E L O R D S A N D I D E O L O G I C A L I M P ROV I S AT I O N The final phase of London crowd action, most especially the petition of January 31, marked a watershed. Clarendon saw it as a crux of the conflict, privately opining that “the peticion of the poore proceeded and forced the passinge the ordinance, for the militia, which drove away the Lords and many members of the Commons, and gave [Pym and his friends] possession of the power by which they have acted ever since.”58 A declaration of the king, produced as war approached in 1642, made the same point: as a result of the petition of “many thousands of poore people,” and Holles’s bullying use of it, “so great a number of the Lords departed, that that Vote passed . . . in Order to the Ordinance concerning the Militia, and since that time, they have been able to carry any thing.” It became an article of faith among some royalists that this petition played an outsized role in shattering the polity.59

55  PJLP, 1:287–8; True Diurnal Occurrances (Feb. 7, 1642/E.201[13]), sig. A2r, noting the petition was to be considered this day. 56  PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1/8, Feb. 1–8, 1642. 57  LJ 4:564–73; PJLP, 1:297–8; Schwoerer, “Fittest Subject”; M. Mendle, “The Great Council of Parliament and the First Ordinances: The Constitutional Theory of the Civil War,” JBS, 31 (1992), 133–62; E. Foster, “The House of Lords and Ordinances, 1641–1649,” American Journal of Legal History, 21 (1977), 157–73. This first Militia Ordinance was superseded by a finalized version on March 5 (LJ 4:625–6). 58  Bod. L., MS. Clarendon 29, fol. 239r. 59  An Exact Collection Of all Remonstrances (1643), 547–8; An orderly and plaine Narration of the Beginnings and Causes (Oxford, 1644), 9–10; Cust, Aristocracy, 288.

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If this conjuncture affected royalist views, it also deeply influenced more militant reformists, fueling emergent ideological shifts. The constitutional solution of the petition of the poor may have been extreme, but its basic logic was shared by other hard-liners. In 1647, when radical independents began to canvass for abolition of the House of Lords, supporters repeatedly recalled early 1642. At a large meeting in 1648, headed by Lilburne and John Wildman, a group discussed the legislative power of the upper house and “debated the danger of such an Arbytrary Authority . . . residing in any persons during life, and much more of its discending as an inheritance from Generation to Generation.” Examples were adduced of “the mischiefs which have ensued hereupon,” particularly “how their exercise of that claime might be charged . . . with all the precious bloud . . . spilt in the late war, because the King had never had opportunity to levy an Army against the People and Parliament, if the Lords had not deferred so long after many solicitations by the Commons to passe the Ordinance for setling the Militia.”60 This charge was soon echoed by Lilburne, who argued that the “pretended Legislative power” of the Lords “brought all the warrs upon this Kingdom, for if they had at first concurred to the Ordinance of the Militia, the King could never have . . . raised an Army.”61 John Wildman repeated this interpretation, arguing in the same weeks that “If the Ordinance in Feb. 1642. for setling the Militia of the kingdome, had been put in execution when it was first sent up to the Lords . . . the King could never have raised an Army.” Wildman went beyond Lilburne, however, and evoked the petition of the poor, noting that the Commons “sent againe, and againe, and againe, to passe that Ordinance,” and that the peers only cracked when Holles arrived, waving the petition. Wildman celebrated the “many thousands of poore about London, which petitioned against the Malignant faction, and desired, that those Peeres, which concurred with the Commons in their happy votes, might be desired, to sit and vote with the Commons as one intire body,” noting that although “the language of the petition was threatning,” the petitioners “were accounted gallant English Champions.”62 This suggests that, for many London militants, the winter of 1641–2 exerted formative influence, raising strong doubts about the probity of those in the House of Lords, and sparking conversations about the danger of a hereditary upper chamber. The petition, with its explicit call to fold the Lords into the Commons, may have been an ephemeral document, but it was one remembered by discerning supporters at the radical end of the parliamentarian coalition. To an extent, this may have been a result of selective recollection, as militants reassembled recent history to justify novel proposals in the late 1640s. But there are other signs that, as these conflicts unfolded in 1641–2, deep anger eroded the lords’ standing. The separatist sympathizer Enoch Grey allegedly preached in these weeks “in derogation to the howse of peeres as if they denied to send 60  To the Honourable the chosen and betrusted Knights . . . The humble Petition of divers wel-affected Free-born People of England, inhabiting in and about East-Smithfield and Wapping [1648]. 61  J. Lilburne, The Peoples Prerogative and Priviledges (1648), 59. 62  J. Wildman, Truths triumph, or Treachery anatomized (1648), 6–7, 17; the importance of Wildman’s invocation of the petition is emphasized in Rees, Leveller Revolution, 22.

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releife to the poor protestants in Ireland.”63 William Walwyn was also outraged. Later, his erstwhile independent allies reported that, in 1642, Walwyn, “speaking of the obstructions of the good of the Nation by the House of Lords,” purportedly declared, “Pish, . . . here is a great deal of stirr indeed about the Lords, the Switzers, did cut the throats of about forty of them in a night, and had peace ever afterwards.” Walwyn’s brutal tableau—which probably alluded to the “Murder Night” in 1350, when a clutch of noble conspirators were butchered in Zurich—was apparently conjured up in the presence of Bartholomew Lavender, a barber-surgeon of John Goodwin’s gathered church. Walwyn not only failed to deny the tale, but effectively admitted its truth, merely protesting that it was a “story kept in Lavander about seven years,” by a man whose “profession is nearer cutting of throats, then mine is” and who at the time “was very merry at the thought of it.”64 The picture of radical puritans, guffawing as they joked about slitting noble throats, hints at the casual conversations taking place among Londoners, as the obstinacy of the upper house seemed to place three kingdoms at risk of destruction. It is not accidental that these discussions and ideological ruptures were most intense in radical puritan circles. While anger over the bishops and popish lords was widespread, that anger appears to have translated into coherent constitutional and ideological shifts most readily and dramatically among the likes of Larner, Lilburne, and Walwyn. All of these men were wedded to atypical and extreme forms of godly religiosity. Here, preexisting egalitarian tendencies of radical puritan opinion predisposed bearers to novel ideological solutions. All three, for instance, at some point endorsed Samuel How’s The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching, with its leveling spiritism. A similarly exalted vision of the prerogatives of humble church members, joined equally and voluntarily, imbued the separatist tracts of L.F. and Katherine Chidley. This rough egalitarian predisposition, when informed by the specific and dramatic political pressures of 1641–2, generated substantive ideological escalation, and helped forge not only the constitutional departure assayed in the petition of the poor, but also, if the testimony of Lilburne and Wildman is to be trusted, a more general re-evaluation of the hierarchical, “arbitrary” structure of England’s political order. While most evident among sectaries, similar predispositions, to a lesser degree, were shared by congregationalists such as Henry Walker and Bartholomew Lavender, and help to explain how these more radical and ultimately disruptive views of the polity came to be shared across much of the “independent” spectrum. The resulting political reorientation went beyond skepticism about the House of Lords. More generally, the tactics used by Larner, Lilburne, and their allies in these 63  Lambeth Palace Library MS. 3391, fol. 41r. 64  [J. Price,] Walwins Wiles (1649), 17; W. Walwyn, Walwyns Just Defence (1649), 26. Allusion to the lords’ obstructions and Walwyn’s note of the exchange “about seven years” ago date it to early 1642. For Lavender, see J. Coffey, John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution (Woodbridge, 2006), 124–6, 185; TNA, PROB 11/215/192. Walwyn’s source for the mordknacht is uncertain, but the tale was known in England. See, e.g., Coryats Crudities (1611), 389.

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weeks suggested a broader realignment of the modes of acceptable political action, which itself had theoretical implications. In appealing directly to popular audiences, in scattering propaganda through the streets, and in helping to muster and publicize mass petitioning campaigns and crowd actions, these publishers and organizers endorsed a political vision in which the locus of decision-making was removed from Westminster, and distributed into the hands of people who, according to the orthodoxy of the day, ought to have had little or nothing to do with governance. These techniques were not the monopoly of the radical anti-episcopal organizers discussed here, and some of the tactics would in time be used by actors of different, even royalist, complexion. But that they were being pioneered and fiercely exploited by figures at the militant end of the puritan coalition helps to explain the openness to, and promotion of, increasingly democratizing political solutions in coming years. Whether the porters and women who congregated in Westminster in these weeks experienced analogous shifts in political subjectivity is impossible to ascertain. Too little is known about the composition of the crowds to say anything definitive about the ideological paths these people later took. Certainly, horrified observers saw in the crowds of 1641–2 a horde of separatists and sectaries, rising up to shake the pillars of church and state, a view that did much to feed a genuine royalist party in the following months.65 These claims were overblown: there were too few separatists to form anything like the mass crowd actions described here. Unquestionably, however, many of the central organizers were indeed separatists or other species of radical puritans. Griffith Marshall, one of the two spokesmen for the demonstrators in early December, was part of the sectarian underground, counting as his most trusted associates Kiffin and Edmund Rozer. Rozer’s congregant, the separatist John Lilburne, led the street fighting in late December, and claimed a principal role in “incitement” of the crowds. The only man who can be definitely attached to the mobilization of the petition of the London poor in late January is William Larner. Likewise, the sole known leader of the February women’s petition was Anne Stagge, a person entrenched in the most extreme circles of sectarian puritanism. Claims that the crowds were composed uniformly of Brownists and sectaries were wrong: when Marshall came before the Commons, he was flanked by the brewer Jeremiah Baynes, soon a stout presbyterian. But without doubt, many of the most visible crowd leaders were puritan extremists of overtly separatist inclination and connection. Contemporary observers thus had some justification for their alarmist view of the winter’s tumults. And while the grandees at Westminster did not order up crowds of rampaging separatists, they did ruthlessly exploit the popular agitation that flared around them, using it to take control of a political situation that seemed rapidly to be slipping away.66 65 HMC, Montagu, 139; SP 16/486, fols. 15v, 229r; A Letter from Mercurius Civicus to Mercurius Rusticus ([Oxford], 1643), 17; Clarendon, 1:453–4. 66  For crowd autonomy, see M. Braddick, God’s Fury, England’s Fire: A New History of the English Civil Wars (London, 2008), 136–7.

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CODA: A QUESTION ANSWERED It would be going too far to say that, with the Militia Ordinance, civil war became inevitable. Months of jockeying ensued, as two sides fitfully prepared for armed conflict. In this phase, the most extreme examples of unlicensed print discussed in this chapter were dredged up by the king’s inner circle as proof of the dangerously radical underpinnings of the Westminster Junto. The king’s new propaganda machine blasted the petition of the poor as an egregious case of political intimidation. But other works also came in for heavy criticism. Charles in his declarations of 1642 maintained that the prime reason for his withdrawal from London was the hurricane of “Printed seditious pamphlets and sermons, and the great tumults at Westminster.” He further lamented that, when “Delinquents of that nature have been apprehended,” they were “rescued by the People”—a reference to the fugitives Henry Walker and Thomas Paine. When prompted by parliament to specify “what Pamphlets and Sermons are by Your Majestie intended,” the king’s writers reeled off three of the most reprehensible, “The Protestation Protested, The Prentices Protestation, To your Tents, O Israell.”67 Here, Burton’s pamphlet and Walker’s petition were joined by the “Prentices Protestation”—likely The Aprentices Advice to the XII Bishops, which had gotten Gregory Dexter indicted for high treason—as epitomizing the frantic, seditious atmosphere that drove the king from his capital. Three weeks later, an even more offensive work came to the king’s attention. In mid-April, as conflict between the king and parliament escalated, and the business of implementing the Militia Ordinance grew urgent, there appeared A Question Answered: How Laws are to be understood, and obedience yeelded? Necessary for the present state of things, Touching the Militia (see Figure 4.1). This work, which has been called “the most influential broadside of the civil war,” laid out a novel and arresting case for obedience to the Militia Ordinance.68 Responding to royalist claims that the ordinance was wholly illegal, the author conceded, “let it be granted” that the king was “intrusted by Law with the Militia.” Nevertheless, this was solely for the “good and preservation of the Republique,” so that there could be no question of the king using the militia against his parliament or people. The military apparatus might have been placed by the law’s letter in royal hands, but “it cannot be supposed that the Parliament would ever by Law intrust the King with the Militia against themselves, or the Commonwealth, that intrusts them to provide for their weale, not for their woe.”69 Almost blithely, this passage staked a controversial claim that the militia was not a matter of royal prerogative, but was rather regulated by parliament; at a deeper level, it hinted that parliament’s authority in this matter flowed from power delegated by the “Commonwealth.” Yet, most importantly, it implied that at least in military emergencies parliament could act without, even against, the king, and pass binding orders lacking his consent—in effect denying the royal veto or “negative voice.”

67  Exact Collection, 109, 123; LJ 6:686. 68 Mendle, Dangerous Positions, 179. 69  A Question Answered: How Laws are to be understood, and obedience yeelded? (1642).

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Figure 4.1.  A Question Answered: How Laws are to be understood, and obedience yeelded? (1642). BL, C.112.h.4.(90), copyright © The British Library Board, all rights reserved.

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Underlying the argument was the notion that even laws duly passed by the k­ ing-in-parliament needed to serve the people’s “weale, not . . . woe.” Drawing on a legal maxim popularized by the Elizabethan lawyer Edmund Plowden, the author argued that “there is in the Laws an equitable, and a litterall sence.” The letter of the law could never justly override “the equity of it . . . that is, the publick good.” Royal claims over the militia were of precisely this character, an assertion of the literal sense of the law as against its “equity,” “reason,” and “spirit.” Subjects were therefore not obliged to obey the king, a conclusion the author bolstered by writing that if a general commands his soldiers to “turn the mouths of his Cannons against his own Souldiers,” they possessed a natural “right of disobedience.” Indeed, to assert otherwise was to abet unparalleled tyranny: without the distinction between the letter and spirit of law, “the legall and mixt Monarchy is the greatest Tiranny,” for such monarchs in effect had “a Tiranny confer’d upon them legally,” allowing them to operate under color of law, while in fact investing them with unbridled power. More even than “absolute Monarcks” who openly “rule by will, and not by Law,” an arbitrary monarch so sanctioned by law was a pure, unchallengeable tyrant.70 Gone here were the trappings of Prynne’s ancient constitutionalism; gone was Henry Walker’s appeal to scripture as a ground for resisting tyranny; A Question Answered pursued a line of reasoning that likewise went beyond Henry Burton’s contract theory, in which the king swore to govern by just laws. While there were hints of classical republicanism, and although the only clear source was the lawyer Plowden, this was a direct appeal to natural law, natural right, and the law of necessity. Its publication introduced what Michael Mendle has termed “the political theory of the emergency,” in which a permanent exceptional state of danger underwrote a soaring account of parliamentary power, verging on a kind of parliamentary absolutism, a view articulated most clearly by the theorist Henry Parker.71 The king and his advisors were appalled. When they learned of the text in York, they immediately fired a message to the upper house, imploring the peers to find the author, and warning “how much their own particular Interest (as well as the public Government of the Kingdom)” would be shaken if “such License shall be permitted to bold factious Spirits” to withdraw subjects from “strict Obedience from the Laws established, by such seditious and treasonable Distinctions.”72 Despite royal disgust, the work spread widely among the powerful. Sir Simonds D’ewes copied it into his notes. The broadside survives in the papers of the major Derbyshire ­parliamentarian Sir John Gell. Copies traveled to Scotland, causing a stir there. The language and imagery of the general, turning cannons on his soldiers, appeared later that year in the works of Lord Saye’s nephew, Henry Parker, the most influential

70  Question Answered; see G. Behrens, “Equity in the Commentaries of Edmund Plowden,” Journal of Legal History, 20 (1999), 25–50. 71  Q. Skinner, “Classical Liberty, Renaissance Translation and the English Civil War,” in Q. Skinner, Visions of Politics, Vol. 2: Renaissance Virtues (Cambridge, 2002), 330–1; M. Mendle, Henry Parker and the English Civil War (Cambridge, 1995), 82–9. 72  SP 16/490/12, 12 I–II; LJ 5:14.

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new parliamentarian propagandist. Indeed, the recurrence of this motif has been used to suggest that Parker authored the broadside.73 While this remains plausible, the most concrete evidence regarding the work’s origins is found in its typography. Although it sported no identifying ornaments, the work used several fonts of varying sizes. A few of the larger letters in its title bore distinguishing cracks and deformations. At least four of these letters, of identical size and form, can be found, with matching damage, in the acknowledged print output of Gregory Dexter and his partner Richard Oulton in 1642–3 (Appendix 2). There is thus an extremely high probability that their print house produced A Question Answered. Dexter’s involvement situates A Question Answered firmly in the world of avantgarde radical puritan publication explored here. While this by no means rules out Parker’s authorship, the theorist is not known to have worked with these printers. Still less did he involve himself with the other publisher who can be linked to the book. Almost simultaneously, a quarto version was published by John Wells under the title Matters of Great Note And High Consequence.74 Wells, the interloping book dealer, had been named as a culprit behind the Margery Mar-Prelate Press in 1641. He occupied the same nether regions of the book trade as Dexter, and his decision to republish A Question Answered suggests the circles in which the work was conceived and trafficked. What distinguished A Question Answered was the seductive, malleable nature of its core arguments, which would continue to exert a potent influence on major figures of the revolution. Most spectacularly, the king’s prosecutor, John Cook, quoted the broadside verbatim in the famous speech he drafted for delivery at Charles I’s trial in 1649.75 But if its logic could justify a sweeping vision of parliamentary power, mobilized for “preservation of the Republique,” the broadside’s central premises in fact supplied a weapon fit to be turned against any actor, institution, or legal authority that had ceased to operate for the people’s “weale, not for their woe.” This flexible principle took on almost scriptural status for radical independents in years to come, most famously for John Lilburne, who obsessively cited A Question Answered. Lilburne and Richard Overton drew on it for several purposes, most obviously to defend resistance to the perceived tyranny of parliament. Yet they also deployed it in a more capacious way, to assert proclaimed natural imperatives— such as the unimpeachable privilege of freemen to elect representatives—which were taken as fundamental, equitable rights, over and against the outward letter of laws or parliament’s dictates. From their writings, the basic argument percolated through a broader range of radical parliamentarian texts.76 Thus, A Question Answered 73 Peacey, Public Politics, 72; Derbyshire Record Office, D3287/45/11/148; Mendle, Dangerous Positions, 224 n.30, 187–8. 74  Wing M1306A, dated 19 Apr.; a second, reset impression was issued as A Question Concerning The great and weightie Affairs of the whole Kingdome (1642), Wing Q181. It was “Printed for John Goal,” likely a fake imprint to protect Wells after the king’s message. 75  J. Cook, King Charls his Case (1649), 23. 76  J. Lilburne, The Charters of London (1646), 36–9 (elections); J. Lilburne, In the 150. page of a Book called, An exact collection of the Parliaments Remonstrances (1645); Englands Birth-Right Justified (1645), 1–7, 44; J. Lilburne, The Free-mans Freedome Vindicated (1646), 6; J. Lilburne and R. Overton,

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came to buttress visions of the polity relying not on ancient liberties, or even the sovereign will of parliament, but on a fundamental natural moral order that in some respects quite obliterated existing features of the English constitution and law. This vision was by no means fully formed in early 1642 but, as we have seen here, key features of it were in gestation. Crucially, however, Lilburne and his friends always cited A Question Answered not in its original form, but as a doctrine endorsed by parliament itself. In early 1643, parliament gathered the manifestos exchanged between the two houses and the king, and ordered them printed as a single volume, often known as the “Book of Declarations.” Remarkably, an editorial decision was made to include A Question Answered in this volume, elevating an anonymous broadside, produced by the period’s most extreme printers, to the status of official parliamentarian dogma, equal in weight with the official declarations of the two houses.77 The broadside thus entered the accumulating “canon” of parliamentarian thought, examined in previous chapters, becoming fodder for partisans who sought to interpret parliament’s cause. It was this which made the text so appealing for later radical authors: it allowed them to quote back at parliament its own words, to insist that novel ideas were in fact mere corollaries of parliament’s official doctrine, and to demonstrate that lords and MPs were backsliding hypocrites, abandoning first principles.78 Above all, however, the incorporation of A Question Answered into the “Book of Declarations” reveals the remarkable symbiosis between the leadership in Westminster and the less exalted circles of publishers, organizers, and activists in London, who helped to shape the public cause that, with the implementation of the Militia Ordinance, now carried supporters of parliament towards open war. While this symbiotic relationship is of paramount significance for understanding the road to civil war, the printed material and crowd actions analyzed in this chapter also hint at striking practical and ideological innovations. If MPs and lords exploited these extra-parliamentary agitations, in doing so they invited into the political process a range of actors who, according to conventional norms, were to have nothing to do with government. And the organizers and para-propagandists who abetted the crowd actions and petitioning campaigns themselves embraced this broader understanding of the political nation, which was implicit in the printed materials they produced in these weeks. Walker’s and Paine’s inflammatory template for biblically sanctioned resistance, scattered in the crowds before being tossed into the king’s coach; Dexter’s Advice, with its incitement to crowd violence; and, most especially, Larner’s petition of the London poor, designed for distribution among Out-cryes of Oppressed Commons (1647), 4, 18; Regall Tyrannie Discovered (1647), 61–2; R. Overton, The Commoners Complaint (1647), 5–6; R. Overton, An Appeale From the degenerate Representative Body the Commons of England (1647), 3, 5; for derivative versions, modeled on Lilburne’s logic, but stripped of overt allusion to A Question Answered, see Fruitfull England Like to Become A Barren Wilderness (1648), 12; Worcester College, Oxford, Clarke MS. 41, fol. 18v; A Copie of a Letter sent From the Agitators of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax’s Armie (1647), 8; The Husbandmans Plea against Tithes (1647), 92–4. 77  Exact Collection, 150–1. 78  See, more broadly, A. Sharpe, “John Lilburne and the Long Parliament’s Book of Declarations: A Radical’s Exploitation of the Words of Authorities,” History of Political Thought, 9 (1988), 19–44.

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the gathering demonstrators, and calling for the absorption of the House of Lords into the lower chamber: all married jarring ideological messages with equally striking assumptions about the scope and nature of appropriate popular political activity. These works suggested a powerful union between medium and message, in which print, deployed in novel ways, became simultaneously a vehicle for corrosively ­subversive ideological statements, a practical means of mobilization, and an implicit commentary on the construction of the political nation. Although these were pamphlets and broadsides of the most ephemeral sort, their messages, lessons, and methods left a lasting imprint.

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PA RT I I C I V I L WA R , 1 6 4 2 – 1 6 4 3

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5 “Lawless Tyranny” and “Destructive Accommodation” War and the Transformation of Politics, 1642–1643 In 1649, after the king’s execution, the Leveller William Walwyn was attacked by erstwhile allies in London’s independent community. Among the charges against Walwyn was that “In the beginning of our troubles, he . . . frequently vented base and unworthy jealousies against that honored Col. Hambden, Mr. Pim and others” by insinuating that “there was no trusting them, for they might be dispenced withall, to serve the Kings interest.”1 In response, Walwyn was unable to deny the charge outright. He protested that “As for Mr Pym, and Mr Hampden . . . I honoured them much, for what I saw was good in them, and never reproach’d them in my life; but was not satisfied, when they would make a war, that they would make it in the name of the King and Parliament; I could not understand it to be plain dealing, nor thousands more besides me.” From the start, Walwyn believed that the official justification for the war was deceptive.2 The conflict, he implied, had always been waged against Charles I, and to suggest otherwise, as Pym and the parliamentary leadership habitually did, was an exercise in dishonesty. Walwyn had evidently made his views known publicly, and claimed that many parliamentarians concurred. Historians have been inclined to agree. The notion that the civil war was waged to protect king and parliament from treacherous evil counselors strikes modern readers as an Orwellian fiction. But through much of the war, parliamentary leaders and propagandists clung to their justification with tenacity. They did so in public pronouncements and private correspondence. In June 1643, for instance, Lord Saye, the militant “Junto” peer, wrote to his nephew, Sir Peter Temple: “happye wear it for us and for [the king], if, we coulde Deliver him and the kingdome out of the handes of these upstart evill counsellors whoe have bin, and are the cause of all our Distractions and myseryes.”3 Saye, like many parliamentarians, no doubt stuck to the party narrative because it allowed him to imagine himself as both a loyal subject and an aggrieved victim, engaged in a conservative war of self-defense. For Walwyn and others, this rationalization rang hollow, and extreme members of the coalition rejected the official parliamentarian pretext from the start of the war. 1  [J. Price,] Walwins Wiles (1649), 17. “In the beginning of our troubles” referred to the period before Dec. 1643, by which time Hampden and Pym were dead. 2  W. Walwyn, Walwyns Just Defence (1649), 25. 3  HL, MS. STT 781.

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Part II demonstrates how propagandists and organizers sought to present different, and more uncompromising understandings of the conflict. Those efforts met with partial success, and a growing number of English subjects came, during 1643, to embrace a sterner line with respect to the king, departing from received constitutional conventions. To some extent, this hardening of attitude flowed naturally from the eruption of open war, which brought pain and anger for those on the receiving end of royalist violence. Yet it was also the product of concerted political mobilization, in which dedicated para-propagandists and popular organizers sought to channel rage and fear into constructive political programs and new templates for understanding both the conflict and the underlying architecture of English government. But it was not just the struggle against the king that sharpened hostility against Charles and forced ideological change. Walwyn’s alleged slander of Pym and Hampden accused them of serving “the Kings interest.” This hints at a crucial structural feature of civil-war politics: debates and divisions within the parliamentarian coalition were decisive in shaping the evolution of political and religious thought. From an early stage, the coalition was riven by dispute; this adversarial dynamic, which operated along several axes, proved a powerful propulsive force in generating novel ideological formulations. Many of the most intriguing ideological transformations of the period emerged not out of direct debate with royalists, but as a consequence of dispute between parliamentarians. Particularly potent, as Walwyn’s comments suggest, was abiding fear among more extreme parliamentarians that elements within the Roundhead camp were ideologically suspect, and prone to backsliding, double-dealing, or self-interest. Deep divisions emerged in the coalition almost immediately upon the start of hostilities, leading to a realignment of politics at Westminster.4 Most seriously, MPs clashed over how aggressively to pursue the war. Two overarching problems recurred in following months, forcing this rift into plain sight and obliging members to take sides: first, the question of whether, and under what conditions, to enter a peace agreement (or “accommodation”) with the king; and second, the practical issue of how to organize, finance, and direct the war effort. These two broad questions were intertwined, since practicalities of finance and strategy were impossible to extricate from the more narrowly political issue of whether the goal was to defeat the king militarily or to bring about a speedy compromise peace. Yet underlying these practical problems were deeper, ideological splits: those who sought total defeat of the king generally did so because they saw it as the only way to secure more sweeping changes to the mechanics of church and state. Those favoring a defensive war and a quick peace, by contrast, were typically less ambitious in the kind of settlement they imagined, and more willing to swallow a deal acceptable to the king. Conflict over these related problems thus led to the formation of the loose factional groups that early historians labeled the “war party” and the “peace party,” categories that have become part of the orthodox scholarly lexicon. This distinction was based in part upon the judgment of informed contemporaries, including MPs, who sometimes 4  The war crystallized these divisions, but their origins can be traced to earlier months. Russell, FBM, 500–1, 513–19; R. Cust, Charles I and the Aristocracy, 1625–1642 (Cambridge, 2013), 280–303.

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referred to a “violent party” or “vehement party” in opposition to a “moderate party” in parliament.5 As such, the distinction between “war” and “peace” groupings retains analytical value, and is used, with due caution, in the pages that follow. However, it must be understood that these were not “parties” in the modern sense; they were more like loose congeries of political actors, coalescing to cooperate around shared goals, with considerable fluidity and instability. Moreover, as J. H. Hexter noted long ago, a simple bipartite scheme is inadequate to capture the full complexity of politics in the period; in Hexter’s view, there existed a third, “Middle Group,” anchored by John Pym, which sought moderate goals—protecting the constitutional safeguards put in place in 1641—but also recognized the need to take a firm military stand against the king. Hexter’s “Middle Group” suffers from analytical shortcomings, and the category is not employed in this book, which instead views Pym as the lynchpin of a loose, pro-war grouping through 1643.6 But Hexter’s concept was valuable in recognizing that despite the existence of this broader war-party configuration, there were real differences separating Pym and his inner circle both from more extreme MPs, such as Henry Marten and Sir Peter Wentworth, and from rank-and-file backers of the cause, such as Walwyn. Indeed, it will be one of the primary contentions of Part II that these differences became more pronounced, and grew in consequence, as a result of the political struggles of 1643. More specifically, Part II explains how heated debate over questions of war and accommodation drove some parliamentarians in increasingly extreme directions. The conflict over war and peace that began in late 1642 had two effects. First, it brought into being a coalition of activists in London, committed to waging an aggressive war against the king, and to undermining hopes of a rapid, negotiated accommodation with the crown. This network of political confederates deployed an arsenal of tactics—print propaganda, lobbying, mass petitioning—to steer the political situation in a direction congenial to its interests. Second, in the course of this campaign figures in this network began to articulate increasingly radical political assumptions. In some cases, those assumptions were merely overt utterances of sentiments that had likely been circulating quietly for some time in parliamentarian circles; however, the overlapping conflicts of late 1642—the hot war with the king, and the “cold” war rumbling within parliament’s coalition between “war” and “peace” factions—also had a radicalizing effect, leading militants to rearrange or extend the underlying logic of existing parliamentary propaganda in ways that produced new and sometimes extreme conclusions. This process of radicalization can be charted in three separate realms: first, in the articulation of novel visions of 5  BL, Hl. 165, fol. 146r (Sir Simonds D’ewes); Bod. L., MS. Tanner 62b, fol. 262r (the MP William Constantine). 6  J. H. Hexter, The Reign of King Pym (Cambridge, MA, 1941). The model has two drawbacks: first, Hexter’s “Middle Group” conflated a bicameral network of patronage and kinship (binding Pym, St. John, Clotworthy, and peers including Warwick, Bedford, and Saye) with a larger pool of “nonaligned” MPs, whose votes varied, depending on the issue and rhetorical resources mobilized; second, despite differences with Marten, Wentworth, and other “war-party” MPs, Pym typically sided with them on key issues in 1642–3, guiding the Commons decisively away from accommodation and towards war, explaining why D’ewes and others regarded Pym as leader of the “violent party.” See also D. Scott, Politics and War in the Three Stuart Kingdoms (Basingstoke, 2003), 40–3.

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the right structure and constitutional makeup of the English polity; second, in attitudes towards the Lords, who, already under suspicion as a result of the events of 1641–2, came to be seen in a more sinister light by some parliamentarians; and finally, in attitudes towards Charles I. As 1643 wore on, the “official” line, nurtured by Pym and his associates—that parliament was fighting not the king himself, but evil counselors, who had surrounded and effectively kidnapped Charles—began in many eyes to look increasingly absurd, as the monarch came to be regarded as a menace to the kingdom. L AW L E S S T Y R A N N Y: K I N G J A M E S H I S J U D G E M E N T Some subjects, however, were convinced of the king’s malevolence even before the war began. This was certainly true of the author of King James His Judgement of a  King and of a Tyrant, which appeared on September 9, 1642. This pamphlet began by reprinting a passage from the speech King James delivered to parliament in  1610.7 James, responding to fears about absolutist tendencies at court, had proclaimed that kings were bound by a double oath—first, a tacit vow to protect the people and laws of the realm, and, second, an explicit coronation oath. A monarch who departed from the laws “leaves to be a King, and degenerates into a Tyrant.” The address, while conciliatory, lacked substance, and on close inspection amounted to “little more than pleasantries.”8 Packaged and printed in James’s collected works, the speech proved rather less pleasant for the king’s successor. Beginning with Henry Burton in 1636, James’s words were parroted back to Charles by the regime’s sharpest critics. Prynne in 1636–7 used James’s speech to close his manuscript “Humble Remonstrance” against Ship Money. Most pointedly, it was cited by the author of Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ against the Bishops Canons (almost certainly Burton) as part of the incendiary argument that English kings were bound by mutual covenant with their people to maintain ancient laws and liberties, upon pain of armed resistance.9 King James his Judgement duplicated this basic argumentative structure, with enough thematic and rhetorical overlap to suggest the direct influence of Englands Complaint.10 But the author now amplified Burton’s assertions. James would have been appalled to discover that his speech implied that there was a “solemne Covenant” 7  King James His Judgement of a King and of a Tyrant (1642), sig. Ar. 8  J. P. Sommerville, Royalists and Patriots: Politics and Ideology in England, 1603–1640, 2nd ed. (London, 1999), 124–6; James I, The Workes of the Most High and Mightie Prince, James (1616), 531. 9  H. Burton, For God, and the King (1636), 39–40; SP 16/536/77, fol. 173; Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ against the Bishops Canons (1640), sigs. A4v–Br. 10  King James, sig. A2v: “never any of the subjects of England ” “made a Covenant” to “bee slaves under a Tyrannicall . . . government”; Complaint, sig. Br: “never any . . . covenant was . . . agreed . . . between the King and people of England” allowing for “absolute Monarchie over the People, to command their bodies and goods at . . . pleasure.” King James, sig. A3r: no “private man” could resist violently, but the “whole state” could; Complaint, sig. B3r–v: “no private person” should take up arms, but the “whole State” could; King James, sig. A4r: royalists “with Esau” will “sell their birthright of Lawes and Liberties for a messe of broth.” Complaint, sig. Br: “Our Liberties and Laws . . . are our birthright, which we may not be so base as, with Esau, to sell away for a Song.”

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between kings and the English people, and that when the monarch failed “to rule according to his Laws,” the “Covenant on his part is infringed, so as the People are no longer his Subjects to obey him in his lawlesse Government.” Such a malefactor was no longer a king, having “degenerated into a Tyrant,” much more so if he “obstinately, perversly, wilfully, wittingly, yea and palpably . . . maintaines under the Title of Prerogative, a most boundlesse, swelling, exuberant and lawlesse Tyranny.” The “infallible mark” of such a tyrant was that he “doth take up Armes against” his most faithful subjects, “yea against the whole body of the Land, when assembled in Parliament.”11 The tract left no doubt that Charles had ceased to be a king and become a tyrant, and that armed resistance against him was appropriate and necessary. It was not licit for a “private man to lay violent hands” on a tyrant, but it was entirely justified “for a whole state to stand up to defend themselves against tyrannicall usurpation.”12 To dissolve all doubt about Charles I’s status, the author then catalogued the king’s tyrannical actions. As Bellany and Cogswell have shown, he began by dredging up charges that Charles was complicit in his father’s murder, a hoary rumor that had survived along the darker margins of the public sphere since Dr. Eglisham published The Forerunner of Revenge in 1626.13 This was followed by a long list of crimes, from imprisoning MPs to the attempt on the five members. The thrust was to deny that anyone other than Charles could be blamed: “Who is the author of all the evills . . . in the Kingdome, and so the great troubler of Israel, seeing so many malefactors, and delinquents, and instruments of cruelty, are authorized and protected as Innocents?” In closing, the author asked whether “the setting up of the Kings Standard against the Parliament . . . be not an actuall unkinging of him . . .  and as now, intending and indevouring with Might and maine to come in as a Conquerour, and so to set up a lawlesse and Tyrannicall Government.”14 King James his Judgement grossly flouted orthodox parliamentarian doctrine, which held that Westminster’s military mobilization aimed to protect the king and parliament from wicked counselors. The two houses’ declarations in previous months had studiously avoided allegations of tyranny, sticking to a script of moderation and self-defense.15 No doubt because of its incendiary content, King James his Judgement was cast in the voice of a Scot, sprinkled with idiomatic expressions such as “Kirke,” “geud,” and “anent.” This was surely a tactic of dissimulation, and not a very convincing one—as a critic wrote, the author seemed “by some few words to be a Scot, but by most of his language, as by common fame, appeareth english bred, and who, I am well assured is either Brownist, Anabaptist, or Separatist.”16 While charges of sectarianism came straight from the royalist polemical handbook, it is difficult to dispute the conclusion that the author was English, based in London.17 11  King James, sig. Ar–v. 12  King James, sig. A3r. 13  A. Bellany and T. Cogswell, The Murder of King James I (New Haven, 2015), 381–3. 14  King James, sigs. A3v–A4v. 15  J. Morrill, “Charles I, Tyranny and the English Civil War,” in J. Morrill, The Nature of the English Revolution (Harlow, 1993), 285–306. 16  King Charles his Defence Against some trayterous Observations upon King James (1642), 2. 17  The text was dated at its end 8 Sept. (King James, sig. A4v); it was obtained by Thomason the next day, suggesting the author was in London.

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The work caused an immediate sensation. The day after it came out, the upper house commanded that it should be burned and enjoined the chief justice of King’s Bench to prosecute the author and publishers. The Commons followed two days later, ordering its own investigation and confirming that the tract should be burned.18 These moves evidently failed—the first edition of the book quickly sold out and another impression immediately appeared. At this point, investigators identified the publishers. On October 4, the peers received the interrogations of Abigail Dexter and William White. Abigail was Gregory Dexter’s wife and White was a printer in Dexter’s establishment. Gregory himself had recently departed London to serve as a dragoon in parliament’s army. White claimed he had printed the book “by the Commande of ” Gregory Dexter. Abigail told a different story, confessing she had ordered the work’s reprinting after her husband left to serve. She later said that she found “in her husbands workroome, a Copie, formerly printed” and “knowing noe other Author thereof, but king James, caused” it to be reprinted. Her claims of “imbicilitie and ignorance” (which shielded her husband and deflected blame from herself ) were undercut by White’s testimony that Gregory Dexter had ordered the book’s printing, and even more so by her suggestion in her first interrogation that she knew the author. Her refusal to identify the writer or to clarify the work’s initial publication led to her imprisonment, which lasted at least until the end of 1642.19 It is no surprise to find Dexter’s print house behind King James his Judgement. He was perhaps London’s most radical stationer, responsible for a stream of controversial books from 1637 onward. Yet his wife’s harsh treatment was a sign of just how seriously parliament took this challenge to the orthodox line on England’s incipient civil war. A determination to police the boundaries of political orthodoxy was further revealed on October 5, when the lower house learned of A Speedy Post from Heaven, to the King of England, which hit bookstalls that day. Although less theoretically bold than Dexter’s book, this tract claimed that the king had “laboured the utter distruction of ” his three kingdoms and warned Charles he was in danger of losing his crowns, closing with an allusion to Psalm 149, in which parliament’s heroic leaders were depicted bearing a “two edged sword in their hand to execute vengance” and “to bind their Kings with Chenes, and . . . their Nobles with fetters of Iron, to execute upon them the Judgment written.” Although the tract paid lip service to the fiction of evil counsel, its strident message offended the house, which ordered the book called in and burned, launching an inquiry to find the author.20 Here, the informal propaganda arm that had arisen in the previous two years to make parliament’s case finally collided with the tight constraints on public discourse that parliament’s leadership was now committed to enforce. A stern message was sent that deviations would be punished. Even ardent supporters, such as Dexter, currently risking his life in the field, were not exempt. Yet these cases should warn 18  LJ 5:345; CJ 2:762. 19  LJ 5:385–6; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/134 (Oct. 4, 1642); PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/137 (Nov. 29, 1642); PA, HL/PO/JO/10/14/9/3599, undated, petition of A. Dexter. 20 A.H., A Speedy Post from Heaven, to the King of England (1642), 1–5; CJ 2:795.

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us not to confuse parliament’s official rhetoric—carefully modulated to win over waverers and repel charges of rebellion and treason—with the true state of opinion among parliament’s most zealous backers.21 To understand fully ideological developments at the leading edge of parliament’s coalition, however, we must turn away from printed propaganda, and look at the interplay between war, high politics at Westminster, and the world of petitioning and popular mobilization. A C C O M M O D AT I O N , T H E “ F LY I N G A R M Y,” A N D T H E F R A G M E N TAT I O N O F T H E PA R L I A M E N TA RY C AU S E On October 23, 1642, the king’s army was intercepted by parliament’s Lord General, the Earl of Essex, and the first major battle of the civil war ensued at Edgehill in Warwickshire. The battle was indecisive; but the bloodshed was considerable, and the reality of unrestrained war quickly made itself felt. In subsequent weeks, as royal forces crept towards London, the parliamentary coalition revealed signs of internal stress. Prompted by a group of peers—Northumberland, Holland, and Pembroke, most prominently—the two houses came under pressure to enter negotiations with the king.22 After heated debate, it was agreed in early November to send a peace delegation.23 At the same time, urgent preparations unfolded to secure London against Charles’s oncoming army, even as Essex scrambled to march his forces to the capital to defend the city.24 The details of these moves would have significant repercussions in coming days. To deter the king’s advance, an infantry detachment was sent from Essex’s army to Brentford, west of London. The Committee of Safety—the executive body parliament had created to manage the war effort—then wrote to Essex asking him to send cavalry to Brentford to provide the foot with protection. On November 5, the earl responded: “I receaved a letter from you, of a desier to have hors and dragoneers sent to brenfourd.” Essex wrote that before the message arrived he had sent his cavalry “to thear several quarters, soe that I could not have sent any considerable body tyme enough.” Yet Essex confessed that if the request had arrived earlier, he would not have consented: “besids if it had been in my power I should have left the fout nacked in the march, and although prince Rubert troups loves ploundring I beleeve theay will consider of it before hors venturs upon a considerable body of foute.” Despite the growing reputation of the royal cavalry 21  See also A Briefe Discourse upon Tyrants and Tyranny (1642), printed in Nov.; for evidence that such views were growing common among ordinary subjects in mid-1642, see D. Cressy, Charles I and the People of England (Oxford, 2015), 292–3. 22  LJ 5:427; AMAE, Paris, vol. 49, fols. 224v, 235r; Speciall Passages (Nov. 15, 1642/E.127[12]), 121; A Continuation of The most Remarkable Passages (Dec. 3, 1642), 4. 23  BL, Whit., fols. 5r, 7v; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 7, 1642/E.242[7]), sig. Xr; BL, Yonge 1, fol. 47a; LJ 5:429–31; CJ 2:832; Three Speeches Spoken in Guild-Hall, Concerning His Majesties Refusall of a Treaty of Peace (1643); Two Speeches Delivered by The Earl of Holland, and Mr. Jo: Pym (1643). 24 For a good account of London’s preparations under the emergency general Warwick: C. Thompson, The Earl of Warwick’s “Running Army,” the County of Essex and the Eastern Association (Wivenhoe, 1999).

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under Prince Rupert as opportunistic raiders, Essex ignored the Committee of Safety’s request, believing, out of military principle, that the king’s horse would not dare attack a large infantry brigade. Essex concluded, “I confes you can not bee to watchfull, but a treaty and plundring of the subburbs have noe great coherence to guether.”25 The king, Essex insisted, would never attack in the midst of negotiations between the two sides. By November 7, much of Essex’s army had arrived at the outskirts of London.26 This may have eased fears of an imminent storm of the city, but with the houses tussling over the prospect of peace negotiations, and the earl’s army sitting immobile in the suburbs, grumbling began to infect parliament’s forward supporters. On November 11, a group of Londoners, together with “divers Ministers,” arrived to deliver a ten-point petition to the Commons. Near the top of the list was the request “That this Treaty be put to a period in a very few dayes, which otherwaies will consume our estates, sinke our spirits, and expose us to desperate dangers.” Worried that the treaty was being used as a pretense by the king, the citizens made an offer to stiffen the spines of vacillating MPs, who were considering a deal with Charles. The Londoners called for “an Army of 6000. Horse” to be “presently raised to pursue the Enemy incessantly untill the worke be finished,” and, according to one account, offered that this new force would “be set forth and maintained at their own charge” during the war. Other proposals asked parliament to ensure the city’s safety by cracking down on “Malignants,” whose property might be seized to fund the war effort. The frustrated petitioners also demanded “That his Excellency [Essex] may instantly goe forth, which was certeynely promised, and by us fully expected before this time.” Essex was here portrayed as defensively holding back near London, rather than marching out to meet the enemy. The petition marked the first time that the war effort, led by Essex, had been questioned in a public forum.27 The call for a new horse army likewise suggested an implicit critique of Essex’s generalship. This was not a wholly new idea—it had been floating in Roundhead circles from early November, when unknown MPs proposed a similar plan in the lower house.28 But as one observer explained, the goal behind this force was “to make a running Army to pursue the Cavaliers whersoever they go and not to suffer them to rest, sleep or eat in any place.”29 This “running” or “flying” army of horsemen would surge through the country, harrying Charles’s troops, and neutralizing the

25  BL, Add. MS. 11692, fol. 29r. The foot reached Brentford around Nov. 5: A Continuation Of certaine Speciall and Remarkable Passages (Dec. 1, 1642/E.242[31]), 2. 26  Speciall Passages (Nov. 8, 1642/E.126[26]), 112. 27 SP 16/492/53, fol. 135r–v (endorsed “Presented. 11th: Novemb. 1642”); CJ 2:845; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 14, 1642/E.242[11]), 7; the ten propositions were later printed in The True and Originall Copy of the first Petition which was delivered by sir David Watkins, Mr. Shute (1642), implying they accompanied a petition of Dec. 1 (a mistake that has misled later historians). 28  BL, Yonge 1, fols. 49b, 53a; CJ 2:833. Warwick pursued this order on Nov. 5, asking the Militia Committee to provide 4,000 horses to mount new recruits in the city: England’s Memorable Accidents (Nov. 14, 1642/E.242[10]), 73. 29  England’s Memorable Accidents (Nov. 21, 1642/E.242[19]), 84; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 20, 1642/E.242[17]), sig. A2v.

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royalists’ cavalry advantage.30 Yet the project also served to remind people of Essex’s failure to pursue the Cavaliers “incessantly” after Edgehill: “had this course [of a flying army] bin thought upon immediately after the battell,” the royalists “had bin ere this utterly scattered, and never have been able to have made head againe.”31 The plan thus fed off rumors, current among insiders, that after Edgehill some of the earl’s advisors counseled him not to pursue the disordered royalists, thus missing an opportunity to end the war at a stroke.32 The London petition hinted not only that the earl had been too cautious in his generalship, but also that his priorities in organizing the disposition of parliament’s forces had been misplaced, even as it warned MPs against negotiations with the king. On the following day, November 12, the earl’s perceived inadequacy was exposed with unsettling clarity. In the early morning, Rupert’s forces attacked Brentford, where the foot regiments of Denzil Holles and Lord Brooke—composed mostly of young Londoners—had been stationed a few days earlier. Left without cavalry support, many of the parliamentary infantry were slaughtered and others captured (including John Lilburne, one of Brooke’s captains). Rupert’s troops then ransacked the town. While a military success, the Brentford raid was a political blunder. As the prince’s men pillaged the place, the peers were weighing the king’s latest answer to their peace overtures. Charles had left his strongest parliamentary friends in the lurch, and it was difficult even for backers of accommodation to avoid the obvious conclusion: the king used the negotiations to dally with parliament while he marched on London, then ruthlessly attacked parliament’s soldiers while pretending to treat for peace. This conclusion was hardly misplaced—Essex’s own letter shows that he was lulled by negotiations into leaving the Brentford infantry undefended, or, to use the earl’s adjective, “nacked.”33 Word of the king’s “treachery” at Brentford spread rapidly, convincing Londoners that success for Charles’s army would mean disaster for the city. Unsurprisingly, the next day, when Charles arrived at the edge of the capital, the city’s trained bands stood firm alongside Essex’s troops at Turnham Green in a show of force that made any attempt by the king unthinkable.34 Charles was compelled to retreat towards Oxford. The Brentford raid played an important role in cementing hostility to the king. It became an iconic instance of Cavalier brutality and royal untrustworthiness. As one observer put it a week later, Charles’s false peace overtures amounted to “a treacherous, Jesuiticall, unchristianly, and unkinglike accommodation,” explicitly designed to “destroy his subjects.” Far from being an innocent bystander, the king was “a cause of the shedding of so much blood,” a fact made plain when he rode 30 “Flying army” became the favored term for the scheme: Speciall Passages (Nov. 29, 1642/E.128[28]), 133; Parliament Scout (July 13, 1643/E.60[8]), 18. 31  England’s Memorable Accidents (Nov. 21, 1642/E.242[19]), 84. 32 Whitelocke, Memorials, 61; Vindiciae Veritatis. Or an Answer to a Discourse intituled, Truth it’s Manifest (1654), 66–7. 33 Possibly, some cavalry were sent to Brentford, but if so, they disappeared. See J. Lilburne, Innocency and Truth Justified. First against the unjust aspertions of W. Prinn (1646), 40–1. 34  For Wallington’s account of the Brentford “treachery” rallying the city, see BL, Add. MS. 40883, fol. 48v; Clarendon, 2:395.

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past the carnage at Brentford, “glorying at the sight of the dead bodies of our men as he went along, commending his souldiers for their valour in slaying of them,” a tale that soon spread widely among parliament’s supporters. Ominously, the observer warned that “God” would “justly punish in due time any that shall dissemblingly take his name in vaine, and call God to witnesse one thing, but intend another.”35 The extreme viewpoint of the author of King James his Judgement was now spreading among observers horrified by the king’s duplicity and callous disregard for his subjects’ lives. Brentford also left a more subtle imprint on parliamentarian politics. In the following days, supporters of the cause sought to assign blame for the disaster. It is unclear whether word of Essex’s letter of November 5 ever leaked beyond the Committee of Safety. Nevertheless, there had been a long list of apparent command failures, which provoked public outrage. Few officers were present that morning, nor had soldiers been supplied with sufficient ammunition.36 Once fighting began, a large body of horse and foot, stationed at Kingston, failed to come to the assistance of the beleaguered Londoners. Anger soon focused on members of the earl’s inner circle, notably Sir John Meyrick, Major General of the Foot, one of Essex’s closest friends and clients, who was also by report a source of ill counsel after Edgehill.37 Fury over the Brentford raid exploded within hours of the event. The next day (November 13), in the very moment that parliament’s forces were facing down the king’s army at Turnham Green, “divers Gentlemen of the City of London,” claiming to speak “in the Name of the Godly and Active part of the City,” arrived to address the Commons. They identified themselves as the same group that had petitioned two days earlier, and their demands built upon those presented on November 11. Now, however, the message was more direct. Speaking through the haberdasher Richard Shute, the petitioners lamented “That they fear they are bought and sold.” The slaughter at Brentford was the result of poor decision-making, which had left Holles’s troops “exposed to a Place of so imminent Danger . . . and almost naked” (thus echoing, unwittingly or not, the adjective Essex had used in his letter). As this might have been construed as a direct criticism, the petitioners singled out Essex “as one in whom they absolutely confide”; instead, they attacked other “Officers in the Army . . . not so careful and diligent as they ought, nor all of them so trusty,” a plain allusion to the likes of Meyrick. But this barely softened the thrust of the petition, which implicitly cast doubt on Essex’s competence. They thus bewailed “the Coming of the Lord General’s Army into the City of London, and staying here so long as they did.” Essex’s defensive strategy of drawing back to wait for the king had allowed Charles to sack Brentford and jeopardize London 35  Speciall Passages (Nov. 15, 1642/E.127[12]), 119–21. The story of Charles’s “review” persisted. See An Apologie and Vindication (From all false and malignant Aspersions) (1644), 12. For later invocation of the Brentford treachery, see All worthy Commanders, Officers, Soldiers, Citizens (1648); J. Milton, Eikonoklastes in Answer to a Book Intitl’d Eikon Basilike (1650), 164–5. 36 Lilburne, Innocency and Truth, 41; Amon Wilbee, Plain Truth Without Feare or Flattery (1647), sig. B4v; England’s Memorable Accidents (Nov. 28, 1642/E.242[28]), 90. 37  Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 20 1642/E.242[17]), sig. A2v; Perfect Diurnall (Dec. 5, 1642/E.242[34]), sig. Bb4r; BL, Whit., fol. 10r; BL, Hl. 164, fol. 177v; Vindiciae Veritatis, 66–7; “Sir John Meyrick (c.1600–1659),” ODNB. Other targets were Sir James Ramsey and Thomas Ballard.

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itself. At a practical level, however, their most important observation was that Charles’s advantage thus far had rested in his cavalry—“the King’s Strength lying in Horse.” The petitioners thus bemoaned “that the City should not appear in a considerable Body of Horse,” and repeated the offer of November 11 to raise a new cavalry army.38 The most incendiary of their demands was surely this: “The Point of Accommo­ dation was another Reason of their Grief.” They stated that, if necessary, they would “make their own Captains and Officers, and live and die with the House of Commons, and in Defence thereof.” The promise to defend the Commons was perhaps not accidental, since the petitioners had no doubt as to where the impulse towards this dangerous accommodation originated: “and if there bee any in the Lords Howse that doe any way retard or hinder this Publique defence they wish they would declare themselves and that they were with the Kinge.”39 Accommodation was portrayed as a ploy that worked to Charles’s advantage; it was being nurtured in the House of Lords, which, on this account, was inhabited by a cabal of fifth columnists set to betray parliament’s cause—hence the vituperative complaint that London had been “bought and sold.” The Londoners’ address brought together a number of explosive political impulses: opposition to negotiations with the king, the call for defeating him completely in the field, the need to raise a “flying army,” suspicion of Essex’s generalship, and a broader belief that the upper house (or elements within it) could not be trusted. It was an extraordinary petition but, with royal armies bearing down on London, MPs were in no position to quibble with their most earnest and generous supporters. The Commons embraced the offer to raise troops for parliament. A committee was sent to treat with the citizens, and by day’s end the house learned that the Londoners “desire that the Forces, that these Gentlemen shall raise, may be under Command of Serjeant Major Skippon, with a Power subordinate to my Lord General.”40 Philip Skippon, a continental war veteran and captain of London’s Honourable Artillery Company, had been appointed to head the city militia in early 1642. An experienced soldier and devout puritan with close ties to the city’s governors, he was a logical choice, and the two houses acceded, putting him in command of a force of 4,000 horse and dragoons now to be raised.41 Unsurprisingly, the Earl of Essex resisted. He saw the creation of this new army as an attack on his authority. He balked at granting Skippon a commission, angering the Londoners, who in turn threatened to withhold their money.42 As the Venetian ambassador reported a week later, the “flying army” was to “be commanded by a leader selected by the Council of the city and employed where he may consider it best,” a demand that he saw as a “shrewd blow at the office of the General Essex, 38  CJ 2:847–8. That they were the same group that submitted the ten-point Nov. 11 petition is shown by their claim that “They have presented a Petition of Ten Particulars; to which they expect an Answer in convenient Time.” 39  CJ 2:847–8; the printed Commons’ Journals contain a transcription error; the MS journal reads “bee” rather than “he.” PA, HC/CL/JO/1/24, Nov. 13, 1642. 40  CJ 2:848. 41  BL, Whit., fol. 9v; BL, Yonge 1, fol. 59a–b; CJ 2:850; LJ 5:446. 42  BL, Whit., fol. 9v; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 20, 1643/E.242[17]), sig. A3v; CJ 2:852.

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who for this reason and on other grounds is not perfectly satisfied, and it becomes more and more apparent that he is cherishing increasingly bitter feelings.”43 Only aggressive intervention by the Commons succeeded in salvaging the plan. On November 16, Essex acquiesced in allowing the proposal to go forward, but with serious modifications. Skippon would not command the new London horse army. To placate city sentiment, Essex agreed instead to make Skippon Sergeant Major General of his own army, in command of his foot. Crucially, this meant displacing the earl’s favorite, Sir John Meyrick, the villain of Brentford.44 While the result was not disastrous for Meyrick—he was discreetly slotted into a post as General of the Ordnance—this reshuffle revealed the underlying tensions unleashed by the “flying army” project. Clarendon claimed it was forced on Essex: Skippon “was now made sergeant-major-general of the army, by the absolute power of the two Houses, and without the cheerful concurrence of . . . Essex,” thus evicting “Merrick, who had executed that place by his [lordship’s] choice from the beginning.”45 While Skippon soon became a trusted subordinate of the earl, these transactions permanently scarred Essex’s relationship with elements in the city. Five years later, a radical pamphleteer with a long memory revealed how more jaundiced observers interpreted these affairs: “I do remember when the Earle of Essex, and his chiefe commanders, Merrick . . . and the rest, came to London, to laze, smoake tobacco, and drinke Sack, court, complement, vaunt and vapour of that they never did, and a potent enemy at hand in the field, who came up to Brainford, to the hazzard of the whole Army and Citie before they were discovered, and no cheife Officer there, either to command, or deliver forth Ammunition.”46 With such poisonous talk in the air, it is no surprise that Essex in following weeks quietly allowed the entire plan for a “flying army” to die. This was not for want of effort on the part of London militants. On November 17, the merchant Richard Browne, a replacement for Skippon equally acceptable to city opinion, was commissioned as “Commander in Cheife of all those Companyes of Dragooners already raised and to be raised by the Cittye of London.”47 An urban committee, headed by Richard Shute, the leader of the militant lobby, was created to raise and maintain Browne’s forces.48 Meanwhile, another committee was established by the Lord Mayor, probably on November 15, to harvest subscriptions for the new army, taking up residence at Weavers’ Hall.49 Although no signed copies of the London petitions of November 11 and 13 survive, members of Shute’s committee and the 43  CSPV, 1642–3, 207. 44  CJ 2:852; A Continuation of Certain speciall and Remarkable passages (Nov. 24, 1642/E.242[24]), 2–3; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 21, 1642/E.242[20]), sigs. Z3v–Z4r. 45  Clarendon, 3:16; LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fols. 41v–42r; the clash is the more striking if, as has been claimed, Essex and Skippon were already close. Adamson, NR, 66–7, 558. 46 Wilbee, Plain Truth, sig. B4v. 47  SP 17/F/11. 48  SP 28/144, part 2; SP 19/1/54: “Richard Shute Treasurer of the Committee for setting forth the Dragooners under the Comand of Colonell Richard Browne.” 49 Two versions of the Mayor’s order survive. One, a printed ticket, contains a penciled note “15  Novemb: 1642.” A Declaration of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament (1642). BL, 669.f.5[104]. An undated MS copy is in SP 19/1/30–2; M. A. Everett Green, ed., Calendar of the Committee for the Advance of Money, 3 vols. (London, 1888), 1:1–2, transcribes it (with errors) and dates it Nov. 26, despite the lack of date in the MS. The date on the printed ticket must be preferred.

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Weavers’ Hall subcommittee were surely at the heart of the petitioning movement, and, taken together, the two bodies offer a snapshot of the personnel involved in the urban campaign against accommodation and in favor of the “flying army.” Browne’s committee was comprised of the leading city activists, Joseph Vaughan, John Pocock, Edward Story, Arthur Dewe, and William Pennoyer. In a sign of the remarkable continuity with prewar organization, this committee held regular meetings at Ann Wilson’s Nag’s Head Tavern (site of Samuel How’s infamous sermon and the weekly meetings to mount pro-Scottish resistance in 1640).50 A stone’s throw away, the Weavers’ Hall committee included many of the most militant activists in the city, some mentioned above. Among them were the merchant Walter Boothby, who owned a copy of Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ; John Bellamy, the stationer and former member of Henry Jacob’s gathered church; Mark Hildesley, soon a leader of the John Goodwin’s gathered flock; and William Walwyn, an obscure Merchant Adventurer.51 Many of the Weavers’ Hall men were involved in parish governance before the war, and at least six were Common Councillors, but few were anywhere near the pinnacle of urban affairs.52 Most came from the prosperous middling rank of substantial citizens, well below the heights of the city elite.53 What differentiated them from their more prominent fellow citizens was fierce commitment to parliament’s cause, often coupled with overt godly zeal. And in the following weeks the two committees engaged in frenetic activities, raising thousands of pounds and mounting a substantial contingent of dragoons. In the end, however, these forces never amounted to a discrete “flying army.”54 Instead, the new units were folded into Essex’s existing army, and although initially the funds were channeled towards Browne’s dragoons, much of the money collected at Weavers’ Hall was soon gobbled up by parliament’s general treasury.55 The plan for the “flying army” thus failed; however, not only did the aspiration survive, but the establishment of these ad hoc committees, composed of self-selecting urban radicals, would be essential to the birth of a new parliamentarian revenue machine. 50  SP 28/144, part 2, fols. 28–35. 51 Lindley, PPR, 229–30; Declaration of the Lords and Commons; each ward was represented (two from Farringdon). Other members were: Rob. Sweet, Hugh Smithson, Rich. Willett, Hoogan Hovell, Christ. Nicholson, Mich. Stiles, Jn. Hilliard, Rich. Cotes, Jn. Leigh, Nich. Gerard, Wm. and Matt. Fox, Tho. Lenthall, Tho. Hutchins, Rob. Finch, Rob. Meade, Wm. Farrington, Jn. Dethick, Jn. Kendricke, Tho. Foote, Fr. Greenaway, Edw. Vaughan, Solomon Vandenbrooke. 52  SP 28/298, fol. 358v; SP 28/168, fol. 2r; SP 28/193, part  5 (St. James Dukes); LMA, P69/ MTN2/B/001/MS00959/001, fol. 197v; LMA, P69/AUG/B/001/MS00635/001, unfol.; LMA, P69/ AND1/B/009/MS02088/001, unfol.); LMA, P69/STE1/B/001/MS04458/001/001, p. 103; Lindley, PPR, 229–30. 53  In the crown’s 1640 survey of wealthy Londoners, of the twenty-seven Weavers’ Hall men, twelve appear, and only one (Foote) was in the second tier of wealth. The others named were Meade, Dethick, Hovell (3rd tier); Boothby, Lenthall (4th tier); Smithson, Walwyn, Kendricke, Nicholson, Farrington, and Bellamy (unranked). SP 16/453/75, fols. 116–65. 54  Bod. L., MS. Carte 80, fols. 106–7; SP 19/79/101, fols. 160v, 162r, 163r–v; BL, 669.f.5[105]; SP 28/144, part 2, fols. 2–6, 28–35. 55  For soldiers: Grand Diurnall (Nov. 28, 1642/E.242[29]), sig. A3v; A Continuation of Certain speciall and remarkable Passages (Nov. 24, 1642/E.242[24]), 2–3; BL, Yonge 1, fol. 67b; for funds: SP 19/1/54–5, 64, 66; SP 28/144, part 2, fol. 28v.

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After Turnham Green, Charles invited parliament to send him new peace propositions. Despite the Brentford “treachery,” there remained many lords and MPs ready to accept his invitation, and divisions in the two houses now manifested themselves more clearly. On November 21, as the houses prepared to debate the king’s offer, a delegation of Londoners was admitted, led by Richard Shute. Again speaking for “the most active, and . . . religious Part of the City,” Shute complained “that they understand that this House is upon an Accommodation; which grieves their Hearts, considering what followed the last Treaty of Accommodation”—the attack on Brentford and the march on London. Shute then turned to finance, suggesting that “If the Accommodation go not on, then to consider how Monies may be raised . . . as that the whole Charge may not lie upon the Good and Godly Party; but that the Malignant Party may be enforced to bear their Share.”56 Whether this choreographed intervention affected the ensuing deliberations is not known. But the issue of peace negotiations prompted an eleven-hour debate in which “controversie was very great on both sides.” Many MPs wanted to ignore the king’s overtures. The subject provoked two narrowly divided votes, and at the end of the day those in favor of continuing to entertain negotiations prevailed by a single voice.57 The battle lines that would dominate the Long Parliament over the next months were taking shape. Among supporters of further debate was Denzil Holles, an anchor of the so-called “peace party” throughout 1643. Opponents of negotiation included the younger Vane, Henry Marten, and Sir Arthur Hesilrige, all soon to earn repute as pro-war extremists.58 Yet it is clear that the rise of a “war party” in parliament was closely tied to the development of a parallel militant lobby group in London. Indeed, the next day, as the Commons resumed debate, a detachment of Londoners, with the tireless Shute at their head, again arrived. Shute declared “That One thing which exceedingly troubled them was, the Point of Accommodation; a Peace more to be feared than their Power.” The Londoners again drew attention to the deep pockets of the city, and accordingly proposed fiscal measures to sustain parliament’s armies. Most importantly, they propounded that the city should undertake mandatory “Weekly Subscriptions” to fund the war, a measure that might then be extended to the whole kingdom. Here, Shute apparently proposed that the method he and the Weavers’ Hall men had employed to raise money for the “flying army” in the previous week—taking voluntary subscriptions to support soldiers in the field—should be imposed on the whole populace, first in the city, then in the kingdom. The goal was to move from voluntary, sporadic donation to regular, mandatory taxation. Together, the proposals to “enforce” payments from the “Malignant Party” and to 56  CJ 2:857–8; for a report of the petition in Bridgewater’s papers, see HL, Ellesmere MS. 7791. 57  CJ 2: 858; A Continuation Of certain Speciall and Remarkable passages (Nov. 24, 1642/E.242[22]), 1–2. 58  CJ 2:858; BL, Yonge 1, fol. 64a–b.

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collect weekly subscriptions stood to revolutionize the fiscal underpinnings of the parliamentary war effort.59 The measures proposed by Shute and his friends were immediately seized upon by MPs. An ordinance was readied “for the Assessing of Monies”—that is, for extracting funds from “malignants” who had not yet contributed. On November 26, this measure passed the upper house. It called for all Londoners who had not volunteered money to be assessed; refusal to pay could lead to confiscation of goods and imprisonment. Collectors and assessors were to be named, and the system was placed under a new parliamentary body, the Committee for the Advance of Money, which took up residence at Haberdashers’ Hall.60 Parliament thus entered a new realm—that of compulsory taxation, undertaken without royal approval. The new levy, known as the “Fifth and Twentieth part,” would be implemented to impressive effect in following months. This system took many weeks to erect, however. In the short term, the chief instrument of the new taxation bureaucracy was the Weavers’ Hall committee, with its project for “weekly subscriptions” for the new army. Weavers’ Hall and its receipts were quickly subsumed under the authority of the new Committee for the Advance of Money. The Weavers’ Hall group now intensified its efforts, assisted by awareness that the new mechanisms for coercion were in train, and its intake greatly increased.61 Even as the “flying army” design foundered, the fiscal body created to fund it remained in operation. This system of “weekly subscriptions,” collected through Weavers’ Hall, became the template for a more sweeping system of regular, compulsory taxation. Clarendon acknowledged this in the late 1640s, when, commenting on the November 14 ordinance for the “flying army,” he wrote: Upon this voluntary general proposition, made by a few obscure men, (probably such who were not able to supply much money,) was this ordinance [for the flying army] made; and from this ordinance the active mayor and shrieves appointed a committee of such persons whose inclinations they well knew, to press all kind of people, (especially those who were not forward,) to new subscriptions; and by degrees, from this unconsidered passage, grew the monthly tax of six thousand pounds to be set upon the city for the payment of the army.62

The improvisation of the month of November, which owed much to the ideas and initiative of London’s militants, produced the first crucial machinery for maintaining an ongoing war effort. While the grand plan for a “flying army” collapsed, the fiscal expedient put in place to support it had more lasting impact, serving as a

59  CJ 2:858–9. Newsbooks specified that these “weekly subscriptions” were to be mandatory for all: A Continuation Of certain Speciall and Remarkable passages (Nov. 24, 1642/E.242[22]), 5–7; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 28, 1642/E.242[26]), sig. Z2v; Perfect Diurnall (Nov. 28, 1642/E.242[27]), sig. Aa2r. 60  See LJ 5:460, 462–3, 466; CJ 2:863; Green, ed., Advance of Money, 1:1. 61  Haberdashers’ Hall handed the committee additional authority to pressure non-subscribers on Dec. 3, 1642: SP 19/1/25–8; for receipts, cf. Bod. L., MS. Carte 80, fol. 107r; SP 19/1/54–5, 58. 62  Clarendon, 2:400.

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blueprint for the system of weekly assessments that, in short time, would be imposed on the kingdom as a whole.63 THE PETITION OF DECEMBER 1 In the last week of November, as parliament was setting up its new bureaucracy, rumors of negotiations continued in London.64 Accordingly, London radicals launched their most comprehensive petition yet. In an attempt to keep parliament from the bargaining table, on December 1 a delegation, estimated at ninety-five, returned to the Commons to present a “humble Remonstrance and Peticion.” Once again, heading the delegation was Richard Shute, now flanked by the London knight Sir David Watkins, a prominent figure in parliament’s infant war machine.65 The citizens were backed by the ministers Hugh Peter and John Goodwin, both leading congregationalists.66 The petitioners declared that, from the beginning, parliament’s armies had been manned and funded chiefly by Londoners. They had expected, for this outlay of money and blood, that the war would be brought to a rapid climax. They were willing to continue to contribute, but demanded that their resources “be ymployed in a more speedy and effectuall prosecution of the warr.” They further asserted that the conflict “could not have been drawne out to this length, had it not been for giving eare to those Councells of Accomodation.” This was a “proposition introduced by our enemies to gaine tyme, which if concluded they will keepe, only soe long as will serve their ends.” In other words, “accommodation” was a subterfuge, designed to force loyal parliamentarians “to expend, and wast their remaining Treasure” and to make London “prey to a forreigne force.” The petition also referred, in ominous terms, to certain “men misaffected to the Publique,” who sought to “serve their owne ends, or drive on their particuler designes in this destructive accomodation,” and called on parliament to make a firm declaration so that “the Enginiers of these contrivances may lye under the expectation of a just and heavy Censure, if they shall yet dare; by such unseasonable and dangerous interpellations, to bereave us of the right and wholsome use of our advantages and oportunities.”67 This, then, was a threat to the “engineers” of the accommodation, whose self-interested machinations had hampered the parliamentary armies and kept them from aggressively prosecuting 63  C. H. Firth and R. S. Rait, eds., Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642–1660, 3 vols. (London, 1911), 1:85–100. Indeed, it is often wrongly suggested that the Weavers’ Hall committee began a regime of “weekly assessments”; that enforced system of taxation was only created in Feb. 1643. 64  Staffordshire Record Office, D868/3/13b (Newburgh to Sir R. Leveson, Nov. 29, 1642). 65  SP 19/1/41; CJ 2:780. 66  Bod. L., MS. Nalson 22, fol. 411r–v. Surviving in Speaker Lenthall’s papers, this MS was possibly the original petition submitted. For printed versions, see A True Copie of the Remonstrance and Petition (1642); True and Originall Copy, unpag. The latter included the ten proposals of Nov. 11 (see above), wrongly implying they were presented by Shute and Watkins on Dec. 1. It also falsely claimed that Jeremiah Burroughs attended the petitioners: J. Burroughs, A briefe Answer to Doctor Fernes Booke, tending to resolve Conscience (1643), sig. B4r. 67  Bod. L., MS. Nalson 22, fol. 411r.

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the war. In this light, Essex’s failure to march his armies forward looked like something more worrying than mere incompetence or timorousness—it was a consequence of the dangerous, indeed treacherous, maneuvers for peace emanating from certain quarters of Westminster. Most jarring of all was the petitioners’ claim “That if these destroying Councells of Accomodation, be reassumed, they shall think it necessary to look to their [own] saftie, and forbeare to contribute to their owne Ruine.”68 This statement contained a double threat. First, if parliament persisted in meddling with the king, Londoners would cut off the flow of money. This attempt at extortion recalled tactics that had been used in 1641, when city leaders threatened to withhold loans to force the execution of Strafford.69 Yet now, in the midst of open war, the threat had an even more coercive edge to it. Second, and equally remarkable, was the petitioners’ warning that if these moves towards accommodation continued, they would be forced to “looke to their saftie.” If parliament proved unwilling to protect the people, insisting on a dangerous course of compromise, it would become necessary to take independent action to provide security. In order to avert this disaster, the petitioners urged parliament “to declare . . . against this dangerous Accomodation.”70 Although the petition’s text made only oblique allusion to the war effort (calling for “a more speedy and effectuall prosecution of the warr”), when appearing before the house the Londoners tendered more explicit demands. One newsbook reported that they “desired the Parliament to send to the Lord Generall to desire him that the Army may be active and full of motion.” Another claimed the petitioners insisted that “the Kings Forces are very weake . . . and do therefore desire the Earl of Essex would follow the Kings Army with all speed and fall upon them.”71 Distress over the earl’s timidity was simmering in militant circles, a frustration that grew as news spread of military setbacks in the north and southwest. Four days later, Henry Marten, the emerging voice of war-party extremism in the Commons, “fell upon the Earle of Essex . . . being at Windsor: saying, that all these miseries proceeded from his slownes, that wee saw it was summer in Devonshire, summer in Yorkeshire and onlie winter at Windsor.”72 Criticisms that had at first been muted were now openly voiced: the war-party campaign against Essex had begun in earnest. Talk had even started to circulate about what to do if parliament itself abandoned its own principles, leaving London at the king’s mercy. The brief but sharp mobilization inaugurated by the attempt to create the flying army revealed the first symptoms of a syndrome that was to become a pathological feature of parliamentarian politics. The Londoners’ petitions and maneuvers, along with Essex’s countermeasures, represented an embryonic politicization of the war 68  Bod. L., MS. Nalson 22, fol. 411r, reads “look to their ≈·≈·· saftie.” Both printed editions read “look to their own safeties.” The elision in the MS suggests that the word “own” may have been struck, presumably as it rendered the threat of autonomous action more emphatic. 69  V. Pearl, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution (Oxford, 1961), 197–210. 70  Bod. L., MS. Nalson 22, fol. 411r. 71  Speciall Passages (Dec. 6, 1642/E.129[5]), 139; Perfect Diurnall (Dec. 5, 1642/E.242[34]), sig. Bb3r; for corroboration, see BL, Yonge 1, fols. 77b–78a. 72  BL, Hl. 164, fol. 243r; on Marten, see S. Barber, A Revolutionary Rogue: Henry Marten and the English Republic (Stroud, 2000).

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effort. This politicization suggested that the civil war would be fought not just against the king, but between members of the parliamentarian coalition, waging struggles against one another in parliament, press, and pulpit. And while the London petitions revealed skepticism about Essex’s generalship, November’s disputes also marked the arrival of the earl as a powerful player in this game of military politics. Although Essex had nothing like a traditional magnate affinity of yore, he possessed the great authority parliament had conveyed to him as Lord General, which included the right to grant officers’ commissions. He used this authority to end the threat of the “flying army,” and he would deploy this power repeatedly in the coming months to smother challenges to his hegemony. Yet in establishing himself as a node of politico-military power, Essex invited further criticism of his generalship, and indeed his commitment to the cause. Concerns about his trustworthiness soon mushroomed, fueled by suspicions that he was surrounded on the one side by an entourage of camp courtiers (whose sole interest was to spin out the wars for their own gain) and on the other side by a cabal of dangerous crypto-royalists in the upper house. These suspicions, and the anguish they occasioned, pushed many parliamentarians towards more extreme postures and ideological positions. But the activities of Shute and his collaborators served to inflame the political situation in another way. The sharp petition of the London militants on December 1 marked a turning point. Partly in response to the extremism of the petition, and partly in reaction to the new taxation regime, a countermovement gathered steam in London.73 In early December, a pro-accommodation petition began to circulate. By the end of the month, this petitioning campaign, and the numerous offshoots it inspired, produced a mass movement in favor of a peace treaty and a rapid end to hostilities.74 Thousands of Londoners signed pro-peace petitions in the weeks that followed, and large crowds spilled into the streets in support.75 Shute and his allies tried to stop this pro-accommodation movement, but they achieved only partial success.76 As a result of pressure in city and parliament, the two houses, pushed again by pro-accommodation lords, were compelled to send new peace propositions to the king, as a prelude to direct negotiation.77 Faced with this challenge, Pym and his allies in December and January adopted a strategy of spiking those proposals with stringent conditions that the king would never accept. Propositions would be offered to Charles—thus projecting moderation and pacifying pro-accommodation sentiment—but those proposals would be massaged such that the chances for a deal would be virtually nil.78 This strategy worked, and Pym nursed through propositions including a demand for abolition 73  For the tie between the Dec. 1 petition and pro-accommodation petitions, see The Humble Petition and Remonstrance of Divers Citizens (1642), 4; True and Originall Copy, unpag.; Bod. L., MS. Tanner 64, fol. 109r, where D’ewes claimed that new fiscal policies also contributed. 74  The London petition triggered a cascade of similar petitions from the counties. Holmes, Eastern Association, 42–7, 53–4, 61. 75 Lindley, PPR, 336–55; I. Gentles, “Parliamentary Politics and the Politics of the Street: The London Peace Campaigns of 1642–3,” Parliamentary History, 26 (2007), 139–59; J. Merritt, Westminster 1640–1660: A Royal City in a Time of Revolution (Manchester, 2013), 135–43. 76  CJ 2:883–5; BL, Hl. 164, fol. 245v. 77  LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fols. 43r–45r; LJ 5:483, 488, 491–2, 496–505. 78 Scott, Politics and War, 41–3.

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of episcopacy and an insistence that the country’s military institutions be put under men approved by parliament, conditions unacceptable to Charles. After parliament’s commissioners handed the propositions to the king on February 1— setting in motion the so-called Oxford Treaty—Charles opined that “those that sees [the propositions] will hardly belive, that the Propounders hes any intention of Peace; for certainly, no lesse Power then his, who made the Worlde of nothing, can draw peace out of thease Articles.”79 From the start, then, the Oxford Treaty had little hope of success. Nevertheless, that there were negotiations at all was a sign that the militant lobby in London had set in motion still another spasm of fierce polarization, helping to intensify the war effort in new ways, while at the same time animating forces that threatened to bring about precisely the outcome they feared. P R I N T A N D I D E O L O G I C A L E S C A L AT I O N : T H E S U P R E M A C Y O F T H E T WO H O U S E S , T H E N E G AT I V E VO I C E , A N D T H E D E AT H O F T H E K I N G - I N - PA R L I A M E N T The war-party mobilizations were accompanied by a stream of crucial works of propaganda. David Wootton has argued that the anti-accommodation drive led to the articulation of striking new formulations, which pointed towards later radical and Leveller ideas.80 As we will see, this is unquestionably true. This printed matter is best understood in the light of the radical petitions and maneuvers that began in November, as there was a process of feedback and interplay between the mobilizations of activists and the discourse that appeared in print. In some cases, printed tracts built upon arguments made in the string of petitions discussed in this chapter. Political programs and ideas hammered out in conversations and private meetings of zealous London Roundheads were translated, extended, or embellished with new theoretical trappings, and projected into the public sphere through the medium of print. Here, in a pattern that will recur below, striking forms of political argument— achieving the fixity of print, in formats familiar to scholars of political theory and intellectual history—are seen as the result of practical maneuvers and informal dialogues taking place outside the public domain of print. The winter of 1642–3 thus allows us to see a dynamic process through which new ideas were being formed and shaped in the crucible of immediate political need. Militant propagandists throughout the winter sustained a running campaign against accommodation. One of the first pamphlets to raise the alarm was Some Considerations Tending to the undeceiving those, whose judgements are misinformed by Politique Protestations, published around November 9, 1642, during the confused negotiations between the king and parliament preceding the Brentford raid. This work countered royalist attempts to stoke religious differences between parliamentarians. Yet it also contained an excursus on devious Cavaliers who sought to “dull our resolutions by commending peace unto us, when we are necessitated 79  Bod. L., MS. Clarendon 98*, fol. 8r; LJ 5:590. 80 D. Wootton, “From Rebellion to Revolution: The Crisis of the Winter of 1642/3 and the Origins of Civil War Radicalism,” EHR, 105 (1990), 654–69.

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to take up our Swords.” Its author warned against these blandishments: “the bondman is at peace . . . there is peace in a dungeon.” Fortunately, parliament had secured the kingdom, so that “all their cunning discourses and subtle motions for peace, though delivered with never so much pretended piety . . . come short of their purpose.”81 This admonition, published as parliament wrestled over whether to treat with the king, packed a clear, practical message designed to influence public opinion at a sensitive juncture. Yet it also permitted a more expansive theoretical intervention. Another royalist subterfuge, the author claimed, was to defend “A negative voyce,” that is, the king’s right to veto bills passed by the two houses. This was a pretended power. The notion that the “King hath a negative voyce by which all that the Parliament shall doe comes to nothing, unlesse it pleases the King to assent” was a fiction. To admit such a power was “to make the safety and freedome of the people to depend upon one mans will and understanding, an absurdity in government.”82 As we have seen, the king’s negative voice had been debated since early 1642, when disputes over the Militia Ordinance and the king’s departure from Westminster became central to the political confrontation leading to the civil war. The most influential of parliament’s penmen in this debate, Henry Parker, cautiously suggested that the royal veto could be overridden, but only in situations of national emergency.83 The author of Some Considerations turned an anomalous contingency into a general principle: the king possessed no negative voice under any circumstances. The constitutional implications of this move were of paramount significance, and they suggest that the outbreak of war, combined with disputes in parliament over negotiating with the king, drove some parliamentarians to more uncompromising and radical political positions. Accordingly, the pamphlet has sometimes been ascribed to William Walwyn.84 This attribution is plausible, but wholly uncertain. Walwyn was very probably involved in the anti-accommodation petitioning drive coalescing just as the pamph­ let was released, and the tract was thus consistent with his immediate c­ oncerns. More interesting than the precise authorship are the circumstances that surrounded the tract’s production. It has been argued that Some Considerations was one of a series of linked pamphlets—printed surreptitiously by Robert White and George Bishop, and geared to support escalation of the war effort—that was promoted or perhaps even managed by a group of powerful war-party MPs.85 This again underscores the ways in which potentates at Westminster were now cooperating with eager ground-level activists in London, pointing towards the emergence of a remarkably integrated warparty alliance. Yet it also suggests that the cover and connivance provided by such exalted patrons afforded some of these activists the ability to project ideas that pushed beyond the boundaries of official parliamentary propaganda. 81  Some Considerations Tending to the undeceiving those, whose judgements are misinformed by Politique Protestations (1642), 13–14. 82  Some Considerations, 14–15. 83  [H. Parker,] Observations upon Some of his Majesties Late Answers and Expresses (1642), 45. 84  J. R. McMichael and B. Taft, eds., The Writings of William Walwyn (Athens, GA, 1989), 62–3. 85  J. Peacey, “‘Fiery Spirits’ and Political Propaganda: Uncovering a Radical Press Campaign of 1642,” Publishing History, 55 (2004), 5–36.

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The argument laid out in Some Considerations received elaboration in early December, when A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman appeared in London. This dialogue introduced readers to a well-meaning but “Doubtfull” Englishman, who was befuddled that “Parliament have declared the King to be the head of his great Councell in Parliament,” thereby implying that all laws were “made . . . by the Kings assent,” and that the monarch had “in all things a negative voice.” This “Doubtfull” Englishman had thus been loath to provide assistance, unsure of the legitimacy of parliament’s actions. The other protagonist in the dialogue (the “Resolved” Englishman) demolished this argument. He asserted that “untill very lately, the Kings claime of being a part of the Parliament hath not been heard amongst us,” thus refuting the proposition that the king-in-parliament was the true legislative organ of the kingdom. Rather, lawmaking power rested solely with the two houses. The king was merely “the highest Magistrate . . . or Officer of the Kingdome,” and he had no place in parliament, but existed to “oversee that Officers, or Magistrates, or Judges doe performe their duties according to Law.” All of this was quite extraordinary: it radically disjoined the king and parliament, and cut the monarch out of the legislative process, reducing him to the status of a mere officer. Moreover, it was the “businesse of the Parliament . . . to oversee all Magistrates, and to take an accompt of them all without exception, as they shall see cause, and to place and displace, as concernes the welfare of the people.”86 Given that the king had just been pronounced a mere magistrate, this was to declare not only that he was accountable to parliament, but that MPs had a right “to place and displace” him as they saw fit. The “Doubtfull” respondent noted that this was all very well, but he did “not heare or see any expression directly from the Parliament” denying the king’s negative voice, nor “that they doe challenge so great power over all Magistrates (whereof the King you say is one).” Indeed, the doubter persisted, “they are so farre from affirming any such thing, that they decline, that it is a maxime in our Law, that the King can doe no wrong, and all the defects of Government they lay upon evill Ministers.” The “Resolved” Englishman put this down to the long period of slavish decadence in which kings had lorded it over parliaments, which meant the two houses proceeded cautiously, to avoid offence to people and king. Politely, but pointedly, the author thus upbraided parliament for the feebleness of its propaganda, and in particular, for the hopelessly meandering, casuistical official declarations of previous months (once characterized by a frustrated Hexter as “ambiguous, obscure, and at times a little stupid”). Yet the author argued that the cautious statements of the two houses did not negate the doctrine of parliament’s true, “unlimited power.” Parliament by law was to meet yearly, more frequently if necessary, and the monarch had no ability to end its proceedings without its consent. The king, moreover, approved legislation only “to binde him to see that the inferiour Magistrates put that Law in due execution out of times of Parliament, and is only matter of forme and complement of every act.” No royal veto existed, and “the Parliament is the 86  A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman (1642), sigs. Ar–A2r.

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supreame power,” with sole legislative competence, the right of final appeal, and the capacity to make and unmake all magistrates (including kings).87 At this point, the “Doubtfull” Englishman expressed readiness to accept all this, provided it was laid out “by the Vote of Parliament, declaring that high Assembly to be the supreame power, and the Kings Office to be, as you have expressed.” But the “Doubtfull” Englishman also argued that he could not provide material support until parliament had clarified its powers. He therefore urged his interlocutor “to present a petition to that end” to parliament. Many people, like him, had been left unsure by the ambiguity of parliament’s official statements, and as the royalist brain trust was stocked with “polliticke adversaries,” who knew the conflict was likely to be a “businesse of yeares,” the support of this large if muddled group would be critical in winning the war. The roles were now reversed, and it was the “Resolved” Englishman who took counsel, promising to petition parliament “for satisfaction concerning their power”: “Ile about it instantly,” he averred, “for I see apparently it is the only meanes to unite all sorts of men into one resolved association, against all tyranny and oppression, and that without union the politicians will destroy us.”88 As we will see, these were not idle pronouncements; the pamphlet articulated a concrete program, which within weeks was set in motion in London. The extravagant vision of parliamentary sovereignty expressed here would, moreover, gain adherents over time. That it was being articulated at such an early stage of the war is a sign of how profoundly radicalizing the experiences of the previous years had been for some. A C C O M M O D AT I O N , T H E FA I LU R E O F PA R L I A M E N T S , A N D P O P U L A R P OW E R More celebrated was another tract, published a month later, following the propeace demonstrations and the revival of talk of a treaty. On January 12, George Thomason acquired Plaine English: Or, a Discourse Concerning the Accommodation, which the bookseller later ascribed to Edward Bowles, chaplain to the regiment of Sir John Meldrum.89 Looking back later, Richard Baxter saw this “shrewd Book” as “preparatory” to the process whereby the king’s authority was undermined, pointing towards regicide.90 Baxter was no doubt referring to the way the pamphlet probed the outermost frontiers of parliamentary “orthodoxy”—that the war was a defensive struggle against a faction of evil counselors. Formally, Bowles cleaved to this line, but in doing so, he implied that the king was responsible for the twin conspiracy against England’s liberties and true Protestant religion. Charles had made “reall mistakes” and had “commanded and countenanced the violation of law.”91 In articulating these sentiments, Bowles attested to a wider hardening of 87  A Discourse, sigs. A2r–A3r; Hexter, King Pym, 175. 88  A Discourse, sigs. A3v–A4v. 89  [E. Bowles,] Plaine English: Or, A Discourse concerning the Accommodation (1643), 20; “Edward Bowles,” ODNB. 90 Baxter, Reliquiae, 1:49. 91  Plaine English, 10–11; Hexter, King Pym, 106.

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attitude towards the king. While more subtle than King James his Judgement, Bowles’s pamphlet played off, and encouraged, similar indignation towards Charles. That the tract achieved popular success, going through at least three editions, and that it received no rebuke from parliament, is a sign that the outbreak of open war, combined with king’s strategic gaffes in previous months, had left some subjects more hostile to Charles, relaxing the boundaries of public discourse. Yet here, as throughout the 1640s, hostility to the man led to subtle erosion of the sanctity of his office. Thus, Bowles denied that he diminished “the Kings honour” by asserting that “I thinke it more necessary to the welfare of this Kingdome, that the honour of this Supreme Court be kept unstaind then of any particular person whatsoever.”92 Although not nearly as forthright as the author of A Discourse, Bowles here hinted at parliament’s supremacy, while casting the king as a mere “particular person,” providing another clue as to why Baxter saw in it creeping anti-monarchism. Yet the tract’s primary purpose was, in fact, to argue against the negotiations being pursued in Westminster. Wootton’s case, that the campaign against accommodation saw the articulation of novel ideas, relied heavily on Plaine English, chiefly a passage denouncing the imminent peace talks: But suppose . . . that the Parliament . . . out of an intolerable wearinesse of this present condition, and feare of the event, agree to the making up of an unsafe unsatisfying Accommodation. This would beget a question, which I hope I shall never have occasion to dispute, whether in case the representative body cannot, or will not, discharge their trust to the satisfaction, not of fancy, but of reason in the people; they may resume (if ever yet they parted with a power to their manifest undoing) and use their power so farre as conduces to their safety.93

Bowles here asked readers to imagine a scenario in which the people were forced, through their representatives’ negligence, to resume their original supremacy, and to create a new authority—a conceptual move Wootton took to prefigure the Leveller claim that the degeneration of parliament into tyranny demanded a fundamental reorganization of the polity. What should be clear is that Bowles’s move represented the “theorization,” in abstract terms of political discourse, of an eventuality broached in the anti-accommodation petitions of November 13 and December 1, which warned that if parliament persisted in its perilous course, the “Good” party would be forced to “make their own Captains and Officers” to “look to their own safeties.” He was adding intellectual ballast to a set of propositions and thought experiments that had been circulating informally in militant circles since the beginning of the war. While Bowles immediately pulled back from this precipice—disclaiming the “Monster of a Democracy” and in large part endorsing the program being pursued by Pym and his Junto—the work confirms that the pressures of the winter were pushing parliamentarians to put into words new and increasingly radical alternatives and solutions, thus making them available throughout the kingdom.94 92  Plaine English, 11. 93  Plaine English, 20. 94  Wootton, “Rebellion,” 663–4; Plaine English, 25.

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Other pamphlets of the winter also gestured at important reconceptualizations of the polity. One anonymous book, issued in December by an anti-accommodation publisher, argued that all local officers, from constables to sheriffs and Lord Lieutenants, were anciently elected by the people of their respective counties. Even the highest officials—the Lords Treasurer and Admiral, as well as judges—were originally chosen not by the king, but by parliament, itself composed of elected representatives.95 The subject matter was topical: parliament had recently challenged the king’s appointment of new, royalist sheriffs, with some MPs claiming that “ancientlie the people weere to elect Sheriffs,” and the houses were gearing up to demand that parliament should dispose of sensitive military positions.96 But, more deeply, the tract pointed towards a vision of decentered power, in which political legitimacy was conferred by popular election—central underpinnings of later radical parliamentarian thought—and it is no surprise that yearly election of sheriffs, JPs, and other local officers would be among the earliest stated demands of the nascent Leveller program in 1647–8.97 A stark vision of electoral legitimacy also lurked behind one of the most intriguing works of winter 1642–3, Jeremiah Burroughs’s A briefe Answer to Doctor Fernes Booke. Burroughs, it will be recalled, was a congregationalist divine, recently back from Rotterdam, and the likely author of the fiery millenarian sermon A Glimpse of Sions Glory. His heady apocalypticism was no bar to practical speculation on worldly government.98 Responding to the royalist polemic of Henry Ferne, Burroughs that winter wrote a thorough defense of resistance that laid bare assumptions swirling at the extreme end of the coalition. He left no doubt that kings, and indeed “all power that one man hath over another,” derived from “election” and “the agreement of people,” and that their powers and legitimacy flowed from voluntary covenants.99 Responding, however, to Ferne’s claim that a king might suborn parliament, making it an instrument of tyranny, Burroughs wrote that “if you can suppose a Parliament so far to degenerate, as they should all conspire together with the King to destroy the Kingdome,” then it was appropriate to ask “in this case whether a Law of Nature would not allow of standing up to defend our selves, yea to re-assume the power given to them, to discharge them of that power they had, and set up some other.”100 Again, as with Bowles, Burroughs here gestured at a scenario in which, having been betrayed by all powers entrusted to represent them, the sovereign people might legitimately constitute a new governing authority (a view which, on Wootton’s account, presaged later radical arguments).101 Here, a dialectical process of public disputation, spun out within the tangled web of civil-war politics, 95  A Briefe and Exact Treatise Declaring How the Sheriffs . . . have been Anciently elected and chosen (1642), 1–8. Its publisher “T.I.” the next day issued an anti-accommodation book, Londons Desire and Direction (1642), using identical printer’s ornaments. 96  BL, Hl. 164, fol. 175r; in D’ewes’s view, these claims about shrievalties were “notorious falsities.” 97  A Declaration Of some Proceedings of Lt. Col. John Lilburn (1648), 31–2. 98  There was, however, intriguing overlap between the two works: Burroughs, A briefe Answer, sig. B4v; A Glimpse of Sions Glory (1641), 1–7. 99 Burroughs, A briefe Answer, sigs. A3v, Bv. 100 Burroughs, A briefe Answer, sig. B2r–v. 101  Wootton, “Rebellion,” 665–6.

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forced into view hypothetical scenarios and theoretical formulations that served to shift the boundaries of the politically possible. The winter of 1642–3 thus witnessed the articulation of a series of striking and novel ideas and programs, which bore little resemblance to the official pronouncements of parliament. Among the ideas put forward was the notion that Charles was a lawless tyrant, who had already deposed himself; that the House of Lords was inhabited by a cabal of sinister crypto-royalists, bent on selling out the cause through a dangerous accommodation; that the king possessed no negative legislative voice in any circumstance; that the doctrine of the king-in-parliament was an empty fiction; that parliament itself was the supreme power in the commonwealth; and that in the case of parliament’s failure, the people might resume their originary power. It was one thing to project such novel and radical ideas into the printed domain. But, importantly, the theoretical experimentation examined in this chapter would soon be translated into formidable popular mobilizations. Just as the ideological novelties explored here were shaped by popular petitioning campaigns, so now theoretical innovation was transported back into the realm of practical politics, spurring direct action and mobilization.

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6 Defining the Cause The London Remonstrance, the General Rising, and Military Crisis The middle of 1643 marked a period of crisis for parliament. Military defeats, fiscal strains, and internal quarrels ensured that, by August, supporters faced the real possibility of defeat, as royalists consolidated their hold over the north, then visited a series of devastating blows to the Roundhead armies, wresting control of the west for the king. Despite these setbacks, parliament weathered the storm, and by the end of the year several important shifts in politico-military infrastructure, together with a new Scottish alliance, meant that the situation looked considerably brighter. Out of this turmoil emerged not only new fiscal and military expedients, but also a succession of innovative political programs. This chapter focuses on two of these programs: first, a petition and remonstrance mounted in London in March; and second, the so-called “General Rising” campaign, launched in July. These popular mobilizations sought to reshape the underpinnings of parliament’s cause. They were, from one perspective, precisely the kinds of campaigns historians typically treat as features of “popular politics.” Yet as we will see, the mobilizations discussed here were closely related to, and in the first case directly modeled upon, more abstract ideological statements injected into the printed public sphere in winter 1642–3. Just as Chapter 5 explored how London’s war-party petitioning campaigns rearranged and shaped the languages and problems confronted in the printed polemic of that period, so this chapter analyzes in turn the ways the print literature then rebounded into popular politics, shaping ground-level political mobilization in attempts to transform parliament’s cause in fundamental ways. This allows us to see the remarkable interpenetration and mutual influence of abstract political thought and practical, popular political organization. These two mobilizations were closely related to the evolving internal dynamics of parliament’s coalition. Politics continued to be conditioned by the possibility that the “peace party” at Westminster would orchestrate a successful accommodation with the king. For more militant parliamentarians, this prospect seemed nearly as dangerous as outright defeat, worries that grew more insistent as hostility to the king ballooned in early 1643. Lingering fears that secret, internal enemies might betray the cause to Charles grew intense in mid-1643, and helped to provoke the campaigns discussed in this chapter. Adding to the disquiet were worries that parliament’s forces, particularly Essex’s army, were infected with mercenary indifference, or even secret treachery. Anxieties that there was a dangerous malignancy at the

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heart of parliament’s coalition, rising since November 1642, reached a crescendo by July 1643, when the earl effectively threw in his lot with the pro-accommodation forces at Westminster, sparking an intense backlash. In this way, the internal politics of parliament’s coalition, combined with growing anger towards Charles I, interacted with preexisting ideological formulations examined in previous chapters, provoking new and concrete programs, which drew upon and sharpened recent theoretical innovations, thereby challenging regnant norms of parliamentarian discourse and theory. If, as recent scholars have suggested, the English Civil War began as a struggle over godly reformation, within months of its outbreak it had become for some parliamentarians a struggle to reconfigure the constitution of England. T H E E A R L O F E S S E X , T H E OX F O R D T R E AT Y, AND POLITICAL CONFLICT Fear of accommodation with the king continued to vex hard-line parliamentarians, becoming acute as the Oxford Treaty approached in March 1643. The political situation at Westminster was further complicated by rising discontent with the Earl of Essex. Warning signs had appeared in November 1642, but thereafter mutual disenchantment escalated. This was largely because most of Essex’s field army settled into quarters around Windsor throughout the winter. Possibly, the earl was waiting out the season to learn the outcome of impending peace talks. It is also likely that he was reluctant to move because his army was increasingly ill-provisioned. Already by December 1642, pay to his officers was in arrears, and the situation worsened in early 1643; by late January, despite parliament’s new fiscal measures, the treasury was bare.1 While Essex was understandably hesitant to lead an unpaid army into the field in mid-winter, the fact that his forces absorbed most of parliament’s resources while barely stirring from their quarters was hugely damaging to his credit. The general opinion was expressed by Sir Simonds D’ewes, who noted in his journal for March 9 that Essex had “laien still at Windesor, eating and drinking for 4. or 5. months last past; and consumed a masse of treasure without doing anye thing, to the dislike of all men.”2 The ill will was repaid in kind by those attached to the earl’s army, where carping critics were regarded as armchair generals, who thought it as easy to capture a fortified town “as to make a breach in the wals of a Christmas Pie.”3 Yet such armchair critics soon began to mobilize to reorganize parliament’s war effort. In January, war-party MPs floated a plan to create a large new army, under different commanders, a project clearly designed to circumvent Essex. This plan disappeared into committee, but it suggested that the aspiration of the “flying army,” which sought 1  BL, Hl. 164, fol. 287r; Bod. L., MS. Carte 80, fols. 78, 84r. In mid-Dec. 1642, Wharton’s officers claimed their pay was six weeks behind. 2  LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fols. 47v–48v; BL, Hl. 164, fol. 318v. 3  [E. Bowles,] Plaine English: Or, A Discourse concerning the Accommodation (1643), 24–5; Good and true Newes from Redding (1643), sig. A2r; The Last Intelligence Of Prince Ruperts proceeding (1643), 5–6; E.B., A Letter from a Minister in His Excellence His Army (1643), 3.

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to field a large force autonomous of Essex, was likely to rise again.4 Six weeks later, in mid-March, London zealots hatched another proposal, again offering to fund, out of their own pockets, a new military force, in this case a huge auxiliary army, to serve as an offensive and defensive supplement to London’s militia. Parliament approved this plan, and a radical subcommittee was created at Salters’ Hall in London to oversee the project. The new auxiliary army was raised over the next months, initially funded through a voluntary collection in the city known as the “Weekly Meal.”5 The timing of the proposal for the auxiliaries, coming days before the Oxford Treaty opened, was likely designed to stiffen the resolve of MPs at a moment when parliament’s fiscal and military situation looked bleak indeed, tempting some to contemplate a deal. Calibrated to remind MPs of a deep vein of zealous support in London, it was thus in many ways a direct successor to the failed “flying army” design—indeed, unpaid subscriptions and vestigial weapons from that abortive force were assigned to Salters’ Hall.6 As with the “flying army,” the goal was to create a formidable military reserve, independent of Essex, and controlled by reliably bellicose elements in the city. Other challenges to Essex’s authority arose out of the local brigades that proliferated as parliament set up regional “Associations” in the winter of 1642–3. These new forces—which included a Midlands Association under Lord Brooke, an Eastern Association under Lord Grey, and a Western Association under the Earl of Stamford—were theoretically subordinate to Essex, but ended up in some cases subverting his hegemony. Most obviously, Sir William Waller led his nimble mounted forces to a string of successes over the course of the winter, while Essex’s army remained hunkered near Windsor. This led to Waller’s appointment as head of a Southwestern Association, and made him a hero in the city, where he was ­celebrated as “William the Conqueror.”7 Waller received vigorous backing from the same militant activists examined in Chapter 5, and a committee, headed by Richard Shute and Sir David Watkins, was installed at Grocers’ Hall to raise funds for Waller.8 This likely added to Essex’s growing irritation with Waller, which soon erupted into a vicious rivalry, adding a toxic overlay to the already tense politics of the coalition. The feud between Essex and Waller and their partisans—which reflected, roughly if imperfectly, the division between a “peace party” and “war party”—proved crippling for parliament’s cause in the next two years. For the present, however, all eyes remained on the upcoming peace talks. Parliament’s negotiators departed Westminster on March 20 for Oxford. Many surely hoped that the treaty would yield an agreement obviating the need for new armies and innovative fiscal measures. Others, just as surely, feared the prospect of 4  CJ 2:943–4; BL, Yonge 1, fol. 133a–b. 5  V. Pearl, London and the Outbreak of the Puritan Revolution (Oxford, 1961), 260–9; Brenner, M&R, 448–56; Lindley, PPR, 311–14. 6  SP 19/1/155; SP 28/198, box 1 (folder “7A”), fol. 8r–v: half the guns and swords acquired for auxiliaries in 1643 were inherited directly from Weavers’ Hall and Browne’s dragoons. 7  J. Adair, Roundhead General: A Military Biography of Sir William Waller (London, 1969), 44–53; Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (Mar. 28, 1643/E.94[14]), 102. 8  BL, Add. MS. 5497, fol. 34r; SP 28/7, fols. 537–43.

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a peace deal, alarmed that parliament would yield to unsatisfactory conditions, bringing the king back to the capital in strength, and exposing the parliamentarian faithful to danger and legal jeopardy. T H E L O N D O N R E M O N S T R A N C E O F M A RC H 3 0 At this stage, radical parliamentarians launched perhaps their boldest gambit yet. On March 30, 1643, at the London Common Council, “divers Citizens and others” presented “a peticion . . . and . . . likewise a Remonstrance,” both of which were read aloud. The citizens sought to have their petition and remonstrance adopted by the city authorities for presentation “to the Lords and Commons in Parliament in the behalf of this Citty and the whole Kingdome.”9 This maneuver has drawn passing attention from scholars; the present chapter offers sustained, contextualized analysis, unraveling the ideological roots of this campaign, exploring the immediate political goals of its promoters, and reconstructing the contentious fate of the enterprise.10 According to Mercurius Aulicus, the petition “was presented by one Master [William] Steele a Counseller, accompanied with Sir David Watkins, Captaine Mainwaring, Master Shute, and other birds of the same feather.” Lord Mayor Pennington and several aldermen, “who came prepared for the businesse,” “pressed hard to have it voted,” but other aldermen “cordially opposed it.” The bickering ended in a standoff, which the council resolved by declaring the remonstrance “a matter of great weight and concernement,” and shunting it to a committee for consideration.11 It is no surprise that the documents fueled controversy. The petition and remonstrance of March 30 represented the most unapologetically radical political statement yet articulated in England’s civil war. Consisting of a supplicatory preamble, a ten-point statement of principle, and a petitionary postscript, all to be presented to parliament, the remonstrance laid out a complete constitutional vision. Parliament, it claimed, was losing popular affection owing to the “dispersing of the Kings Declarations, and many scandalous bookes,” and the teachings of “Prelaticall . . . Clergie.” The only solution, the petitioners urged, was for the two houses to issue an unadulterated statement of principle to convince people of the righteousness of the cause.12 The document thus proposed ten simple propositions. The first embraced that now ubiquitous Ciceronian slogan, “That the safety of the people is the Supreme Law,” maintaining that parliament was the ultimate judge of the welfare of the 9  LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fol. 57r. 10  J. H. Hexter, The Reign of King Pym (Cambridge, MA, 1941), 107; details were added in Pearl, Outbreak, 260–1; Brenner, M&R, 444–8; Lindley, PPR, 307–8. 11  Mercurius Aulicus (Apr. 9, 1643/E.97[10]), 170–1; LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fol. 57r. 12  Remonstrans Redivivus: Or An Accompt of the Remonstrance and Petition, Formerly presented by divers Citizens of London (1643), 3–4, printing the documents (although addressed to the Commons alone) in their entirety.

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commonwealth, and that it could therefore “doe whatsoever is good in their understandings for the safety and freedome of the people.” Even more tendentiously, the document asserted “That originally the Supreme power being in the whole people, Parliaments were by them constituted to manage the same for the preservation and well-being of the Common-wealth.” Here was an unabashed invocation of the theory of popular sovereignty (in which even parliament was seen merely to “manage” the people’s supreme powers). Moreover, “all just Magistracy in this Kingdome” was “created by the Kingdome and Parliaments,” and therefore “those who by the consent of all are intrusted with the making of the Laws, should direct those that are to put the same in execution.” Unsurprisingly, then, “all Magistrates and Officers of the Kingdome are accomptable to the Parliament.” Crucially, “the King” was but “the chief Magistrate or Officer of the Kingdome.” By implication, he was thus a creation of the people—acting through trustees in parliament—and was therefore not a part of parliament and was answerable to the two houses for his actions.13 This plainspoken theoretical statement carried clear practical implications. Parliament was “of duty to be called every yeare according to Statutes made in the time of Edward the third, which were declarative of the Common Law.” The crown could not dissolve parliaments without their consent. Clipping the royal wings down to the nub, the remonstrance pronounced that “the usage of passing Bills of right and justice in Parliament by the King, is but matter of forme annext to his Office and not left to his will,” meaning that the King had no negative voice or veto power over legislation. The king’s absence from parliament thus could not “be any hindrance to the making of laws or other proceedings of Parliament,” leaving no doubt that legislative power rested solely with the two houses, with no input from the king. Likewise, “the transacting of the great affaires of peace and warre,” as well as the “disposing of our persons, propriety of our estates,” belonged “to Parliaments” alone. In three pages, the remonstrants stripped the English crown of all its cherished powers and prerogatives, embedding those powers decisively in parliament, the legitimacy of which flowed from the consent of the people.14 One does not need a magnifying glass to see the radical—indeed, revolutionary— implications of the document. What should also be immediately obvious, however, is that the ten-point remonstrance bore striking resemblance to the pamphlet ­analyzed in Chapter 5, A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman, which had been released in December 1642. Indeed, almost all of the remonstrance’s propositions mirrored the chief arguments of A Discourse, often in nearly identical language. Thus, where A Discourse declared that “the Parliament is the supreame power, from which there is no appeale,” the remonstrance read: “in the Parliaments of England . . . doth the Supreme power reside; from whose judgements there is no appeale.” A Discourse pleaded that “the Parliament is to oversee all Magistrates, and to take an accompt of them all,” while the remonstrance maintained “all Magistrates and Officers of the Kingdome are accomptable to the Parliament.” A Discourse rejected the negative voice, arguing that that royal assent is “only matter of forme and complement of every act,” while the remonstrance asserted that “passing Bills . . . by 13  Remonstrans, 4–5.   14  Remonstrans, 5–6.

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the King, is but matter of forme annext to his Office.” A Discourse defended the claim that “the safety of the people is the supreame Law, and the foundation of all Governments,” while the remonstrance echoed in virtually identical terms the proposition that “the safety of the people is the Supreme Law; and is the foundation and end of all just Government.” Indeed, seven of the ten points of the remonstrance contained language uncannily similar to that used in A Discourse. Likewise, where A Discourse repudiated the specious maxim “that the King can doe no wrong,” the preamble to the remonstrance complained of the “perverting that supposition of Law, That Kings can doe no wrong.”15 There are only two plausible explanations for this overlap: either the remonstrance was framed by someone using a copy of A Discourse or the same hand was involved in drafting both documents. In either case, a seemingly ephemeral pamphlet had become the basis for a forceful political movement in London, attracting some of the city’s most powerful parliamentarians. Even more strikingly, it will be recalled that this had been precisely the course of action championed in A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman. That tract had concluded with a plea to petition parliament to establish with crystalline clarity its true supremacy. Only by coaxing the two houses to declare the nature of their own power could parliament’s supporters “rectifie the judgements of all men,” a move that would dissolve the “scruples begotten” by the turbidity and ambiguity of previous statements. Again, in terms unquestionably similar, the petitioners in March now urged that parliament should endorse these “undoubted fundamentalls of our Government,” so that “the judgement of the Kingdome may be fully setled in . . . right understanding,” and so the misinformed would “no longer scruple in their obedience to the Supreme power.”16 Manifestly, the remonstrance was the culmination of a design hatched three months earlier, and first canvassed in a work of printed propaganda. Of course, arguably, many assertions of the remonstrance were little more than slight amplifications on principles articulated, sometimes with opacity, in the ­declarations and ordinances approved by parliament since November 1640. The author of A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman had viewed parliament’s public statements as perilously abstruse; this was precisely why it was necessary to petition parliament for public clarification. The London remonstrants were more diplomatic. They sought instead to show that parliament’s public statements effectively authorized the ten points of their document. In the later, printed version of the remonstrance, the margins were strewn with citations to parliament’s newly published “Book of Declarations,” the compendium of exchanges between the houses and the crown, issued just days before the presentation of the petition. The remonstrants portrayed their extreme proposals as merely the distillation of principles which, they argued, had already been pronounced as the fundamental laws and constitutional structure of the English polity.17 15 Cf. Remonstrans, 3–6; A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman (1642), sigs. A2r–v. 16  A Discourse, sigs. Ar, A4r; Remonstrans, 6. 17  Remonstrans, 3–6; An Exact Collection Of all Remonstrances (1643). These marginal notes were likely not presented to the Common Council, since An Exact Collection had appeared at most only days earlier.

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There was a whiff of truth in this. Thus, parliament’s suggestions that the c­ oronation oath bound the king to certain conditions might be read as endorsing a mutual contract between king and populace, and that, therefore, sovereignty was somehow inherent in the people. But direct statements that “originally the Supreme power” was “in the whole people” were invisible in the declarations of the houses, and so the remonstrants were compelled to cite passages of the Book of Declarations supporting the more generic claim that parliament was the final arbiter of the salus populi, or the people’s “safety and freedom.” So, too, virtually everything parliament had done since March 1642 asserted an implicit right to override the king’s veto, at least under desperate conditions. Yet the theoretical justifications for this defiance had been carefully hedged, and parliament had shied away from asserting this as a permanent constitutional arrangement; thus, when the remonstrants looked to the Book of Declarations to deny the king’s negative voice, they cited a page stating that “Kings . . . ought to be very tender in denying both Houses of Parliament in any thing that concernes the publicke government and good of the Kingdome, and that they ought to deny themselves and their own understandings very far, before they deny them, and that upon this ground, because they lie under the Obligation of an Oath to passe such Laws if they be just and good for the Kingdome.”18 This was hardly the ringing, blanket repudiation that the remonstrants claimed for their case. It was in fact precisely the sort of tortured statement that led Hexter to declare parliament’s manifestos “obscure, and at times a little stupid.”19 Yet, while parliament’s official declarations tended to be cautious and equivocal, the unofficial para-propaganda produced by self-appointed defenders of parliament’s cause was far more extreme. Thus, claims that the people were somehow sovereign, and that government relied upon a mutual contract, were disseminated extensively, beginning with Englands Complaint to Jesus Christ in 1640, and reaching a peak in Henry Parker’s famous tracts of 1642. Parker himself was guarded in  discussing the negative voice, and in his Observations he suggested that the royal right of assent to bills was dispensed with only in cases of extremity, when the kingdom was endangered.20 But, as shown above, other anonymous parliamentary penmen, including the author of A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman, writing in Parker’s wake, sharpened his argument, denying in toto the royal veto over legislation. One of the most widely read of these works of para-propaganda, William Prynne’s The Treachery and Disloyalty of Papists to their Soveraignes, emerged just two weeks before Londoners mounted their remonstrance. Prynne’s pamphlet deployed historical, legal, and philosophical sources to show that “the Parliament, and whole kingdome which it represents” was “the Highest Soveraigne power of all others, and above the King himselfe.”21 Among the welter of Prynne’s arguments we find one that illustrates powerfully the striking evolution and escalation that took 18  Exact Collection, 270, 690, 697, 703–6, 714–15; Remonstrans, 5. 19 Hexter, King Pym, 175. 20  [H. Parker,] Observations upon Some of his Majesties Late Answers and Expresses (1642), 45. 21  W. Prynne, The Treachery and Disloyalty of Papists to their Soveraignes (1643), 17, acquired by Thomason on March 16.

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place between the 1630s and early 1643. As shown in Chapter 1, Prynne’s 1636–7 manuscript against Ship Money used the canon-law maxim “Quod tangit omnes ab omnibus debet approbari” to argue that “in all naturall and pollitick bodies nothing . . . Cann be affected by the head, hand, or foote, alone unles the other parts of the bodie . . . assent” and that, in all human bodies, the vote of the “Major parte” was needed to bind the whole, claims he then cited as proof that the king “being but a member of the bodie Politique of England tho the most . . . supreame of all the Rest, can impose no newe lawes, or binding taxes, on . . . subjects without their Common Consent.”22 In 1643 Prynne now recycled both the maxim and the  alarmingly radical train of thought, teasing out its implications: although “the  king” was “the chiefe and principle . . . yet he is onely one member of the Parliament and kingdome,” whereas the “Lords and Commons” were the “greatest and most considerable part, as representing the intire body of the kingdome.” As in his Ship Money tract, Prynne pointed out that in all human political bodies— corporations, cathedral chapters, courts—the “major part have alwayes . . . the greatest sway . . . though it be but by one casting voyce.” This majoritarian principle was now used to claim that “in Parliament . . . the Major part overswayes the rest, yea the king himselfe,” meaning that the monarch “hath no absolute negative voyce, but onely in refusing to passe some kinde of Bills not all.” The structure of argument that Prynne used in 1636–7 to assert that parliament needed to consent to fiscal measures was now subtly reshaped to deny that the king possessed veto power over pressing legislation.23 Prynne was more circumspect than the author of A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman, who dismissed outright the doctrine of the king-in-parliament. England, in Prynne’s view, remained a mixed monarchy, with the king an integral part of parliament, still possessing a legislative negative voice in some limited cases. But this negative voice could not be exercised if the “Bills be publike and necessary for the Common good.”24 Prynne’s account thus invested parliament with sweeping theoretical and practical power, including not only the right to override the king’s veto on all issues of real significance, but also to depose monarchs who violated the law.25 Prynne’s book, moreover, was ordered into print by parliament’s Committee for Printing, meaning that a private polemical work became in effect official regime propaganda.26 Indeed, in the next months Prynne wrote three successor tracts, building on the The Treachery and Disloyalty of Papists, all of which were bundled and ordered into print by parliament as The Soveraigne Power of Parliaments and Kingdomes, in essence making Prynne a kind of in-house, official theorist for the cause and catapulting his work to a position of lasting influence.27 22  See Chapter 1, n. 108, above. 23 Prynne, Treachery, 20, 23. 24 Prynne, Treachery, 20, 23–5. 25 Prynne, Treachery, 29–31. 26 Prynne, Treachery, t.p. 27  The Soveraigne Power of Parliaments and Kingdomes: Divided into Foure Parts (1643), t.p.; for Prynne’s centrality in shaping a theory of coordinated sovereignty: C. Weston and J. Greenberg, Subjects and Sovereigns: The Grand Controversy over Legal Sovereignty in Stuart England (Cambridge, 1981), 61–7, 124–48.

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While the blueprint for the March 30 remonstrance, A Discourse between A Resolved, and Doubtfull Englishman, was more comprehensive and extreme, Prynne’s tract reveals that in many ways the remonstrants were merely codifying and refining principles that had been synthesized more broadly in the laboratory of radical parliamentarian propaganda over the previous two years. Some of this propaganda— Parker’s and Prynne’s, for instance—was certainly produced with the connivance of exalted lords and gentlemen of parliament; other pieces had presumably dropped from less celestial heights.28 Nevertheless, the remonstrance of March 30 bears ­eloquent testimony that the principles expressed in those works had exerted very wide influence. The remonstrance can be seen as an attempt to gloss and interpret the parliamentary case by gathering together —and indeed seeking to implement— the most far-reaching and extreme constitutional solutions that had been injected into the public sphere of print during the previous two years. We do not know who drafted the petition and remonstrance. Our chief source for the initial attempt to push it through the Common Council is the hopelessly partisan Mercurius Aulicus. Aulicus was at pains to imply that leading members of  the city government favored the move, emphasizing that Isaac Pennington, London’s militant mayor, and several other aldermen spoke for the remonstrance. Yet most of Aulicus’s account made it clear that the impetus for the remonstrance came from outside the city government. His assertion that the lawyer Steele presented it, backed by Shute, Watkins, and Mainwaring, is highly plausible. Shute and Watkins were the two chief spokesmen for the anti-accommodation front examined in Chapter 5. Steele, too, is an important figure; later in the 1640s, he emerged as a leading independent, and was the first choice to manage the prosecution of Charles I before becoming chief baron of the Exchequer and Lord Chancellor of Ireland under the Protectorate.29 “Captain Mainwaring” was likely the cavalry officer, Robert Mainwaring.30 It seems that none of these four were members of the Common Council, which is consistent with the claim that they had been admitted as spokesmen for the remonstrants. Further evidence that the campaign was driven from outside the Guildhall came from Aulicus: “Steele being asked who drew the Petition, made answer that it was drawne by the advise of the best Lawyers and Divines in the City; and . . . Peters one of the Amsterdamians . . . stood at the hall doore, and earnestly pressed every man as he went in to have a care of that Petition.”31 “Peters” was Hugh Peter, the congregationalist preacher, who like Watkins and Shute had purportedly been involved in the December 1 petition against accommodation, again suggesting overwhelming continuity with the citizen lobby that had taken shape in the early months of the war. Fortunately, we also possess first-hand evidence about the planning and execution of the remonstrance. In 1646, William Walwyn reflected on his political career, 28  For Parker’s Observations, see J. Peacey, “ ‘Fiery Spirits’ and Political Propaganda: Uncovering a Radical Press Campaign of 1642,” Publishing History, 55 (2004), 5–36. 29  “William Steele,” ODNB; Lindley, PPR, 310–11. 30  The identification as “Captain Mainwaring” identifies him as Robert, rather than (as is often assumed) Col. Randall Mainwaring, Robert’s brother. 31  Mercurius Aulicus (Apr. 9, 1643/E.97[10]), 170–1.

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writing of 1643 that “my next publike businesse was with many others, in a remonstrance to the Common Councell, to move the Parliament to confirm certain infallible maximes of free Government: wherein the power of Parliament was plainly distinguished from the Kings Office, so plainly, that had it taken effect: few men after due consideration thereof, would through error of judgement have taken part against the Parliament.”32 We should like to know more about the extent of Walwyn’s involvement, but here at least we have reliable testimony about the campaign. Walwyn was hardly an outsider. A prosperous Merchant Adventurer, he had been named to the Weavers’ Hall committee for the “flying army,” and would also be involved in the Salters’ Hall subcommittee and its attempt to raise the London auxiliaries. He was thus deeply implicated in the war-party maneuvers of the early months of the war. But, in the realm of city affairs, he was small fry compared with the likes of Pennington. He was not a member of the urban government, nor is he known to have taken part in company affairs. The crisis of 1640 sucked him into the politics of his local parish, embroiling him in a campaign to oust the conformist vicar of St. James Garlickhithe.33 In general, however, Walwyn was a figure occupying the very margins of the London establishment. This was also true of the two collaborators Walwyn named. The first was the scrivener Richard Price, a future member of John Goodwin’s gathered congregation, who at this stage had yet to play any major role in city politics. Even less prominent was this man’s uncle, also Richard Price, another of Goodwin’s disciples, whom Walwyn also suggested had been involved in promoting the remonstrance.34 The involvement of Walwyn and the Prices suggests that the initiative for the March 30 remonstrance came from a core of committed London militants outside the city elite. The design was likely the consequence of a careful and deliberate exercise in coalition-building, mobilizing networks of association that had germinated during the anti-accommodation campaigns of late 1642, and drawing in the most prominent leaders of the London war party, including Shute and Watkins; initially, at least, the remonstrants earned a favorable reception from Pennington and a handful of allies at the highest reaches of the urban government. Although momentum for the remonstrance had presumably been gathering since the publication of A Discourse in December, the realization of the campaign likely owed much to the particular circumstances of March 1643. With its funds exhausted, parliament had in February finally created a regime of mandatory assessments, but the machinery for this system was still being set up and the degree of compliance remained to be tested. The fiscal leverage and bargaining power of the city thus remained great. Taking advantage of parliament’s tenuous position, and recognizing London’s essential role in keeping the cause afloat, the remonstrants sought to use the city government to push parliament into accepting their own 32  W. Walwyn, A Whisper in the Eare of Mr. Thomas Edwards Minister (1646), 4. 33 Walwyn, Whisper, 4; LMA, P69/JS2/B/001/MS04813/001, fols. 25–6, 35r–36r, 52r, 53v, 54r–55v. 34 W. Walwyn, Walwyns Just Defence (1649), 8, 14; Pearl, Outbreak, 223–4, without citation, claims the scrivener was a Common Councillor in 1641; I have found no evidence for this assertion (a Roger Price was Councillor out of St. John the Baptist).

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political blueprint, in effect attempting to redefine the ideological underpinnings of the war effort. Yet the objectives of the petition were linked to the politics of the moment in another crucial way. Had the Common Council agreed to present the petition, and had parliament embraced the remonstrance, all hope of accommodation between the crown and Westminster would have evaporated. One need only compare the remonstrance against the peace propositions offered to the king, which were under discussion in the Oxford Treaty when the petitioners approached the Common Council. The main proposals called for the king to allow parliament “to settle the Militia both by Sea and Land . . . as shall be agreed on by both Houses,” and to approve parliament’s religious legislation, most importantly “to give your Royall Assent . . . to the Bill for . . . abolishing . . . all Archbishops, Bishops” and their officers. Other provisions aimed to force Charles to crack down on Catholics and “delinquents” and to settle key positions on trusted parliamentarians. There was nothing in any of this that even remotely resembled the sort of political vision expressed in the remonstrance.35 Indeed, insofar as the propositions humbly asked Charles to “give your Royall Assent” to specific pieces of legislation, they implicitly confirmed the traditional constitutional order, in which the king possessed a negative voice. And while parliament proposed that it should be able to dispose of the militia and forts, the language of the propositions suggested not a permanent constitutional precedent for controlling military affairs, but a one-time expedient, to be ratified by royal assent—a far cry from the remonstrants’ blunt insistence that the right of “transacting of the great affaires of peace and warre” belonged solely to parliament. The remonstrants’ move, if successful, would have wrecked hopes for a speedy settlement and left the peace negotiations in ruins. There was no way Charles could treat with a parliament espousing such a program. While the remonstrants could not openly admit that this was their intention, the petition showed that its ­promoters vigorously opposed the drift towards a negotiated settlement: thus, they desired that “the Kings returne to his Kingly office and the Parliament in a well setled peace (which we daily pray for) may never be purchased by such conditions as thereby either to leave the truth and life of our Religion and Laws unsecured, or give opportunitie to involve us and our posteritie in perpetuall thraldome,” a clear indication that they believed this was precisely what was afoot.36 That disrupting the peace process was part of their conscious calculation is further suggested by an anecdote related by Aulicus: the day before the remonstrance was presented, Hugh Peter “had in his sermon much of the contents of that Petition: and having railed sufficiently against His Majesty, came to tax the Parliament . . . whom he accused unto his Auditory for abusing the people, in that they had fooled them all this while with hopes and promises of a reformation, and now would leave the worke and make peace with out them.”37 Aulicus’s report lends weight to the conclusion that the petitioners of March 30 sought to derail the peace negotiations. 35  For the propositions, see The Humble Desires and Propositions of the Lords and Commons Assembled in Parliament (1643). 36  Remonstrans, 7. 37  Mercurius Aulicus (Apr. 9, 1643/E.97[10]), 171.

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In this, their maneuver was consistent with other belligerent moves by city ­ ilitants over the previous four months. But at a deeper level the remonstrance would m have done more than wreck negotiations with Charles; it would have committed parliament to a deeply tendentious political program. For despite suggestions that it was merely summarizing the pith of the official parliamentary case, in reality the remonstrance laid out a profoundly controversial vision. Such a view of the constitution of England was by no means universally shared amongst parliamentarians. In staking out such a position, and in pushing the two houses to codify it as a kind of platform, the remonstrants sought to steer the entire war effort in a very radical direction. Once committed to such a program, there could be no accommodation with the king; the struggle could only be settled by defeating him completely, whereupon the principles of the remonstrance would presumably be locked into place. It was an ambitious maneuver, which attempted to define the nature of England’s civil war. The fate of the London remonstrance revealed that, even at this early stage, there had evolved within the parliamentary coalition different, and potentially competing, understandings of the substance of the conflict. This is amply borne out by the reception accorded the March 30 remonstrance. Although it was referred to a Common Council committee stacked with strong parliamentarians, that committee failed to push through the remonstrance.38 On April 18, the Common Council convened to debate the “Remonstrance to be tendred to the Parliament” and “fully passed . . . divers heads of the same”: 1 They desire the Parliament to mainetaine their Votes, Ordinances and Declarations. 2 That in regard it hath beene declared that by the Lawes of England the King cannot erre, they desire to have that point cleared, and how far his Counsell are to be charged in their particulars 3 That the Rights and Priviledges of Parliament, with his Majesties just Rights and Prerogative, with the Subjects liberties might be the better united together, to stand for the maintenance thereof against all that oppose them, and that Traytors and Delinquents might be brought to a legall tryall.39

The radical platform presented on March 30 had been entirely gutted, stripped of all of its resounding political declarations, and even harmonized with the Oxford peace propositions. Whether this act of vandalism occurred in committee or in the general court, the Common Council as a whole found the substance of the remonstrance unpalatable: “there are some other heads which they doe not altogether like of, therefore they have remitted the same to the first Framers thereof to bee corrected and amended before they passe their assents unto it.” While the Common Council was discussing the propositions, the petitioners waited outside. After the 38 Pearl, Outbreak, 261, argued that the committee’s composition showed that “the radicals must have won the day.” 39  Perfect Diurnall (Apr. 24, 1643/E.247[31]), sig. Yy3r. For the date, see A Continuation Of certaine Speciall and Remarkable Passages (Apr. 20, 1643/E.247[27]), 5. LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fols. 57v–59r, records no council on this day, but this was because no formal acts passed. Three newsbooks reported the meeting.

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defanged version of their petition was approved, they were summoned: “because many things” in the remonstrance “were of high concernment, the Common Counsell called in those that were imployed in that businesse, and desired to amend some things therein, for otherwise they could not joyn with them in their businesse, but those that stood for it seemed to be very unwilling that any thing should be altered, so they departed.”40 The remonstrants thus rejected the watered-down version of their text. The ­petitioners were perhaps all the more aggrieved given that the committee to which the remonstrance had been delegated was stacked with city militants. Even sympathetic members of the Common Council may have recognized, however, that the remonstrance sat uneasily alongside the strategy being pursued by Pym and his parliamentary allies, which struck a delicate balance between maintaining the appearance of openness to negotiation, while simultaneously pushing for measures that would allow for the king’s defeat in battle. The remonstrance would have disrupted this approach. With little hope that the Lords and Commons would ever approve the platform, even the most militant of the city fathers may have judged the remonstrance more trouble than it was worth. In the short term, the remonstrants’ effort proved to be a failure. But the ­program it embodied lived on, taking root in London and beyond. Among those who eagerly followed the campaign, for instance, was the Kentish man, Sir Cheney Culpeper, who on April 9 asked Samuel Hartlib for a “copy of the Citty remonstrance or petition, and what proceedinge it hathe had.”41 As we will see, Culpeper’s own political stance would soon align with that of the remonstrants. In July 1643, amid another outburst of popular mobilization, supporters dusted off their plan and reissued it as a printed pamphlet, designed presumably to drum up support for  a renewed campaign to push the program through parliament.42 While the remonstrance again failed to find acceptance as official government policy, its program had now migrated into the printed public sphere. As will be shown, in 1644 Walwyn furthered this process, embedding the ten points of the remonstrance in his widely read book, The Compassionate Samaritane.43 At a more general level, of course, a similarly sweeping vision of parliament’s supreme power eventually came to stand at the heart of the 1648–9 revolution. These future resonances are of considerable significance, but even in its immediate context the remonstrance bore witness to important developments. The campaign revealed that, by March 1643, there had already emerged within parliament’s coalition a contingent seeking to enforce a radical constitutional settlement on the nation, one that would have redrawn the map of political power in England. That the petitioners were comfortable enough to make such a bold attempt and that the remonstrance was taken seriously in the Common Council are signs that those involved in the campaign were too significant to be ignored. Indeed, the remonstrants 40  Perfect Diurnall (Apr. 24, 1643/E.247[31]), sig. Yy3r; Perfect Diurnall (Apr. 24, 1643/E.247[30]), sigs. Yy2v–Yy3r. 41  Culpeper, 174–5. 42  Remonstrans, sigs. A–A4. 43  See Chapter 10, below; for evidence that the platform influenced radical elements in the army in 1647, compare Remonstrans, 4–6; The Case of the Armie Truly Stated (1647), 15.

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emerged from the core of parliament’s coalition in London—men such as Shute, Watkins, and Walwyn, whose zealous local activism and committee work provided the underlying infrastructure for the war effort. And even if the impetus came from outside the urban elite, at least initially, powerful city politicians, including the Lord Mayor, were willing to defend it, a sign of how dramatically the ideological landscape had shifted by early 1643. The March 30 remonstrance served notice that leading parliamentarians were now prepared to force dramatic changes to the constitutional structure of the nation. T H E C R I S I S O F 1 6 4 3 : M I L I TA RY P O L I T I C S , RU M O R , A N D RO U N DWAY D OW N In the end, fears about the Oxford Treaty were not realized. Charles was never going to accept parliament’s conditions, and negotiations quickly collapsed. Yet the threat of a dangerous peace deal persisted, not least because, in the next months, the Earl of Essex began to sour on the war effort. The disaffection of parliament’s Lord General owed much to the abuse hurled in his direction. Even before the Oxford Treaty ended, Essex, eager to show commitment to the cause, marched to Reading, which submitted after a brief siege. Ironically, this victory only intensified criticism. A whispering campaign ensued, alleging that the earl should not have bothered with Reading, that he allowed the city to capitulate on easy terms, permitting the royalists to march away with their supplies, and that he should have immediately proceeded to Oxford after the siege. By late May, the air was thick with cries that Essex’s army “wholly lie stil, and are not active enough in the present service,” with some “murmuring” that the earl’s soldiers were “Fay neants,” who had “put the Kingdome to an immence charge, and done little or nothing for it.”44 By the end of May, Essex grew so fed up that he wrote to parliament, complaining about “the Various Reports” of his stay near Reading; the Commons wrote back, placating him with promises of support, irrespective of “all . . . vulgar Censure.”45 Nevertheless, the damage was deep, and although the earl finally marched his forces towards Oxford in June, further military setbacks, combined with the din of slander, rendered him increasingly discontent. In late June, he offered to resign, prompting the lower house to send an obsequious message to convince him to reconsider.46 A few days later, the situation came to a head. News arrived that the Fairfaxes’ northern army had lost at Adwalton Moor, giving royalists control of Yorkshire. Essex, nursing his wounded honor, and sensing the tide turning against parliament, now seems to have thrown in his lot with the pro-accommodation 44  Certaine Informations (May 29, 1643/E.104[16]), 145; An Apologie and Vindication (From all false and malignant Aspersions) (1644), 19; Clarendon, 3:32–3; Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (May 2, 1643/E.100[19]), 134; Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (May 9, 1643/E.101[4]), 137; Speciall Passages (May 9, 1643/E.101[6]), sig. Qqr; A Continuation Of certaine Speciall and Remarkable Passages (May 18, 1643/E.249[7]), 6. 45  Bod. L., MS. Tanner 62a, fol. 131r; Perfect Diurnall (June 5, 1643/E.249[12]), sig. Eee4r. 46  BL, Hl. 165, fols. 100v–101v.

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lords (who may have been privately courting him).47 On July 8, he wrote to ­parliament complaining that lack of support had made his military position hopeless. Essex recommended that peace propositions should again be sent to Charles. The earl suggested that if the king rejected the propositions, the opposing armies might engage in a climactic grand trial of arms.48 News of Essex’s proposal provoked fury, both among war-party MPs and in London. On July 11, an observer wrote that “this Blessed Citty utterly disclaimes any such course and rayles at . . . Essex for moving any such thinge, and for Lyinge still so long, and that he meanes to betray their cause.”49 Although the efforts of Pym, Saye, and their allies ensured that the earl’s motion was defeated, the move unleashed a fierce backlash, and many MPs and citizens alike now “intimated the promoting of Waller in his place.”50 Yet no sooner had militant partisans begun their campaign in support of “William the Conqueror,” than the political landscape was again transfigured, this time by news of the battle of Roundway Down, which arrived on July 14. Waller’s army had been crushed in Wiltshire, leaving the king in command of the southwest. Only a handful of hard-pressed enclaves remained—Exeter, Gloucester, Plymouth, and Bristol. With his recent successes in the north and west, Charles stood poised to push to victory. One London diarist captured the mood: news of Roundway Down “struck great terror generally . . . the opinion the King would prevaile now stronger than ever, the Citty being much troubled.” Frightened Londoners traded rumors that the royalist cavalry was riding for the city.51 Roundway Down sparked a chain reaction of moves and countermoves, designed to remake the parliamentary war effort. On July 17, the Commons finally, after weeks of hesitation, ordered a delegation to Edinburgh to solicit the Scots’ help, a decision that in time transformed the politico-military situation.52 For the moment, however, the prospect of Scottish aid was remote, and parliament sought to rebuild its broken armies, with intensive efforts to raise money for Waller ensuing at Grocers’ Hall, site of the standing city committee anchored by Richard Shute.53 On July 18, the lower house passed a measure that “a Flying Army of 6000 horse . . . be presently rais’d in London, Middlesex, and . . . Adjacent Countyes.” On D’ewes account, this “Ordinance had been brought into the howse upon the 47 Gardiner, GCW, 1:161–5; Clarendon, 3:103. 48  LJ 6:127; BL, Hl. 165, fol. 122r–v. 49  B. Schofield, ed., The Knyvett Letters, 1620–1644, Norfolk Record Society, 20 (1949), 116; BL, Hl. 165, fol. 122v. 50 BL, Hl. 165, fols. 123–6; Parliament Scout (July 13, 1643/E.60[8]), 18; Mercurius Aulicus (July  15, 1643/E.62[3]), 370; Whitelocke, Memorials, 67, dated these intimations to July 10–14, before Roundway Down. 51  E. M. Symonds, “The Diary of John Greene (1635–59),” EHR, 43 (1928), 392; Schofield, ed., Knyvett Letters, 119. 52  CJ 3:168–9; L. Kaplan, “Steps to War: The Scots and Parliament, 1642–1643,” JBS, 9 (1970), 50–70. 53  Mercurius Civicus (July 20, 1643/E.61[11]), 61; All that wish well to the safety of this Kingdome (1643). Just before Roundway Down, the Commons ordered the citizen Grocers’ Hall committee to join with its own standing committee for provisioning Waller’s army, and from this point, the two committees seem to have operated as a joint body, housed at Grocers’ Hall. CJ 3:122, 165, 171, 240–1; BL, Add. MS. 70082, item 28; TNA, E 315/5, fol. 9v; SP 28/266, part 1, fol. 79r.

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­ etition of some Cittizens of London.” The dream of urban militants, imagined as p an  antidote to the plodding inertia of Essex’s army, was now revived. But as in the  previous year, this force existed only on paper. An enormous outlay would be necessary to make the vision a reality.54 Moreover, it was uncertain who would command the notional force, a sensitive political question given the toxic divisions afflicting the Roundhead cause. At this point, city radicals launched their most ambitious scheme yet, seeking to displace Essex and to put his rival Waller at the head of a massive new army, in the process reconfiguring the ideological underpinnings of parliament’s cause. THE GENERAL RISING In the week before Roundway Down, there had been rumblings in London of a petition, calling for a new army, under trusted commanders, to reinvigorate the cause.55 But the great defeat in the west intensified this popular campaign, and led to a mass petition which sought to mobilize the whole populace behind a project that came to be known as the “General Rising.” The idea that the people might “rise as one man” had been gestured at in vague terms in previous months.56 But the “General Rising” petition represented the first serious attempt to launch such a general levy. The goal was to field a mammoth army that would obliterate the king’s disparate forces. On July 18, activists scattered printed handbills, instructing “well-affected Persons” to meet the next day at Merchant Taylors’ Hall to sign “a Petition to the Parliament, (to which Thousands have already subscribed) for raising the whole People of the Land as one Man” in support of parliament’s cause, and the next day the summons was copied in a newsbook printed by Thomas Paine and Matthew Simmons. On July 19, “many thousand inhabitants” appeared at Merchant Taylors’ and “subscribed to a Petition.”57 On July 20, a large crowd descended on parliament.58 Organizers claimed 20,000 signatories, making it one of the largest petitions of the war, even if, as was likely, the numbers were inflated for effect. Two of the presenters were London knights, with family ties invoking memories of past tyranny—Sir Giles Overbury, brother of Sir Thomas Overbury, and Sir Fulke Greville, a kinsman of the recently martyred hero, Lord Brooke.59 Also on hand were two London lawyers, John Norbury and John Hatt.60 54  CJ 3:171–2; BL, Whit., fol. 63v; for D’ewes’s scathing verdict, see BL, Hl. 165, fol. 127v. 55  Instructions and Propositions Drawne up and agreed on by divers well affected (1643); Mercurius Aulicus (July 15, 1643/E.62[3]), 368–9; Mercurius Civicus, (July 13, 1643/E.60[9]), 55. 56  Certaine Informations (May 22, 1643/E.103[5]), 142; CJ 3:91; BL, Whit., fol. 51r; The Copy of a Letter from Alisbury (1643); Two Letters from his Excellencie Robert Earl of Essex (1643), 7. 57  All sorts of well-affected Persons, who desire a speedy End of this Destructive Warre (1643); Wednesday’s Mercury (July 19, 1643/E.61[9]), 7–8; Mercurius Civicus (July 20, 1643/E.61[11]), 62. 58  Certaine Informations (July 30, 1643/E.62[16]), 221, claimed “Many hundreds of Londoners” attended. 59 BL, Whit., fol. 64v. Both were minor court functionaries. “Thomas Overbury,” ODNB; “ ‘The Genealogie, Life and Death of the Right Honourable Robert Lorde Brooke,’” in Miscellany I, Dugdale Society, 31 (1977), 168. 60  A Letter from Mercurius Civicus to Mercurius Rusticus ([Oxford], 1643), 31; BL, Whit., fol. 64v.

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The petition was one of the most extraordinary yet seen by the Long Parliament. While the “General Rising” has received occasional comment in the past, scholars have overlooked the incendiary text of the petition. In many ways, the petition solidified deep ideological shifts that had been taking place among many parliamentarians. It complained “of the malitious progresse of the Oppressors of this Commonwealth,” who now threatened to overwhelm the good and godly by ­raising an “Army of Papists, Outlawes, and Traytors.” Unusual and noteworthy was the declared source of this oppression: the wicked army had been “incited and provoked to the robbing, burning, murthering and destroying of the Religious, honest, and well meaning people . . . not by a foraigne enemy, but (to the astonishment of all good men) by him whom the people of this Nation have highly honoured as their King, and used with abundance of love and indulgence, whereof he hath made no better use than to bring them to slavery or destruction, as thousands of our deare Brethren have found by most wofull experience.”61 Here, the petition went beyond any previous public statement in laying the blame for the war directly on the king. Charles was an oppressor, guilty of atrocity by proxy, implicated in the enslavement of his own people. As the MP Walter Yonge put it, the petitioners complained that they had been “destroyed by their kinge whom they have honored and yet oppressed by the king.”62 One horrified royalist regarded the petition as “the most desperate divellish slander, that ever yet durst looke the World in the Face.”63 The General Rising petition thus exposed a growing reservoir of sentiment. The language and assumptions of the text violated the orthodoxy that the war pitted parliament and king against a cabal of evil counselors. It left no doubt about Charles I’s guilt and portrayed him as a merciless tyrant. Such opinions were already current at the start of the war, expressed by firebrands such as the publishers of King James his Judgement of a King in September 1642. But, as we have seen, that tract incited an investigation, resulting in the public burning of the book and the imprisonment of Abigail Dexter. The horrors of war, incidents such as the Brentford “treachery,” and the king’s perceived obduracy meant that such political heresies could no longer be clubbed to the silent margins of the coalition. These sentiments had become so mainstream and ubiquitous that 20,000 signatories could be mobilized to underwrite the petition in a matter of days. Like the remonstrance of March 30, the General Rising petition threatened to upend the carefully constructed theoretical and practical edifice built by Pym and other Junto grandees over the previous two years to justify parliament’s resort to arms. Moreover, it ­suggested an increasingly yawning gulf between the official justification and the views of many devoted supporters of the cause.64 The practical remedy proposed in the petition was no less remarkable. Parliament was urged “to raise the whole people both in the City of London and all other parts 61  To the Right Honourable the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in parliament assembled. The humble Petition of thousands of the well affected Inhabitants (1643). 62  BL, Yonge 2, fol. 6a. 63  Letter from Mercurius Civicus, 31. 64  There were signs that Pym’s allies recognized this gulf; thus, the Solemn Vow and Covenant, framed in June 1643, omitted promises to preserve the king’s person and authority. E. Vallance, Revolutionary England and the National Covenant (Woodbridge, 2005), 56–7, 69–70.

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of the Kingdome.” To this end, the petitioners asked the Commons to create a committee of thirteen MPs, including Henry Marten, John Blakiston, William Strode, John Gurdon, and Isaac Pennington, with power to appoint officers and raise supply for this new army.65 Most were known war-party extremists. This was the second unusual aspect of the petition. Nominating committeemen was the prerogative of the house, and the petitioners’ request “was observed” to be “extreame derogatory” to parliament’s privileges, but “in respect of the present desperate condition . . . it was thought fitt to swallow downe all.” The House obediently named all thirteen to a new committee, to meet at Merchant Taylors’ Hall, the hub of the petitioning drive.66 In the next three weeks, partisans made intensive efforts to raise the army, revealing the essential features of the plan as imagined by backers. Pointedly, the mass army was not to be commanded by Essex. Radicals quickly settled on Waller as their chosen general. Although he had just been trounced at Roundway Down, Sir  William’s credit was little dented in the city; it was rumored that his defeat flowed from Essex’s failure to pen the king’s cavalry in Oxford.67 As soon as Waller returned to London, greeted by raucous crowds and cannon salutes, he was ­formally selected by the activists at Merchant Taylors’ Hall to command the army. Arriving at the hall “with Mr. Burton the Minister accompanying him,” Waller promised to spend his “blood in the defence of Gods cause, and true Religion.”68 The involvement of Henry Burton, congregationalist pioneer and the self-proclaimed guardian of true religion and “just libertie,” hints at the public leadership of the program. In the last week of July, other partisans filled in details of the project. Crucially, since the Merchant Taylors’ Committee was to select all officers, only men of “knowne faithfulnesse and integrity” would be chosen, ensuring that “Your monies shall be employed to the proper end you intend them,” a stark contrast to the feckless “fay neants” of Essex’s army.69 The other important aspect of the plan emphasized by its backers was its totality: partisans imagined a huge army, variously estimated by supporters at 40,000–50,000 (or even, by one account, 100,000) men.70 These were fantastic figures: no field army during the civil wars ever approached this size. But that was the point. The General Rising aimed to unify the splintered parliamentary war effort: “You doe but ruine your selves . . . by venturing in small bodies to subdue your Enemies: what can you hope thereby, but onely a . . . deferring your destruction for a season, when in the meane time you waste and consume your selves . . . No, you must all rise, or nothing can be done.”71 Accordingly, the most aggressive backers of the plan imagined it as universal and 65  The well affected Inhabitants. The others were Rigby, Bainton, Ashurst, Bond, Masham, Heyman, Hoyle, and Morley. 66  BL, Hl. 165, fol. 128r–v; CJ 3:176. 67 Hexter, King Pym, 124. 68  CJ 3:183; Mercurius Civicus (July 28, 1643/E.62[4]), 72; A Declaration of the Proceedings of the Honourable Committee of the House of Commons at Merchant-Taylors Hall (1643), 5; Clarendon, 3:130. 69  July, 25. 1643. A Memento to the Londoners (1643); Declaration of the Proceedings, 3, 7. 70  Certaine Informations ( July 24, 1643/E.61[16]), 212–13; Certaine Informations (July 31, 1643/E.62[16]), 223–4; Nottingham University Library, Dept. of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Pw2Hy 50/2; Mercurius Aulicus (Aug. 12, 1643/E.65[26]), 437–8. 71  Memento.

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coercive: soldiers would be impressed, those not serving in person would be ­compelled to pay for the forces, and all the city’s shops would be shut while the army was abroad.72 Partly because the project soon collapsed, scholarship on the General Rising has focused chiefly on the reasons for its failure. For Hexter, the scheme was torpedoed by the “magic of Pym’s political skill,” combined with the incompetence of Marten and his extremist allies.73 Other scholars have emphasized the plan’s popular roots, with Robert Brenner, for instance, arguing that the project was a high-water mark of radical influence in London, the result of collaboration between powerful “new merchants” in London and their allies in parliament, with major support from the citizenry as a whole. In his view, the plan was wrecked less by Pym than by puzzling disagreements within this coalition, disputes he was at a loss to explain.74 Most recently, Ian Gentles has challenged these views, arguing that the project failed because it lacked true popular backing, and instead revealed increasing ­skepticism about parliament’s cause in London.75 In fact, the plan faced numerous obstacles, which conspired to undermine a project that overambitiously sought to reshape the entire war effort at a moment of great danger. The chief impediment was surely Essex, who again adopted the tactic he used to deflate the “flying army” scheme in November. The earl refused to grant Waller a satisfactory commission until all the Lord General’s demands had been met, holding the two houses hostage until they abandoned plans to sideline Essex and replace him with Waller.76 But this tactic was facilitated because Pym and his circle were clearly dubious about the pretensions of Marten and his allies, showing little inclination to allow the war effort to be hijacked by a clique of reckless extremists.77 This hesitance only intensified as the military situation deteriorated: on July 31, news arrived that England’s second great port, Bristol, had surrendered after a brief siege. Further hindering the plan was the apparent resistance of powerful interests in London, including the Militia Committee and the standing, radical committee at Grocers’ Hall, which had been raising money for Waller for weeks, with members apparently reluctant to hand funds and power to a new body of MPs led by Marten.78 Finally, there were internal tensions even among supporters, with some advocates pushing for a total, coercive vision of universal forced service or supply, and others reluctant to endorse such draconian measures.79 72  Declaration of the Proceedings, 5–6; BL, Hl. 165, fol. 149v; Mercurius Aulicus (July 15, 1643/E.62[3]), 368–9; BL, Egerton MS. 2643, fol. 13. 73 Hexter, King Pym, 122–47; Pearl, Outbreak, 269–73, largely follows Hexter. 74 Brenner, M&R, 456–9; see also Lindley, PPR, 314–19. 75  I. Gentles, “ ‘This Confused, Divided and Wretched City’: The Struggle for London in 1642–43,” Canadian Journal of History, 38 (2003), 467–79; I. Gentles, “Parliamentary Politics and the Politics of the Street: The London Peace Campaigns of 1642–3,” Parliamentary History, 26 (2007), 139–59. 76  LJ 6:160; BL, Hl. 165, fols. 132r–134v, 146v, 149r; BL, Whit., fol. 67r–v; CJ 3:193, 198; Adair, Roundhead General, 113–16. 77  For Pym’s view of the General Rising, very different from Marten’s, see BL, Egerton MS. 2643, fol. 13. 78  For competition with the Militia and Grocers’ Hall committees, see BL, Yonge 2, fol. 8a–b. 79  Declaration of the Proceedings, 5–6.

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Despite these hurdles, the plan initially attracted strong support in London. At a Common Hall on July 29, proponents won approval of a declaration demanding “That there may be a present genneral Riseing, wherein every on may give assistance in person or Purse, by an Equall Levie . . . And that all such as shall refuse may be secured and theire Estates seized on for the use of the Kingdome.”80 Although the plan thus won backing of the city’s assembled liverymen, abstract support was one thing; willingness to sacrifice money or blood was another, and as a result of the various obstacles, soldiers were reluctant to sign up for the force, while funds for the uncertain project came in slowly. The accounts of the Merchant Taylors’ Committee show that donations, which initially flowed from a diverse group throughout the greater London area, diminished as the plan encountered serious obstacles in the first week of August.81 By this time, the political battle was essentially over. As the MP William Constantine wrote on August 5, “Here are forces dayly levying, but people come in not so freely, by reason of some difference between the Earle of Essex his forces, and Sir William Wallers.” Yet Constantine had no doubt that the earl had bested his rival: the contest “begins now to be appeasd; The houses intend to manage all under the Earle as cheife commander; Waller submitts.”82 Hard-line backers of the project continued to try to revive it.83 Calls for the General Rising were prominently used to mobilize the city to oppose the Lords’ latest, most threatening attempt to resurrect peace negotiations between August 5 and 7.84 But once this final attempt at accommodation had been defeated, the plan quickly disappeared. Like the Remonstrance of March 30, then, the General Rising was a grand design that, on the face of it, ended in unmitigated failure. Yet some proponents saw it differently. In 1646, William Walwyn declared that “when the common enemy was at the highest, and the Parliaments forces at the lowest, I with many others petitioned the Parliament for the generall raising and arming of all the well affected in the Kingdom.” Walwyn’s entanglement in the scheme was perhaps deeper than his comment allowed: the two London lawyers who presented the petition to the Commons, John Norbury and John Hatt, can both be tied to Walwyn through independent evidence.85 Whatever his involvement, Walwyn argued that although the design “came not to perfection: yet it mated the common enemy, and set all wheels at work at home, was the spring of more powerfull 80  Bod. L., MS. Nalson 13, fol. 389r. 81  For troops, see BL, Yonge 2, fol. 8a; D. Como, “Anatomy of the General Rising: Militancy and Mobilization in London, 1643” (forthcoming), based on accounts in SP 28/167, unfol. 82  Bod. L., MS. Tanner 62b, fol. 262r–v. This letter, signed William Merly, was seized by Col. Bingham, who noted, “Constantins house is Merly which is here his falce name.” The letter was ­certainly Constantine’s; cf. Bod. L., MS. Nalson 2, fol. 159r, penned in an identical hand and signed by Constantine. 83  Nottingham University Library, Dept. of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Pw2Hy 50/2, dating from Aug. 2–12; BL, Hl. 165, fol. 149r–v. 84  Mercurius Aulicus (Aug. 12, 1643/E.65[26]), 431–2; on the Lords’ propositions and their defeat, see Gardiner, GCW, 1:182–6. 85 In 1643, Hatt represented Walwyn’s parish of St. James Garlickhithe in suing its minister, Edward Marbury, a campaign Walwyn orchestrated: LMA, P69/JS2/B/005/MS04810/002, fol. 105v; in 1646, Norbury joined Walwyn and Clement Writer in a legal arrangement: TNA, C 54/3357 (11), an MS first uncovered by Lindley.

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motions and good successes.”86 His assessment of the Rising as a springboard to later triumphs may have alluded to a number of different effects of the plan. For a start, it helped to stop the Lords’ peace propositions, thereby driving from Westminster several pro-accommodation peers—Holland, Bedford, and Clare— regarded as secret obstructionists. Second, Walwyn may perhaps have been thinking of the way the petition, with its overt attack on Charles, shifted boundaries of  political discussion, for, as we have seen, the merchant himself believed that parliament’s official justification for the war was misleading. Third, despite the failure of the plan, the weeks of frenetic maneuvers sparked by the General Rising petition produced several major changes to parliament’s war effort, including the introduction of impressment, the passage of an excise tax, and the reinvigoration of the Eastern Association army under its new, godly commander, the Earl of Manchester. While none of these initiatives emerged directly from the General Rising plan, all flowed from the moment of creative reorganization inaugurated by Roundway Down and the petition. At its deepest level, the General Rising laid out a program that pointed the way to parliament’s ultimate victory. The basic goals of the plan included the ­consolidation of parliament’s fragmented military establishment into a unified effort, centered on a single, massive army; the elimination of a clique of supposedly corrupt officers; their replacement by honest, godly soldiers devoted to the cause; and the toppling of Essex as commander, to be supplanted by a more competent, committed alternative. Moreover, the petition’s text left little doubt that the goal in creating this army was to defeat an oppressor on the battlefield—this was not to be a defensive war or an armed negotiation. Elements of this vision had been present in the succession of attempts to create new armies over previous months and the Rising was in some ways just the latest, most ambitious, variation on this theme. However, its comprehensiveness—and in particular its vision of the unification of parliament’s war effort into a single grand army under trusted commanders—set the plan apart. Although the project failed, the aspiration survived. Indeed, the General Rising arranged the template that would be followed, eighteen months later, when parliament belatedly created the instrument of its ultimate triumph: the New Model Army. S A LT M A R S H , M A RT E N , A N D THE PERILS OF EXTREMISM On August 16, while investigating the treachery of John Hotham Jr., parliament’s erstwhile governor of Hull, the Commons examined papers found in a trunk owned by Hotham’s kinsman and man-of-business, the cleric John Saltmarsh.87 86 Walwyn, Whisper, 4. 87  For Hotham and Saltmarsh, see A. Hopper, ed., The Papers of the Hothams, Governors of Hull during the Civil War, Camden Society, 5th Ser., 39 (2011), 1–32, 103, 131, 139–44, 151. I am grateful to Andy Hopper for sharing his findings before publication.

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As shown in Chapter 15, Saltmarsh soon emerged as one of England’s most n ­ otorious ministers; accused of antinomianism and denial of the sacraments, he would become a celebrated army radical in 1646–7. Already by 1643, his political opinions were growing more extreme. Among his papers was a list of propositions, which Laurence Whitaker recorded as follows: 1. How the Papists and Protestants might be set together by the Eares 2. How the King might be still kept away from his Parliament 3. How the King and his Children might be destroyed, and the house of Heref[ord] or Harfs might be entitled to the Crowne.

Saltmarsh’s cynical proposals for inflaming the conflict were alarming enough. But the third proposition—the deposition of the king and his replacement by a Seymour—was beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse. Saltmarsh admitted that he had written the lines, although he lamely protested that he had not intended “to propound such Things as fitting to be done” but merely as “Observations out of the Jealosies and Suspicions at Oxford,” that is, as descriptions of things ascribed to parliamentarians by royalists. Unconvinced, the House moved to imprison him.88 At this point, Henry Marten defended Saltmarsh, declaring that “he knew no cause why the destruction of any one family should be put in the ballance with the destruction of the whole Kingdom.”89 Sir Neville Poole asked Marten to explain what he meant by “one Family,” whereupon Marten dug his grave deeper, responding “The King and his Children.” This disregarded the sacrosanct principle that the war was not being waged against the king, and triggered outrage in the House. Pym reportedly gave a long speech, denouncing Marten as “a man extreamely guilty of injustice and lewdnesse.”90 After debate, the House voted to expel Marten from parliament, and he was dispatched to the Tower. D’ewes rightly saw this as a naked power play: “the tru and onlie cause why hee was . . . putt out of the Howse, was, by reason of his almost constant opposing . . . old John Pym, who by the helpe of his freinds tooke this opportunitie” to purge Marten.91 Later, Sir Peter Wentworth claimed that many MPs agreed with Marten but were terrified that, with the king’s armies poised for victory, the whole house might be drawn into “compasse of High Treason for conniving” at his words.92 Marten’s expulsion marked a fitting conclusion to the failed militant campaign: D’ewes’s archetypal “fierie spirit,” one of the architects of the General Rising, had now been ejected from the House, courtesy of Pym’s clique. 88  BL, Whit., fol. 70v; CJ 3:206; Saltmarsh’s meaning is clarified by Whitelocke: “1. That all means should be used to keep the King and his People from a sudden union. 2. To cherish the War under the notion of Popery, as the surest means to engage the people. 3. If the King would not grant their Demands, then to root him out, and the Royal Line, and to Collate the Crown upon some body else.” Whitelocke, Memorials, 68. Whitelocke wrongly claimed the words came from “a Book” by Saltmarsh. This mistake has often been repeated. 89  BL, Whit., fols. 70v–71r. 90  Mercurius Aulicus (Aug. 19, 1643), 452, Whitelocke’s likely source. 91  BL, Hl. 165, fols. 152r, 180v. Poole was Pym’s pallbearer in Dec. 1643. I. Gentles, “Political Funerals during the English Revolution,” in S. Porter, ed., London and the Civil War (Basingstoke, 1996), 222 n.11; see also J. Lilburne, Two Letters Writ by Lieut. Col. John Lilburne (1647), 6. 92  C. Walker, The History of Independency (1648), 99.

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But, at the same time, Saltmarsh’s paper and Marten’s brazen comments reflect shifts among more militant members of the coalition, many of whom were now done with the fiction of evil counsel. The General Rising petition left no doubt about Charles’s guilt. And some, like Saltmarsh, seem to have been willing to entertain increasingly extreme solutions. Indeed, Marten’s indiscretion may have resulted from overconfidence—an assumption that, after the General Rising petition, the boundaries of public debate had expanded, making the king a legitimate target. Marten’s explosive rhetoric, acceptable in London’s livery halls or the nocturnal musings of anti-legalist clergymen, remained for now taboo in the public forum of parliament. C O N C LU S I O N By mid-1643, there were clear fault lines emerging in the pro-war front. In London, a formidable coalition of influential parliamentarians had put their weight behind a programmatic blueprint for establishing the uncontested supremacy of parliament, itself a mere agent of the supreme people, bearing plenary legislative and military power. The king, on this view, was just another magistrate, constituted by and accountable to the people and their chosen representatives. Although the campaign to promulgate this vision as state doctrine had failed, the design revealed the extent to which the carefully modulated “official” justification for the war was beginning to crumble. At the theoretical level, the justification had been undermined by tracts and political statements generated by enthusiastic para-propagandists, aiming to impose their own interpretations on the cause. At the practical level, these radical theoretical insights were promoted and translated into a workable program—the remonstrance of March 30—by the same core of militant activists in London who had first engineered, then staffed the newly created bureaucratic apparatus designed to maintain the war effort. The remonstrance can thus be seen as an attempt by parliament’s most zealous urban partisans to redefine the ideological basis of the struggle, in the process imagining a deep, permanent transformation in the constitutional structure of the polity. The General Rising petition was broader in participation, but no less remarkable in suggesting dissatisfaction with parliament’s ideological orthodoxy. The petition rejected the fiction of evil counsel, frankly describing Charles I as guilty of bloodshed and oppression. Moreover, in seeking to sideline Essex, to name the General Rising committee, and to displace the mercenary, ineffectual officers who had failed the cause, the campaigners aimed to seize control of, remake, and intensify the war effort. The petitioning movement undoubtedly benefited from the waves of panic sweeping London after Roundway Down. But that such an incendiary program could quickly attract thousands of signatories, before receiving full-throated endorsement from the massed liverymen of the city, reveals the degree to which the outbreak of violence, and the subsequent failure of the war effort, left many Roundhead supporters ready to entertain more extreme measures and platforms than those publicly endorsed by parliament’s leaders.

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To an extent, then, these maneuvers constituted attempts by parliament’s most vigorous urban backers to place their own stamp on the war effort. Parliament’s rhetoric and posturing, which celebrated the degree to which the two houses represented the liberties, welfare, and interests of the whole nation, had invited people to identify with the cause. The erection of the new war machine, meanwhile, summoned into being a succession of voluntary mobilizations, as men and women stepped forth, first with money, plate, and supplies, then with actual military or bureaucratic service; beyond this, there emerged a kind of “shadow” authority, informal networks of eager backers, such as the publishers and para-propagandists examined in previous chapters and the demonstrators who flocked to Westminster in 1641–2 to defend the two houses. All these people had now committed money, time, and sometimes blood; their commitments meant that any prospect of royalist victory threatened dire personal consequences. Many such people now felt justified in staking a claim to embody, and indeed to determine, the cause. The brutalities of the war, the perceived savagery of the royalists (not least the king himself), and the failures of a mistrusted military leadership all served to erode the carefully managed justificatory edifice MPs and their penmen had constructed. Parliamentarian partisans were now arriving at differing understandings of what the war was being fought to achieve. The failure of the programs described in this chapter, combined with the recovery of parliament’s fortunes in the autumn, meant that, for a time, these budding divisions were contained. But their existence threatened a future of instability, even danger. This was all the more true given the equally severe religious splits that were simultaneously growing in the Roundhead ranks. To these spiritual ruptures we now turn.

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7 “So Full of Novelties” The Sectarian Slurry, Redistributionism, and the Licensing Ordinance In early 1643, the London turner Nehemiah Wallington recorded an encounter with a fellow godly professor. The saint defended several alarming propositions: “That God sees no sinne in his Children and that Gods Love is unchangable,” “That the Law doth not conce[r]ne us for Christ hath fulfilled the Law for us already,” and finally that “if we be elected all our sins can not hurt us and all our strivings for grace is in vaine for Christ hath don all for us already.” As Wallington noted, these positions “to my apprehention . . . opened a very wide gape of Libertie to sinne,” but the artisan’s interlocutor “was to hard for me in reasoning,” so that Wallington was forced in “distemper” to consult his pastor, Henry Roborough. Roborough fortified Wallington with wholesome spiritual advice, but also warned the turner to beware, for “the City was never so full of Novelties as now it is.”1 By “Novelties,” Roborough meant the alleged errors and heterodoxies spreading among puritans in the early 1640s. This chapter seeks to analyze these “Novelties,” for as Wallington’s anecdote suggests, one of the most important developments of the period saw the implosion of modes of practical theology and devotion that had dominated pre-civil-war puritanism. The propositions Wallington reported fit neatly into a web of opinions that contemporaries, beginning in the 1620s, had come to label “antinomian.” While such opinions had survived in small coteries since then, only in 1642–3 did they erupt to afflict the puritan community on a wide scale. Yet, as Roborough’s comment hinted, antinomianism was only one of several “Novelties” coursing through the godly community by early 1643. The other major bogeyman of the orthodox was “anabaptism.” As with antinomianism, there had been tiny pockets of anabaptists in England in the 1620s and 1630s, but only with rising Laudian persecution in the late 1630s, followed by the assault on the established church, did believers’ baptism translate into a mass movement. By late 1643, baptist practice was spreading quickly, eliciting great distress. Moreover, while learned comment focused on the twin evils of antinomianism and anabaptism, there were a slew of theological deviations erupting among the godly by 1643. Hallowed Calvinist verities, such as strict predestination, the existence of an incorporeal soul, even the Trinity, were being questioned in radical puritan circles. 1  BL, Add. MS. 40883, fols. 94v–95r. This important passage was first discussed by T. D. Bozeman.

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To understand why this was the case, we need to consider several factors. The first was the near total disintegration of discipline that attended the Long Parliament. Church courts abruptly ceased operation, and while local magistrates sporadically tried to suppress lay preaching, few were willing to buck the tide to tackle sectarian activity with enthusiasm. Yet the mere absence of discipline does not explain why these particular forms of theological deviance flourished, nor why increasingly large numbers of godly people found them appealing. The second underlying condition that must be considered, then, was the preexistence within the godly community of a series of heterodox theological and pietistic traditions, which emerged prior to 1640. While communities of antinomians and convinced anabaptists were small before the Long Parliament, the fact that they existed at all meant that there were living traditions, maintained by fervent devotees, who eagerly spread their messages as widely as possible when the lapse in discipline allowed it. Even more importantly, that such communities emerged and endured in the face of severe repression suggested that they owed their existence to deep instabilities within the broader complex of puritan thought and practice. Both antinomianism and anabaptism fed off of contradictions or implicit weaknesses in mainstream godly modes of divinity, pastoral counsel, and scriptural exegesis. When the Long Parliament met, and church institutions receded, eager proselytizers migrated out of heterodox communities, exploiting these deep instabilities, and wreaking havoc among the godly. In many cases, the disruptions of civil war, which created new dynamics of mobility as a result of internal exile or military service, accelerated these evangelical patterns, by scattering proselytizers far from home. This process was facilitated by a third factor exerting powerful influence in parliamentarian circles: the outbreak of the war was widely seen as part of a seismic, indeed apocalyptic, turn in history, which would bring new spiritual truths as antichrist’s fall approached. This expectation of apocalyptic transformation— embodied in John Archer’s bestseller The Personall Raigne of Christ upon Earth, with its promises of a “state of greater Light and puritie of Worship”—meant that many puritans were open to claims of more refined spiritual truth, even to the point of rejecting time-honored Calvinist doctrines. These conditions helped to foster the “Novelties” decried by Roborough. This chapter assesses the spread of such “Novelties” by looking at a fourth, equally important, force: print propaganda. To an extent, the domain of print merely reflected the broader lapse of ecclesiastical oversight; from late 1640, there was no real regime of censorship in place. As we have seen, zealous puritans had used this de facto liberty to broadcast all manner of material. While troubling works— Turner’s The Saints Beliefe or Burton’s Protestation Protested—had been singled out for rebuke, the number of godly books subjected to parliamentary scrutiny between November 1640 and mid-1643 was negligible. Certain stationers thus used this relative freedom to promote controversial religious works, wagering that demand and the interest of God’s people outweighed the frankly slight risk such publications entailed. This chapter focuses on four publishing enterprises crucial in providing a public platform for the alarming “Novelties” of the day: first, the print partnership of

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Thomas Paine and Matthew Simmons; second, the bookshop of John Sweeting; third, the print house of Gregory Dexter and Richard Oulton; and finally, the business of Peter Cole, who began as a bookseller but in 1643 branched into the print trade. Print was not the only means used for spreading novel opinions—public and private preaching was also critical, while perhaps most important of all were the kinds of face-to-face conferences described by Wallington, which were built into the very fabric of godly life. Neither workaday sermons nor quotidian conferences have left consistent traces in the civil-war historical record. As a result, the most accessible pathway into the theological discord of the period is through published works that spread unusual or contested opinions. The sheer number of such tracts means that a comprehensive survey is impossible. This chapter analyzes a cross section of books, printed early in the civil war, that were both typical and controversial, all of which emerged from these four establishments. There were a handful of other dealers willing to handle similar material. William Larner, for instance, continued to publish experimental work. But in 1643 he temporarily suspended his business and entered military service. Similarly, John Wells, a key player in the production of unlicensed books, disappeared from the trade in 1642; he was possibly the John Wells who, on the first day parliament began recruiting its armies, volunteered to serve as a trooper with arms and a horse supplied by the Londoner Thomas Pride (whose own sectarian zeal and military service soon made his name synonymous with the English Revolution).2 Their withdrawal from the book trade helped to ensure that the four businesses considered here, while not the sole outlets for religious “Novelties,” were nevertheless chief engines in the spread of heterodox opinion. But, crucially, these four businesses were also central to the political upheavals examined in Chapters 5 and 6. These establishments sat at the core of London’s war-party configuration, promoting the most extreme political and constitutional statements of the period even as they churned out radical religious texts that punctured the boundaries of godly orthodoxy. While Part II has thus far highlighted dramatic shifts in political ideology, the present chapter returns to the question of the relationship between politics and religion. It was no accident that those publishers most deeply enmeshed in the extreme political movements of 1642–3 were also implicated in the promotion of new puritan heterodoxies. We have already explored the ways that radical puritanism left purveyors predisposed to dispersed or ascending modes of political thought. This chapter extends this theme, showing that the heterodox spiritual ideas promoted by these publishers often carried powerful sociopolitical overtones, clarifying why aficionados were favorable to more radical political solutions, and helping to explain why these publishers in particular showed zealous support for war-party political innovations. This chapter likewise begins to outline the ways that radical puritan thinkers started to question not merely the constitutional makeup of the polity—the relationship between king

2  A true Relation of all the remarkable Passages, and Illegal Proceedings (1646), 7–8, 13; SP 28/131, part 3, fol. 1r.

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and parliament, or parliament and people—but deeper structural features of social order, including law, social distinctions, and even property relations. It will also be suggested, however, that these publishers were emboldened to produce such inflammatory material precisely because they were near the heart of parliament’s war-party faction. Each could boast that they had been zealous parliamentarians from the start of England’s crisis. Each had churned out streams of pro-parliamentary polemic, helping to further the aims of the leadership at Westminster. Occasionally, as in Dexter’s publication of King James his Judgement of a King and Tyrant, they had proved overzealous. But these figures might be regarded as quintessential para-propagandists, eagerly using their private businesses to gin up support for the cause, sometimes patronizing authors or ideas that went beyond anything parliament was willing to promote, all the while seeking profit as they peddled their own interpretations of the public good. Indeed, by 1643, several of these stationers were rewarded for their rabid support with crumbs of official or semi-official work from parliament, blurring their status as private para-propagandists with less familiar roles as public instruments of Westminster’s new bureaucratic machine. More than merely exploiting lax oversight of the book trade, these stationers correctly bargained that their robust support for the cause, bordering on insider status, provided them with a degree of cover, allowing them to publish religious material that was, in the eyes of many orthodox Protestants, completely unacceptable. By late 1643, this situation shifted. As ministers and magistrates observed dangerous “Novelties” unsettling the polity, and as unnerving printed works flowed from these publishers and others, a counterattack built momentum. The relative freedom of the press that existed for parliamentarian insiders such as Paine, Dexter, and Cole during the early months of the war began to contract, as a new Licensing Ordinance—explained here in greater detail than has ever been attempted—took effect in the second half of 1643. PA I N E A N D S I M M O N S : A N T I N O M I A N I S M , A P O C A LY P T I C I L LU M I N I S M , A N D A N A B A P T I S M Thomas Paine and Matthew Simmons were from 1640 among the printers most notorious for unlicensed printing. In 1643, they became mouthpieces for the extreme war-party front examined in Chapters 5 and 6. They were eager supporters of the General Rising: their newsbook promoted the petitioning campaign and they worked directly for the Merchant Taylors’ Committee in late July, printing a pamphlet by order of Henry Marten’s committee, celebrating the project.3 In the same days, Paine and Simmons, working for John Rothwell and Thomas Underhill, also printed Remonstrans Redivivus, the radical London Remonstrance of March 30, 1643, examined in Chapter 6, which was resurrected by city militants amid the 3  Wednesday’s Mercury (July 19, 1643/E.61[9]), 7–8; A Declaration of the Proceedings of the Honourable Committee of the House of Commons at Merchant-Taylors Hall (1643), t.p.

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excitement of the General Rising. These activities suggest that Paine and Simmons might be regarded as semi-official printers for the militant war-party faction in city and parliament in 1643. Yet alongside this, they produced a steady stream of religious material. This material was diverse, but reflected a clear “independent” slant, including books by congregationalist authors.4 However, Paine and Simmons also began to produce more extreme works. They thus printed several tracts promoting “antinomian” modes of divinity. These pietistic forms had their origin in the early seventeenth century. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, so-called “antinomianism” emerged as a reaction against trends that dominated early Stuart puritan practical divinity. Despite deep attachment to the doctrines of predestination and justification by faith alone, the godly from an early stage assumed an intense focus on sanctification—the process whereby the believer was progressively purged of sin. This was accomplished through diligent use of “ordinances” or “means of grace”—preaching, prayer, ­sacraments, conference, as well as intense spiritual discipline. Sanctification, pursued through the means, was regarded as the essence of the holy life and the chief sign of justifying faith. So-called “antinomians” rejected this regime, claiming that the godly obsession with sanctification and holy duties compromised reformed messages of free grace and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, seducing people back into works and legalism. While they often portrayed themselves as pious Protestant restorationists, however, antinomians in fact adopted a series of extreme theological opinions, inviting charges of error and heresy. Most notoriously, they claimed, against the supposed legalism of their foes, that true Christians were somehow free from sin in God’s sight and no longer under the commanding power of the Moral Law. Antinomian teachers downplayed outward signs, duties, and means of grace as tokens of works righteousness, and dismissed traditional godly ministers as “legalists” and “justiciaries.” Such claims were for obvious reasons seen as dangerously unorthodox, and proponents were in turn denounced as “antinomians” or “libertines.” But the hostility of mainstream puritans and the church authorities could not completely crush these ideas, which, from origins in the conventicles of ministers such as John Eaton and John Traske, spread to many parts of England. Because this style of divinity was self-consciously modeled on standard reformed doctrines of justification and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, I have elsewhere labeled it “imputative antinomianism.” Wallington’s unnamed disputant, with his claims that “God sees no sinne in his Children” and that “the Law doth not conce[r]ne us,” offers a paradigmatic example of this “imputative” mode.5 Crucially, however, there was a second mode, which likewise traveled under the epithet “antinomian.” During the early Stuart era, there also existed small pockets of devotees of “perfectionist” modes of piety. Such figures argued that Christians 4  “Matthew Simmons,” ODNB; An Apologie of the Churches in New-England (1643); An Answer of the Elders of the Severall Churches in New-England (1643); S. Chidley, A Christian Plea for Christians Baptisme (1643). 5 Como, Blown by the Spirit, 33–103, 178–218; T. D. Bozeman, The Precisianist Strain: Disciplinary Religion and Antinomian Backlash in Puritanism to 1638 (Chapel Hill, 2004).

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were free from sin and the Moral Law not because Christ’s extrinsic righteousness was imputed to them, but rather because believers were actually, inherently perfect and sinless, typically because God’s chosen were in some sense unified with Christ, and therefore shared God’s perfection, or even divinity. Such devotees were often heavily influenced by Hendrik Niclaes (alias H.N.), founder of the Family of Love, or by other mystical texts; in its purest form, this tradition included small communities of self-identifying Familists, which survived into the late 1630s. While this species of piety was thus subtly distinct from the “imputative” style, proponents of which often portrayed themselves as mere exponents of Luther’s core messages of justifying faith and “free grace,” in fact the two traditions often bled together, with enthusiasts drawing on both.6 Paine and Simmons were involved in promoting both modes of antinomian opinion. In October 1642, they published A Discovery of the Great Fantasie, or, Phantasticall Conceitednesse. This pamphlet was unusual in its forthright declaration of the immediate inhabitation of Christ in the believer. Through the “light, Christ, the essentiall Word of the Father,” fallen humans were “made partakers of the Divine Nature” and “whoso hath not this Light and Word of Life dwelling in his heart as in a living-Temple of God, the same is none of Gods.” Those so remade were bound together by “Love the Bond of Perfectnesse,” which obliterated social distinctions, in particular the division between laity and clergy; accordingly, vitriol was pumped towards all “Preachers” who “deny and traduce the inhabiting of Christ in the true beleevers,” perverting truth with their “Glosses of Antichrist and humaine learning,” from perches in their “vile stone Churches.”7 From “the Learned,” “all the modern Warres” had “their sourse and beginning,” provoked by ministers’ “virulent squeaking before the Kings and Princes of the Earth.” Yet the great conflagrations of the day were a sign of imminent rupture: “the Forces and Armies . . . abroad in all parts do begin to persecute this great confounded Whore,” a change through which God was delivering “men every one into the hand of his neighbour, the one to fall by the sword of the other, and thrones of kingdoms to come reeling down to the ground.” This bloodshed and state collapse augured the final victory of the saints: “the time is at hand that the Lambe of God will . . . down his enemies . . . severely avenging . . . his Word and Members.”8 The pamphlet combined a vision of the indwelling Christ, deep anticlericalism, suspicion of human learning, and predictions of imminent apocalyptic upheaval. Its soteriology shared much with a long perfectionist tradition, which included Familism and forms of German mysticism stretching back to Sebastian Franck (whose work Paine and Simmons also reprinted in 1642, on behalf of Benjamin Allen).9 The civil war now allowed for these theological impulses to be unchained and carried abroad. 6  N. Smith, Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion (Oxford, 1989); Como, Blown by the Spirit, 1–9, 38–41, 219–380. 7  A Discovery of the Great Fantasie, or, Phantasticall Conceitednesse (1642), 2–4, 6, 8, 12. 8  Great Fantasie, 21–2. 9  [S. Franck,] The Forbidden Fruit: Or, a Treatise of the Tree of Knowledge (1642).

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Yet Paine and Simmons also helped to promote the more prevalent, “imputative” form of antinomian divinity. In May 1641 Paine registered for publication a tract by the notorious antinomian John Traske. This was the first of several posthumous books by prewar anti-legal theorists that appeared as censorship relaxed in 1641–2.10 In London, there soon emerged a number of teachers, including Tobias Crispe, Giles Randall, and John Simpson, who kept the message alive. One of the more controversial of these preachers was Timothy Batt. Batt lived in Whitechapel in 1631, when he was charged in the High Commission with unspecified offences. He fled to the Netherlands, where he was preacher to the Anglo-Scottish community at Nijmegen by 1639. In 1641, Dutch reformed authorities complained that Batt had embraced anabaptism. In 1643, he resurfaced in London, practicing as a physician, and joining the congregation led by the soap-boiler Thomas Lambe. Batt served for a time as a leader of Lambe’s church, the capital’s most notorious baptist communion.11 In addition to embracing believers’ baptism, Batt also championed an antinomian theology of grace. In 1643, Paine and Simmons, printing on behalf of the stationer Edward Blackmore, produced Batt’s A Treatise Concerning the free grace of God the Father, and of the love of Jesus Christ. This work repeated classic tropes of “imputative” antinomianism: “The new creature presented in Christ unblameable . . . in the sight of God . . . made perfect and pure in the presence of God through justification . . . is so freed from sinne, iniquitie and transgression, that God beholds no more sin in it then in the Lord Jesus.” This bled into a more general denigration of the law and duties: “The Morall Law is no part of the new Covenant,” Batt warned, and “true . . . knowledge of this free Covenant of grace . . . causeth . . . beleevers to hate all Pharisaicall performances, or the righteousnesse of Justiciaries.” In line with Traske and others, Batt claimed that believers would perform good works. But their works were not extracted through “terrors of the Law, the feare of hell,” but from awareness of reconciliation with God, and such works were radically opposed to those extorted by “Commands and Precepts of the Morall Law.”12 These messages were reinforced in another tract by Batt the next year; this time, the book was published without imprint, but using ornaments belonging to Paine and Simmons, suggesting again that they were Batt’s chosen printers.13 Here, Batt was even more explicit in his antinomianism. Discussing Romans 8:2, “Christ Jesus, hath made me free from the Law of sinne and death,” Batt observed that “some understand this to bee law ceremoniall, but I understand this to bee the law morrall.” Unlike pharisaical “Legalists,” true believers, although free from the Law, would produce a stream of good works. Interestingly, one of the chief touchstones 10  SR, 1:19; cf. J. Traske, The True Gospel Vindicated, From the Reproach of A new Gospel (1636), 39, 55; J. Eaton, The Discovery of the most dangerous Dead Faith (1641); J. Eaton, The Honey-Combe of Free Justification by Christ alone (1642). 11  CUL, MS. Dd.2.21, fol. 45v; K. Sprunger, Dutch Puritanism: A History of English and Scottish Churches of the Netherlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Leiden, 1982), 279–80, 349; J. Stalham, The Summe of a Conference at Terling in Essex (1644). 12  T. Batt, A Treatise Concerning the free grace of God the Father (1643), 24, 27, 115, 126–7. 13  T. Batt, Christs Gratious Message from the Throne of Grace (1644), sigs. A7v, Br. Cf. Wing B103, Wing F29.

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that distinguished “the children of Sion” from legalistic “Children of Sinai” was imitation of the early Christian community of Acts 2: “We beleeve that the expressions of this love stands not onely in the communion of gifts, but also of goods . . . nothing differing from the state of the Churches in . . . Jerusalem. Acts. 2. 44, 45. And they that beleeved were together, and had althings common, and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men as every man had neede.”14 The apparent communism of the earliest Christians, always discomfiting for orthodox Protestants, was now presented as a dividing line separating the empty legalism of  mainstream puritanism from the true, loving works of falsely maligned ­“antinomian” Christians. Batt’s soteriological views, married to a “redistributionist” vision of Christianity, were presented without reference to baptism, which remained a radioactive issue, to be handled only with caution. As noted above, the resurgence of English ­anabaptism began in earnest in early 1642, driven chiefly by defections from the Jacob–Jessey gathered church in London. A number of baptist tracts soon appeared, all anonymously printed until Thomas Paine in 1643 set his initials to a broadside that cautiously questioned the utility of infant baptism.15 Rejection of infant ­baptism was, in the first instance, a species of ultra-separatism, a repudiation of the Church of England and all its rites as wholly anti-Christian; taken to its extreme, this posture suggested that the entire complex of ceremonies, traditions, and orthodoxies embraced by the church were vitiated with primitive popery. Close search of the Bible of course revealed that there was nothing explicit in the New Testament endorsing infants’ baptism. The practice of baby baptism thus became a powerful symbol of the fatal departure of the anti-Christian church from apostolic truth, and its rejection, in turn, became an equally potent symbol of a break from anti-Christian pollution and a revival of biblical Christianity, with adult ­baptism a dramatic outward statement that believers had rejected an unclean regime of tyranny. This powerful symbolism in turn explains why abandonment of infant baptism was regarded with such horror: believers’ baptism represented a momentous break from orthodoxy, a rejection of centuries of Christian practice, as well as a repudiation of a vision of the Christian community as constituted by baptism of infants. In  addition, anabaptism was tainted with the stain of the Peasants’ Revolt and Münster, which meant that, for many English observers, rejection of infant ­baptism conjured dark and possibly bloody threats to social order and hierarchy. Yet despite its emotive power, embrace of believers’ baptism said little about the precise content of one’s views. Within the capacious category of “anabaptist,” it was possible to espouse a range of divergent and even contradictory liturgical and theological opinions. England’s emergent baptist community would quickly be wracked with 14 Batt, Christs Gratious Message, 12, 34, 45–6, 175–6, 199. 15  Glad Tydings, Christ held forth in the Seals (“Printed by T.P. in Goldsmiths Alley,” 1643). Although the argument is tortured, its author apparently advocated baptism by “pouring” rather than immersion—one of several splits among early baptists. While Paine and Simmons also printed (for Allen) the separatist Samuel Chidley’s attack on believer’s baptism, Paine stood surety for indicted baptists in 1644–5: Lindley, PPR, 301–2.

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divisions on multiple fronts, provoking serial schisms between different groups.16 One prevalent subcurrent in the recrudescent English baptist milieu was the fierce antinomianism preached by men like Batt. J O H N S W E E T I N G , A N T I N O M I A N P U B L I C AT I O N S , A N D   “ E G A L I TA R I A N R E D I S T R I B U T I O N I S M ” The next stationer considered is John Sweeting, who entered the trade in 1639–40, after serving his apprenticeship with Benjamin Allen.17 This placed Sweeting squarely in the radical puritan circles discussed here. Alongside Paine and Simmons, Sweeting was the chief promoter of the General Rising. With Peter Cole, Sweeting issued the incendiary General Rising petition, having received license to publish the text from three MPs of the Merchant Taylors’ Committee—Henry Marten, John Blakiston, and Edward Bainton. This suggests Sweeting was directly linked to the most militant faction at Westminster. Accordingly, a few days later he published A Memento to the Londoners, an extensive defense of the Rising.18 But in 1642–3 Sweeting was also—out of ideological solidarity, a sense of entrepreneurial opportunity, or both—embarking on a run of publications that worked to define civil-war antinomianism, and helped propel a theological conceit rooted in a small underground community into a nationwide phenomenon. Among Sweeting’s efforts was a broadside elegy to Dr. Tobias Crispe, who died on February 27, 1643. Crispe, a younger son of a London mercantile family, was the most socially exalted of the new antinomian preachers. Where he acquired his opinions is uncertain, but he had ties to the anti-legal ministerial fraternity of London in the 1620s, and sermon notes suggest he was flirting with such teachings by 1635, bringing his brand of antinomianism to his parish of Brinkworth, Wiltshire. The conflicts of the early 1640s drove Crispe from Wiltshire; he fled to London, and by 1642 was preaching his message of “free grace” to great acclaim.19 Among those enraptured by Crispe’s doctrine was Laurence Clarkson, a young tailor recently up from Lancashire. Equally entranced was Jane Leade, a Norfolk gentlewoman’s daughter who arrived in London in late 1642 and, hearing Crispe, judged that his “free-grace sermon was quite different from the others I had heard so that I decided to tread no other path.” For Leade, as for Clarkson, Crispe’s divinity was a gateway into mystical, perfectionist religion.20 Crispe’s death in early 1643 prompted followers to print a memorial, which aimed to defend “His doctrines (though since scandal’d)” from “false rumours” of libertinism. Published by 16  The best guide is S. Wright, The Early English Baptists, 1603–1649 (Woodbridge, 2006). 17 McKenzie, SCA, 34. 18  SR, 1:64; To the Right Honourable the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in pa r l i am e n t a s s e mb l e d . The humble Petition of thousands of the well affected Inhabitants (“for Peter Cole, and John Sweeting,” 1643); July, 25. 1643. A Memento to the Londoners (1643). 19 Como, Blown by the Spirit, 62–4; D. Parnham, “The Humbling of ‘High Presumption’: Tobias Crisp Dismantles the Puritan Ordo Salutis,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 56 (2005), 50–74. 20  On Clarkson, see Chapter 15; J. Hirst, Jane Leade: Biography of a Seventeenth-Century Mystic (Aldershot, 2005), 18–19.

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Sweeting, the elegy painted mainstream godly ministers opposing “the most glorious comfortable light / Of Gods eternall truth,” while instead subjecting auditors’ “sadned Soules, with terrors of the law” in order to “keepe ’em downe that so he might subject / Their purses and obedience, and erect / Their spirits as their ­contributions rose.” Here, godly divinity was presented as a sinister commerce, designed to oppress the laity, while extracting coin from hoodwinked saints.21 Sweeting followed this by publishing in 1643 two tracts by the Cambridge graduate Henry Denne, sometime curate of Pirton, Hertfordshire. Through uncertain means, Denne came at Pirton to embrace a version of the antinomian divinity spreading outward from London, earning local repute for heterodoxy. In December 1641, he preached an assize sermon at Baldock and found his work “Contradicted by many of the Auditors,” thus cementing his notoriety.22 In 1642, Denne published his sermon, along with a companion dialogue, A Conference Between a sick man and a Minister, both printed by Thomas Badger. In 1643, Sweeting issued his own editions of each work, helping to spread Denne’s ideas. By the time these books appeared, Denne had apparently left Pirton for London, where in 1643 he underwent rebaptism, joining Thomas Lambe’s congregation. Like Batt, Denne came to serve as a kind of auxiliary evangelist for the church, and together the two men now disseminated their antinomian ideas within one of the city’s chief baptist communions.23 As the books published by Sweeting show, Denne agreed with Batt that Christ’s death freed believers “from the imputation of sin,” and made them “holy and unblameable and without fault.” This was the classic foundation of “imputative” antinomianism. Yet Denne’s variant was idiosyncratic: to the question of “when is the time that sin is taken away out of the sight of God,” Denne responded, “Remission of sins is even as ancient as satisfaction for sin and at what time Christ Jesus taketh our sins upon himself, at the same time are the persons of Gods elect just before . . . God.” Everything necessary for salvation was thus complete in Christ’s death. But since salvation was finished in the “ancient” past, the act of justification preceded faith: “we must be ingrafted into Christ Jesus before we can believe, Therefore we must be justified before we can believe.”24 Faith was merely awareness of a reconciliation fully accomplished by God, whereby the subject was made perfect in God’s sight long before. For Denne, freedom from sin did not mean freedom to sin; true Christians would gratefully perform a steady stream of good works. But Denne’s reckoning of good works had a subtly different temper from the accounts of many mainstream puritans. Thus, he downplayed sabbath observance, which, far from being “an undoubted marke of Salvation” could in fact mask “Zeale . . . without the knowledge of Christ.” Against such outward holiness, Denne held up a more genuine sign of God’s favor: “Take heed your heart deceive you not; do not you know some of the children of God, and your brethren in great poverty? . . . Why then have you 21  A Memoriall to Preserve Unspotted to Posterity the Name and Memory of Doctor CRISPE (1643). 22  Alum. Cant., 2:31; H. Denne, The Doctrine and Conversation of John Baptist (1643), t.p., 23. 23  Gangraena, 1:76; “Henry Denne,” ODNB. 24  H. Denne, A Conference Between a sick man and a Minister (1643), 13–15.

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not sold either the whole, or halfe of your possessions and divided among them?” Those who failed this test were deceiving themselves: “true love bindeth us not only to lay down our goods, for the brethren, as Acts 2. 45.”25 In a manner remarkably similar to Batt, Denne’s antinomian theology was thus coupled with a form of “egalitarian redistributionism” far more imperative than anything seen in mainstream English Protestantism. It is possible that this emerging tendency owed something to old currents swirling in the English antinomian community. Members of the Family of Love were frequently accused of maintaining community of goods, and, in 1638, it was alleged of one “Familist” cell in London that they “doe hold that all things are Common.” Similarly, the antinomian pioneer John Traske, during his early “Judaizing” phase, had adhered to a form of Christian communism.26 Possibly, such sentiments lingered at the edges of the antinomian community, filtering into the thought of new leaders as they stepped into these circles. Yet, crucially, the dynamic that led Denne and Batt to redistributionism was, like other aspects of antinomian divinity, driven by conflict with mainstream puritan piety: where false godly teachers urged followers to empty, outward duties, preachers of “free grace” insisted that true believers, although free from the Law, would be gripped by a more authentic Christian spirit of love and devotion to the poor. Although there was much overlap between Denne and Batt, there were also differences. Denne’s exalted vision of the power of the crucifixion shaded into a view in which Christ’s sacrifice was deemed sufficient for the salvation of all mankind. Such notions of universal atonement defied orthodox Calvinism, which held that the atonement was limited to the predestined elect. Although Denne’s early works are not explicit on this point, there is little doubt that in 1643–4, as he attached himself to Lambe’s church, he came to champion a broad view of the atonement. This led to an odd marriage, in which Denne appeared (in the words of Thomas Edwards) as “a great Antinomian, a desperate Arminian.”27 At first, this might seem illogical, as it is sometimes wrongly assumed that antinomianism was just a super-exaggerated form of predestinarian Calvinism; but once it is understood as a rebellion against the supposed legalism of puritan practical divinity, the mixture looks less paradoxical. Antinomian soteriology could coexist with various stances on predestination and the extent of the atonement. Batt, for instance, appears to have maintained a traditional Calvinist view of atonement and election.28 Indeed, in 1643–4, this difference was beginning to disrupt Lambe’s church, as figures such as Denne squared off against Batt and his followers, until at length, “Master Batt had broken the Church in pieces” by denying “Christ had dyed for the sinnes of all.”29 The quarrel in Lambe’s church was part of a widening schism within

25 Denne, Doctrine, 50; Denne, Conference, 8. 26  SP 16/520/85, fol. 126r; Como, Blown by the Spirit, 161–2. 27  Gangraena, 1:49, 76. 28 Batt, A Treatise, 1–18, 75. 29 T. Lambe, Christ Crucified. A Propitiation for the Sinnes of all Men, Cleared and Vindicated (1646), sig. A4r. The date of this contest—after Benjamin Cox came “the second time out of the ­country”—was probably late 1644, following Cox’s imprisonment in Coventry.

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London’s nascent anabaptist churches, one that soon produced competing “general” and “particular” encampments. The “universalist” drift was apparent in another antinomian work published by Sweeting in 1642, Christs Counsell to the Angell of the Church of Laodicea. This anonymous tract represented a sustained attack on “false teachers, that mixe the Lawe and the Gospell together; those that make redemption conditionall; and make it to depend on duties.” These “duties,” pressed insistently, were the standard fare of the godly ministry: “Repentance, Humiliation, self-denyall, weeping, and mourning, and fasting, and Prayer, and use of the Ordinances, or Hearing, Reading, the Sacraments, and the observation of the Sabbath . . . are made duties, by (almost) all Teachers, and they teach, that we must exercise our selves in them, or shall have no part in Christ.” In peddling these teachings, such ministers enslaved their acolytes and obscured God’s truth.30 This suppressed truth was the familiar antinomian message: Christ’s death had “washt away our sinnes in his owne blood, and hath made us Kings and Priests to God . . . so that now . . . he beholdeth as in Israel, no sinne.” Readers were enjoined to recognize that “this perfect Righteounesse of Christ” was now “thine owne . . . wherein thou mayest be bold to wrappe . . . thy selfe all over.” Those ­swaddled in the “white Rayment” were “not under the Law.”31 So intense was the author’s aversion to works righteousness that even the notion of justification by faith was suspect: against claims that “Faith will be found a condition which must be in us, or we shall never be saved,” the author objected that faith was merely the means used by “the Holy Spirit to comfort us . . . by shewing us, assuring us, and certifying us of our peace and reconciliation.” But the believer’s reconciliation was “wrought fully and effectually by the death of Christ, long before he was borne.” Indeed, “if . . . we are all redeemed before we are borne . . . Then is not Salvation tied to beleefe: or Faith a condition; without which we cannot be saved: for . . . all men, women and children, that are the whole Church of God, are all saved, onely, and totally, by the merits of Christ.” Here, the extent of Christ’s all-powerful redemptive act was apparently applied to the entire human race—“we are all redeemed before we are borne”—a statement that veered into universalism, before returning to the safer ground that only those of the “Church of God” were saved.32 Although “delivered from under the Law,” those transformed by this act of redemption nevertheless were moved more powerfully “to good workes . . . yet without the Law.” In a manner identical to Batt and Denne, the author of Christs Counsell held that those truly saved were reduced to a state of primitive simplicity: “the . . . honours, and superfluities of the world, are no part of his portion,” “nor knowes he how a Christian can possesse more than what’s meerly necessary.” A true saint would naturally assist “his brethren, that lacke things needfull: A rich Christian, richly clad . . . is to him a wonder, and a meere riddle, and a very 30  Two treatises. The First of Christs Counsell to the Angell of the Church of Laodicea: Being a Warningpeece for the Ministers of these times (1642), sigs. C3r–C4v. Christs Counsell bore its own title page (“Printed for John Sweeting”) and evidence suggests it was also sold separately. 31  Christs Counsell, sigs. Br–v, C7r. 32  Christs Counsell, sigs. B8r, B10v, Cr–Cv.

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i­mpossibility, implying an absolute contradiction.”33 Christianity and surplus wealth were not compatible; as in the writers discussed above, a kind of Christian redistributionism, set against lucre, was here inscribed onto antinomian soteriology. Christs Counsell quickly became an infamous exemplar of antinomian error.34 Yet it was also apparently widely read. William Walwyn, for instance, owned Christs Counsell and gave a copy to his political ally, Richard Price. By his own confession, Walwyn “long before” 1643 “had been established in that part of doctrine (called then, Antinomian) of free justification by Christ alone,” so it is no surprise to find him with the book.35 Many of its themes and even some of its language seem to have seeped into the merchant’s writings. This is made clear in the last of Sweeting’s publications considered here. In September 1643, the stationer brought out The Power of Love. For generations, this work has been ascribed to Walwyn, owing to uncanny parallels with his later, acknowledged works.36 The Power of Love opened with a prefatory letter, beginning “For there is no respect of persons with God: and whosoever is possest with love, judgeth no longer as a man, but god like, as a true Christian.” This rendered explicit the logic that had been introduced by Samuel How in 1640: humans should, like God, pay no mind to outward greatness or rank. Yet it also overlaid atop this a thick rhetoric of “love” and hints that true Christians were somehow “god like.” The author anticipated readers’ shock: “What’s here towards? (sayes one) sure one of the Family of love.” Remarkably, the author embraced the smear: “very well! pray . . . consider: what family are you of I pray? are you of Gods family?” If so, the author claimed, there should be no hesitation, for “God is love, and if you bee one of Gods children be not ashamed of your Father.” This cleared the path for a robust statement of “egalitarian redistributionism”: “bee assured that in his family, he regards neither fine clothes, nor gold rings, nor stately houses, nor abundance of wealth, nor dignities, and titles of honour, nor any mans birth or calling, indeed he regards nothing among his children but love.” Those possessed of love could not bear to look upon England’s swarms of “miserable, distressed, starved, imprisoned Christians,” “in their poore houses,” struggling to feed “hunger-starved children,” all the more wrenching in a society blessed with “the generall plenty of all necessaries.” Contrarily, readers were urged to observe “religious people . . . in the very Churches and upon solemne dayes,” with “their silkes, their beavers, their rings, and other divises,” all of which, given “the wants and distresses of the poore will testifie that the love of God they have not.” Again, the author sharply distinguished between true Christians, awakened to love, and the generality of “religious people,” who despite outward profession were devoid of God’s spirit. He anticipated the appalled reaction: “would you have all things common?” The author boldly embraced the conclusion: referring to apostolic Christians, he wrote, “you may remember the multitude of beleevers had all things common: that was another 33  Christs Counsell, sigs. C7v–C8v. 34  T. Bakewell, A short View of the Antinomian Errours (1643), 27–35; T. Gataker, Gods Eye on His Israel (1644), 2; CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fol. 14v. 35  W. Walwyn, Walwyns Just Defence (1649), 8, 13. 36  J. R. McMichael and B. Taft, eds., The Writings of William Walwyn (Athens, GA, 1989), 78–9.

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of their opinions, which many good people are afraid of.”37 In a few sentences, the author of the preface laid out a thoroughgoing Christian redistributionism, if not outright communism, contrasted against the fearmongering, empty Christianity practiced by most English puritans. Yet this social critique was attached to a broader political vision. The author suggested that another baseless fear gripped English people: “would you have no distinction of men, nor no government?” This was dismissed with the wave of a hand: “for that great mountaine (in your understanding) government, ’tis but a molehill if you would handle it familiarly, and bee bold with it: It is common agreement to bee so governed: and by common agreement men chuse for ­governours, such as their vertue and wisedome make fit to governe.” In a single sentence, the author grounded all human government on mutual agreement, and the selection of governors on voluntary election, which was to be based not on title or blood, but virtue.38 The body of the book, framed as an exposition on Titus 2:11–12, argued that God’s simple, saving truth was that Christ, in death, “is the propitiation for our sinnes; and not for ours onely, but for the sinnes of the whole world. This worke of your redemption and reconciliation with God was perfected when Christ died: and nothing shall be able to separate you from his love then purchased.” Here, again, were hints of universal redemption, as well as a claim, canvassed by Denne and the author of Christs Counsell, that everything necessary for salvation was already accomplished: it was “a worke perfected, depending on no condition, no performance at all.” As with those previous authors, the result was that “God considers us not as we see our selves full of sinne, full of iniquity, but as we should consider our selves . . . fully and perfectly washed from all our sinnes by the bloud of his Son.” God saw no sin in the redeemed, and believers were to imagine themselves in the same way. Indeed, “he that in any measure conceiveth himselfe to be under the law, doth not clearely discerne the love of god.”39 These were classic shibboleths of “antinomianism.” Predictably, these truths were used to savage mainstream godly divines. Salvation was easy to grasp, already accomplished in Christ. Yet the learned sought to “make it difficult, and darken the cleare meaning thereof with their . . . artificiall glosses.” They tormented listeners with “pressures of the law” and wrongly insisted that “it must still depend either on our beleeving, or doing, or repenting, or selfe-deniall, or Sabbath-keeping,” thus leading people to a maze of “fasting, weeping, and mourning . . . praying, reading, and hearing, and in performance of other duties.”40 The Power of Love escalated this attack, denouncing ministers who “invented a name of reproach for every particular difference in judgement.” These “common Preachers” “railed at” “dangerous Anabaptists, Brownists, and Separatists,” none of whom threatened the public. This was then used to advocate a capacious vision: “Such opinions as are not destructive to humane society, nor blaspheme the worke of our Redemption, may be peaceably endured, and considered in love: and in case 37  The Power of Love (1643), sigs. A3r–A4v. 38  Power of Love, sigs. A4v–A5v. 39  Power of Love, 24, 28–9, 30–1. 40  Power of Love, 10, 13, 31–2.

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of conspiracy against our common liberty, what a madnesse is it for men to stand in strife about petty opinions?”41 Here, a critique of puritan divinity mutated into a more general politics of religious toleration. Against those claiming sectaries were “enemies to all order,” the author maintained with others examined here that true Christians, although free from the Law, would inexorably do good works. Again, however, the fruits of this transformation were reckoned in egalitarian and redistributionist terms: “if you have this worlds goods, and that brother lacke, you will rejoyce that you have an occasion and means to make known . . . how powerfully the love of God dwelleth in you”; similarly, “you will no longer minde high things, but make your selves equall to men of low degree: you will no longer value men and women according to their wealth, or outward shewes, but according to their vertue.” Moreover, true Christian love had powerful political implications, for those under its spell would risk their lives to defend their “neighbour from oppression or tyranny.” Hence, the sectaries were “not guilty” of the accusation that they were subversive of order, “for they are enemies onely to usurpations, and innovations, and exorbitances in government: indeed they are haters of tyranny, and all arbitrary power, but no other.” Accordingly, clerics who relentlessly attacked the sectaries (the “learned man” that “must live upon the unlearned,” and who now found his spiritual “Copy-hold . . . in such danger”) constituted the true threat to the commonwealth.42 While the tract postured as a soaring testimony to the power of love and tolerance, it amounted to a fiercely partisan broadside against received puritan divinity and practice, suggesting that mainstream piety was a fraudulent Christianity endangering soul and kingdom. THE LICENSING ORDINANCE By the time Sweeting published The Power of Love, religious politics in parliament’s coalition were growing more contested, accounting for the increasing temperature of its author’s rhetoric. This process is examined at length in Part III, but one facet of this rising tension was the implementation of a new regime of licensing and censorship in June 1643. Although scholars have recognized the importance of the measure, the politics of the Licensing Ordinance are obscure. The Stationers’ Company had long sought to solidify the legal basis for its monopoly. In March 1641, stationers colluded with conservative elements in the Lords to launch an attack on unlicensed print. In September 1641, the company again submitted a memorandum calling for increased oversight of the trade. Yet there were now other forces at work. As we have seen, in March 1641, a group of clerics—anchored by the core of puritan divines advising Pym’s Junto—petitioned the peers to re-establish a system of regulation, to be overseen by trusted godly licensers. In late January 1642, provoked by swarms of “scandalous pamphlets” and the appearance of an Irish Catholic protestation, the lower house showed a spasm of interest in press oversight, passing an order that no book should be published without the author’s 41  Power of Love, 42–4, sigs. A5v–A8r.

42  Power of Love, 37–9, 44, 48–50.

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name, and renewing work on a broader bill for press regulation. These measures languished; few were eager to revive a system associated with tyranny. In August 1642, for instance, parliament weighed an ordinance against “pamphlets . . . printed to the scandal of the state and parliament,” but Sir Simonds D’ewes found “a clause or two by which the wardens of the Company of Stationers were authorized to exercise all that illegal and tyrannical power which they did put in practice before . . . this parliament,” and he insisted on revising the order to limit the stationers’ power.43 This sort of squeamishness, added to the exigencies attending the outbreak of the war, meant that, although the two houses occasionally acted against lone publications, no systematic overhaul of the print trade took place.44 Open war, however, rendered the situation more pressing. First, a wave of royalist print in 1643 sparked alarm, and led to an attempt (ultimately ineffectual) to give the Committee of Examinations power to search for secret presses and scandalous publications in the city.45 Second, the appearance of works such as those considered in this chapter created anxiety among more orthodox puritan parliamentarians. Third, these rising concerns were exploited anew by the stationers, who once again moved to re-edify their monopoly. In April 1643, they published a humble Remonstrance, drafted by the theorist Henry Parker, calling for their ­system of copyright to be renewed, but also for a new regime of regulation under company control.46 As pressure built from different constituencies, the final trigger appears to have been Waller’s Plot, revealed in June 1643. Among those who reported the details of this latest plot was Peter Cole, who on June 9 published the speech at the Guildhall in which the conspiracy’s details were revealed by John Pym, who “afterwards Corrected” the speech “by his owne hand for the Presse.”47 Amidst panic over the plot, the two houses at last tackled the problem of the print trade. On June 14, 1643, parliament passed its “Ordinance for the Regulation of Printing,” which reinstituted a system of censorship and renewed the Stationers’ monopoly. Only works approved by named parliamentary licensers and entered in the company register could now legally be printed or sold; printers or retailers violating the new rules were subject to search, seizure, and confiscation by company authorities, who were empowered to call to their assistance JPs, constables, and militia officers. This was, of course, a significant measure, threatening to undo the benign neglect that had propelled the explosion of the book trade. The language of the ordinance at points mirrored the stationers’ humble Remonstrance, suggesting the measure was composed with the document close at hand.48 A later 43  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/54 (Mar. 12, 1641); SP 16/484/57; CJ 2:402, 739; PJLP, 1:166, 216, 3:314. 44  See also E. Sirluck, ed., Complete Prose Works of John Milton, 8 vols. (New Haven, 1953–), 2:158–63; M. Mendle, “De Facto Freedom, De Facto Authority: Press and Parliament, 1640–1643,” HJ, 38 (1995), 307–32. 45  CJ 2:996–7. 46  To the High Court of Parliament: The humble Remonstrance of the Company of Stationers, London (1643); BL, E.247[23]. 47  A Discovery of The great Plot for The Utter Ruine of the City of London (1643), t.p. 48  For overlap between the remonstrance and the ordinance, cf. LJ 6:96–7; The humble Remonstrance.

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note in the Commons’ Journal, reminding the stationers of “the Passing of their Ordinance,” hints that the entire text may have been supplied by the company itself.49 But how the new measure was finalized is a mystery. It apparently cleared both houses with little attention: the Journal laconically noted the passage, without division, of an “Ordinance to prevent and suppress the License of printing.”50 Laurence Whitaker, chair of the Committee of Examinations, which under the ordinance had chief responsibility for enforcement, failed to mention it in his diary.51 D’ewes, also on the committee, likewise breezed past the measure without comment.52 Evidently, there was little here to debate: amid the pressures of civil war, suppression of “license in printing” now seemed uncontentious, prior scruples about “illegal and tyrannical power” having dissolved. Passage of the ordinance may have been eased by the fact, hinted at in its text and noted with disdain by later critics, that the measure was marketed to stem the flow of royalist publications.53 The Licensing Ordinance changed the trade. Importantly, it was never applied in a comprehensive way. A large majority of works continued to be published without entry in the Stationers’ Register, thus violating the letter of the ordinance. This suggests that neither parliament nor the stationers were concerned to implement the ordinance in a systematic fashion, leaving a superficial impression that it had little impact on the freewheeling anarchy of the civil-war print trade. But in fact the ordinance handed the company and the government a flexible weapon, which could be used to hound offenders who crossed lines of bad behavior. Interlopers or those who violated fellow stationers’ copyright could be checked, while the measure gave broad latitude to the authorities to pursue obnoxious, seditious, or heretical publications. Although large numbers of unlicensed tracts manifestly elicited no action at all, particular publications and publishers could be and were targeted. A small number of recidivist offenders were thus subjected to a casual and routine regime of search and harassment throughout the 1640s, their fate a minatory example to others.54 The first to experience the effects of the new ordinance was Peter Cole. Cole was a separatist sympathizer, who flirted with joining a “Church of Brownists” in the early 1640s. As shown in Chapter 2, in March 1643 Cole took possession of the confiscated Margery Mar-Prelate Press on behalf of “Richard Overton the owner thereof,” engaging not to use the press “in a disorderly way.” Since the press’s ­seizure, Overton had been scraping by as a minor propagandist, scratching out anti-episcopal satires and pro-parliamentary ephemera (using Gregory Dexter as his publisher).55 The transfer of the press into Cole’s hands coincided with a major 49  CJ 4:23. 50  CJ 3:123; LJ 6:95–7. 51  BL, Whit., fols. 56v–57r. 52  BL, Hl. 165, fols. 109r–113r (noting service on the committee). 53  [W. Walwyn,] The Compassionate Samaritane: Unbinding The Conscience (1644), sig. A4r–v, 39; Tolleration Justified, and Persecution condemned (1646), 2; [R. Overton,] A Sacred Decretall (1645), 14; To the Right Honourable, the Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons of England in Parliament Assembled. The humble Petition of firm and constant Friends (1649). 54 These points are elaborated in D. Como, “Search and Seize: Partisan Publishers and Press Controls in Thomason’s London,” to be published in G. Mandelbrote and J. Peacey, Collecting Revolution: The History and Significance of the Thomason Tracts (forthcoming). 55  Wing O623; O631; O631A; T1465.

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transition in Cole’s trade. Previously a bookseller, he now went into business as a printer, becoming during these months a key war-party stationer: in addition to publicizing “Waller’s Plot,” Cole co-published the inflammatory General Rising petition, together with John Sweeting.56 But Cole’s impeccable parliamentarian credentials did not spare him the authorities’ attention. On June 17, 1643, the Committee of Examinations put Cole under a bond of £1,000 to have the keys to his print shop returned to him. He agreed that he would not “remove the said printing presses or materialls thereto belonging from the place where they now are,” and promised “that hereafter hee doe not presume to print with the said presses any book, pamphlet, or paper not licensed according to the Ordinance of Parliament.” Violation of the agreement would result in the bond’s forfeiture.57 Cole, suspected of printing unlicensed material, had apparently seen his workshop searched and his keys confiscated. He is the first known victim of the new ordinance. Precisely what he had printed remains uncertain. But Cole’s predicament revealed some of the tensions explored here. On the one hand, he was a novice printer, with separatist sympathies, connections to the disreputable Overton, and a sideline in unlicensed books. On the other, he was also a vigorous parliamentarian, with at least modest ties to men at the heart of the regime; only days earlier, he had printed Pym’s speech, corrected by the leader’s own hand. Three weeks later, despite Cole’s official censure and huge bond, he was again ordered by a parliamentary committee to print a semi-official piece of news surrounding the Waller conspirators, Mr. Challenor his Confession and Speech.58 Cole’s complex relationship with the establishment is further embodied by the physical typography of this pamphlet, which was the first of his career that announced itself as “Printed by Peter Cole,” rather than for him. The work marked the quiet return of the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. The tract used the damaged, arabesque initial “I” that had appeared in the secret Margery tracts of 1640. It was the first of several books of 1643–4, issued under Cole’s imprint, using the Margery ornaments (Figures 2.2, 7.1, 15.1).59 Mar-Prelate was back, a palimpsest lurking behind the letters of Peter Cole’s new printing operation. Lurking, too, was the more material presence of Richard Overton, who remained for a time intimately connected to Cole’s printing enterprise. C A LV I N I S M AT S TA K E : G R E G O RY D E X T E R , L AW R E N C E S A N D E R S , A N D T H E F U L N E S S E O F G O D S LOV E MANIFESTED Since 1637, Gregory Dexter had been London’s boldest publisher of extreme puritan and parliamentarian material. He was imprisoned for Henry Burton’s Protestation 56  To the Right Honourable the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in pa r l i a m e n t a s s e m b l e d . The humble Petition of thousands of the well affected Inhabitants (“for Peter Cole, and John Sweeting,” 1643). 57  SP 16/498/96A, fol. 174r, bond of June 20, dating the Committee’s order June 17. 58  Mr. Challenor his Confession and Speech (1643), t.p. 59  See Chapter 2, n. 122, above.

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Protested in 1641, while his wife Abigail spent months jailed for printing King James his Judgement of a King and a Tyrant, one of the most radical books of the period. Nevertheless, Dexter and his partner Richard Oulton continued to produce a stream of controversial puritan books, as well as many tracts that obviously supported the war effort. As we have seen, this activity was informed by Dexter’s conviction, articulated in July 1641, that there was a “generall liberty . . . used whilst this parliament is sitting.” Perhaps because his legal troubles made him notorious, Dexter was less prominent in the semi-official war-party print campaigns fronted by Paine, Simmons, Sweeting, and Cole in 1643. Yet even Dexter received some business as London militants hatched their plans: working for parliament’s favored stationer, John Wright, Dexter and Oulton printed the broadsheet that launched the Weekly Meal plan, connecting them at least peripherally to the project to raise London’s auxiliary army out of Salters’ Hall.60 In June or July 1643, Oulton died and Dexter took over the business.61 This merely confirmed Dexter’s determination to print on behalf of the most extreme elements attached to the cause. While space does not permit a full presentation, analysis of print and typography suggests Dexter produced many of the earliest, anonymously published, works of baptist propaganda.62 In September 1643, he forged a tie with the founder of Providence plantation, Roger Williams (recently returned to England to solidify the legal status of his colony) by printing Williams’s first book, A Key into the Language of America. After passage of the Licensing Ordinance, Dexter continued to engage in surreptitious printing. He was involved in producing the second volume of Tobias Crispe’s sermons, which appeared without imprint in late 1643. The most controversial of Dexter’s clandestine publications was, however, The Fulnesse of Gods Love Manifested, which appeared in December 1643, written by one “L.S.” As demonstrated elsewhere, on the basis of a series of unique printer’s ornaments, this work can be safely attributed to Dexter’s print house.63 The identity of L.S. was soon exposed when the Committee of Examinations imprisoned Lawrence Sanders, a Blackwell Hall cloth factor. On December 24, after petitioning the committee, he was “discharged of his imprisonment upon sufficient bayle in twoe hundred pounds . . . with condicion not to print publish or cause to bee printed . . . the booke entituled, The fulnes of Gods love etc. unlesse hee bee licensed by authoritie of Parliament.” His sureties were William Walwyn and Samuel Eames.64 Although the wording of the bond is ambiguous, Sanders’s tract had apparently already been printed, as at least three copies are extant today. Sanders was an unlikely victim of parliamentary discipline. He was a fervent supporter of the cause. In 1642, he was in business with another Blackwell Hall 60  A Declaration and motive Of the Persons trusted, usually meeting at Salters Hall (1643). 61  LMA, COL/CA/01/01/060, fol. 203v. 62 R.B., The Coppie of a Letter Sent to a Gentlewoman one of the Separation (1642), 1; A.R., A Treatise of the Vanity of Childish-Baptisme (1642), 1. 63  D. Como, “Print, Censorship, and Ideological Escalation in the English Civil War,” JBS, 51 (2012), 826–31, 846–56. 64  SP 16/498/77, fol. 148r.

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factor, Clement Writer. They lived together in Red Lion Court in July 1642, when they pooled their resources to contribute to the war effort two horses, with arms and riders.65 Writer was by this stage already a notorious anabaptist preacher who had itinerated in the west alongside Thomas Lambe in 1641. Back in London, with Richard Blunt and Samuel Eames, Writer became the spiritual leader of “one of the first and prime Churches of Anabaptists now in these latter times.”66 Eames, too, was a cloth merchant, and he established close, lasting ties to Writer’s business partner Sanders; in 1642, Eames and Sanders partnered together to buy into the Irish Adventure, and later, the two co-owned a Barbados plantation.67 Sanders was thus deeply bound to Clement Writer and Samuel Eames, both pioneering anabaptist co-pastors in the city. It is therefore no surprise that Eames vouched for Sanders when he was jailed. William Walwyn’s presence as a surety is equally intriguing. Walwyn was not, it seems, a member of any gathered church; but he was, as noted above, a confessed antinomian, who was clearly questioning many facets of reformed orthodoxy. He was also a fierce parliamentarian, involved in one radical scheme after another, from the “flying army,” to the Remonstrance of March 30, to the General Rising. In coming months, Walwyn emerged as one of Clement Writer’s closest friends.68 Walwyn’s appearance alongside Eames as Sanders’s surety is a sign that the propagandist was now linked to this circle of West Country cloth merchants. Although he does not appear to have embraced believers’ baptism, Walwyn clearly shared many of the heterodox theological interests flowing in this group. Sanders’s Fulnesse of Gods Love offered no comment on infant baptism. However, his treatise revealed a range of provocative opinions. His views probably offer a glimpse of discussions taking place in the immediate circles inhabited by Writer, Eames, and Walwyn. The most offensive element of the tract was its attack on predestinarian orthodoxy. The main goal was to prove that Christ had died for all, and that God’s grace was available to every person: “For God the Father declares, that there is peace, reconciliation, remission of sinnes, and eternall life in his Son for all men, and thereupon invites and perswades them to come to the son to believe . . . so they may be partakers of it.”69 Those who refused this grace were justly condemned for their obstinacy. To argue otherwise was to deny God’s goodness. In this, Sanders gave voice to the increasing tendency, shared with figures such as Denne, to reject dominant supralapsarian Calvinism, a move that was beginning to forge a “general baptist” identity. Of course, this smacked of Arminianism, suggesting that God’s grace was dependent on man’s efforts. But Sanders glossed over this, instead turning the tables on his opponents: although they “professe themselves Ministers of the gospel, 65  SP 28/131, part 3, fol. 11r–v. 66 Baxter, Reliquiae, 1:41; Thomas Wynell, The Covenants Plea for Infants (1642), sigs. A4v–B2r; Gangraena, 3:112; Burrage, EED, 2:302–4. 67  SP 63/295, fols. 290r–298v; Barbados Archives, RB 3/2, 88, 104–9, 698–9. 68  TNA, PROB 11/307/317; TNA, C 54/3357 (11); Gangraena, 1:83–4. 69  Lawrence Sanders, The Fulnesse of Gods Love Manifested: Or, A Treatise discovering the Love of God, in giving Christ for All (1643), 137.

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and grace of God in Christ,” through their “dark and dismall doctrines,” England’s mainstream puritans “thrust out the gospel, and bring in the Law.” Here, Sanders’s account dovetailed with the spreading antinomian contagion: such false professors “ground their comfort more in their owne humiliation then in Christs; more in what they doe, then in what Christ hath done . . . they bound and limit the love and death of Christ to some few persons onely, and therefore they must find out somthing to distinguish them from others.” Thus, “they lay the . . . foundation of their peace and comfort in legall terrors, preparations, marks, signes, and qualifications,” a charge that closely replicated the antinomian critique of puritan legalism.70 Sanders asserted, moreover, that in their gloomy predestinarianism, mainstream puritans lost sight of true gospel charity. As he insisted, God’s universal grace embodied the deity’s essential attribute: “God is Love, hee is the fountaine and Father of Love.” But orthodox puritans, through “this Doctrine of limiting the love of God to a few” encouraged disciples to show charity only to other presumed saints, “whereas if God indeed were the Patterne of their love, their love would be universall like the love of God.” Thus, all of the spiritual exertions of the godly were empty gestures: “hearing, praying and discoursing . . . is abomination if love be wanting . . . who so hath this worlds goods, and seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth up his bowells of compassion, from him, how dwelleth the love of God in  him, all his Religion is vaine.” Those truly touched by God’s grace would “not . . . mind high things, but . . . condescend to . . . men of low estate . . . carrying themselves towards the meanest and poorest . . . as to their Brethren and fellowServants.” Equally, he denounced those who spent their lives “heaping up riches . . . striving to partake of the pompe and greatnesse of this World . . . to Lord it over their Brethren.” Thus, “so few mighty, so few noble, doe yeeld obedience to the Gospel,” for God had “chosen the weake things of the world to confound the . . . mighty.”71 Like other sectaries examined above, then, Sanders laid out a vision of universal concern for the poor, contrasted against the miserly, self-regarding piety of mainstream puritans, whose religion devolved into “a rigid, blind and preposterous zeal in seeking dominion over the faith of our brethren and fellow-servants, and by humane and positive lawes inhumanely . . . to compell their judgements and consciences to conformity to our dictates and determinations in matters of the worship of God.” Such religious coercion, he fumed, was “A practice not suitable to the Gospel . . . and is therefore to be shund and abhord of all men.”72 As in The Power of Love, which shared much with Sanders’s tract, we see here a vigorous attack on religious uniformity, reflecting rising ecclesiastical tensions. Sanders’s broadside against regnant orthodoxy included one other eye-catching claim. He asserted that God’s tribunal of judgment ensued not when people died, but at the end of time, and that no one went to hell immediately upon death: “no man is yet in Hel, neither shall any be there untill the Judgement, for God doth not hang first, and judge after,” and Sanders strongly implied that the same was true of heaven. Only at the last judgment and resurrection would God mete out reward 70  Fulnesse, 154, 157, 158. 72  Fulnesse, 165–6.

71  Fulnesse, 145–6, 148, 154, 163, 165–6.

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and condemnation, dependent on whether people believed in Christ. This hinted that Sanders embraced a form of mortalism or soul-sleeping, a belief which was spreading quickly in baptist and heterodox puritan circles.73 Given all this, it is no surprise Sanders found himself in trouble. Nevertheless, his treatment by parliament’s Committee of Examinations clearly violated a sense of trust among parliament’s more committed supporters. In the months after Peter Cole first ran foul of the Licensing Ordinance, a handful of seizures had taken place under its rubric, chiefly, it seems, for royalist activity.74 Moreover, the new system of registration, under a team of godly divines, had slowly come into effect. With a couple of notable exceptions, the ministers chosen for the job were learned, orthodox clerics, who despite godly tendencies remained committed to a national church; most eventually settled into presbyterianism.75 From this point forward, there was little hope that Sanders and his kind could obtain registration for their work. Yet until December 1643, the weapon of the Licensing Ordinance was not trained overtly at any godly, parliamentarian author. Sanders’s treatise changed that situation. In 1649, a Leveller petition to the Commons complained bitterly of the ordinance: “scandalous Books . . . in behalf of the Enemy . . . was the pretended occasion; yet the first that suffered was M. Lawrence Sanders, for Printing without license . . . Gods Love to Mankind.”76 The sense of betrayal was palpable, and, for keen observers, Sanders’s treatment signaled that something fundamental had shifted in parliament’s camp. M A N S M O RTA L L I T I E : R I C H A R D OV E RTO N , P E T E R C O L E , A N D T H E M O RTA L I T Y O F T H E S O U L The new conditions of the press were revealed a few weeks later, when one of the most notorious unlicensed books of the civil war appeared. On January 19, George Thomason acquired Mans Mortallitie or a Treatise Wherein ’tis proved, both Theologically and Phylosophically, that whole Man (as a rationall Creature) is a Compound wholy mortall, contrary to that common distinction of Soule and Body. Its title page declared that it was written “by R.O.,” and printed “by John Canne” at Amsterdam. Thomason thought the imprint false, striking “Amsterdam” and replacing it with “London.”77 Thomason was surely correct. Modern scholarship has established beyond doubt that “R.O.” was Richard Overton.78 And the tract was certainly printed in London. The book deployed one of the arabesque initial letters—a broken, worn “T”— repeatedly used in 1640–1 on books printed by the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. As we have seen, those ornaments passed to Peter Cole in 1643, when the press was placed in Cole’s hands as Overton’s trustee. The arabesque “T” then saw action in 73  Fulnesse, 25–8. 74  BL, E.61[14]; McKenzie and Bell, LBT, 1:102, 108. 75  20 Junii, 1643. A Particular of the Names of the Licensers (1643). 76  The humble Petition of firm and constant Friends. 77  Mans Mortallitie or a Treatise Wherein ’tis proved, both Theologically and Phylosophically, that whole Man (as a rationall Creature) is a Compound wholy mortall (1644), t.p. BL, E.29[16]. 78  P. Zagorin, “The Authorship of Mans Mortallitie,” The Library, 5th ser., 5 (1950), 179–83.

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a pamphlet printed at London “for Peter Cole” in late 1643, and it was now dusted off for Mans Mortallitie (see Figures 2.2 and 7.1). Yet to eliminate all doubt that the work was produced using Cole’s materials, it is necessary to scrutinize the book’s type. Two of Cole’s pamphlets of 1643, printed with the old “Margery Mar-Prelate” ornaments, used pica and “English” letters, which Cole apparently acquired on entering the print trade that year. Several damaged pieces of type from Cole’s acknowledged tracts of 1643 recur in the text of Mans Mortallitie (Appendix 3). The work was unquestionably printed in London, using materials associated with the print house of Peter Cole, some of which had been inherited when Cole took over the Margery Mar-Prelate Press on Overton’s behalf in March 1643. Cole’s precise role in publishing Mans Mortallitie is uncertain, but at the very least he allowed Overton access to his printing equipment to produce the pamphlet. The fake imprint—invoking John Canne’s Amsterdam “Richt Right Press”—was at once a decoy and a smirking inside reference, pregnant with symbolism, prodding readers to ponder parliament’s new censorship and to draw parallels with the evil days of Laud. The subterfuge was patently necessary in this case. Overton’s treatise defied all orthodoxy to argue that the “soul” was not an immortal spiritual entity, abstracted from the body. When humans died, all their rational faculties and awareness— what we would today call consciousness—perished with the body. At “Death Man is voyd of actuall Being . . . He absolutly IS NOT.”79 The orthodox claim that incorporeal human souls passed to heaven or hell immediately upon death was a fiction: “none ever entred into Heaven since the Creation” and “Hell” was a “non-entitie,” and there could be “no casting into Hell, before Hell be, which . . . is . . . not in esse till the Resurrection.”80 As this passage suggests, this was not some sort of secular materialism. Overton believed in eternal felicity and punishment. However, these came only at the resurrection, when God would raise the dead, thus reanimating their bodies and subjecting them to judgment.81 The problem of the soul’s mortality was not Overton’s invention—like many contemporary theological debates, it flowed from crucial ambiguities in scripture; in this case, New Testament passages that seemed to suggest that the dead were unconscious in the grave until the resurrection. For people obsessed with recovering biblical Christianity, these ambiguities were bound to result in debate. And nowhere was this obsession more intense than among radical puritans. Sundered from the church’s traditions of interpretation and orthodoxy, such figures were more likely to reject even the most basic facets of reformed teaching. Indeed, mortalism had repeatedly erupted in English separatist, anabaptist, and Familist coteries during the previous half century, suggesting it was part of an ongoing, live conversation, stimulated in some cases by exposure to Dutch heterodox traditions.82 79  Mans Mortallitie, 8–9. 80  Mans Mortallitie, 8, 24. 81  Mans Mortallitie, 1, 13, 15, 37. For critique of his alleged secularism, see B. J. Gibbons, “Richard Overton and the Secularism of the Interregnum Radicals,” The Seventeenth Century, 10 (1995), 63–75. 82  See N. Burns, Christian Mortalism from Tyndale to Milton (Cambridge, MA, 1972); Como, Blown by the Spirit, 38–9, 45, 328, 335; SP 16/520/85, fol. 126r–v; T. George, John Robinson and the English Separatist Tradition, 2nd ed. (Macon, 2005), 38.

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Figure 7.1.  (from left to right) S. How, The Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching (Margery Mar-Prelate Press, 1640), sig. Br, UIUC, 231.74 H83s; S. Simpson, A Sermon Preached at Westminster before Sundry of the House of Commons (London: Printed for Peter Cole, 1643), sig. ¶r, used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under CC BY–SA 4.0, shelf mark 136–517q; R.O., Mans Mortallitie or a Treatise Wherein ’tis proved, both Theologically and Phylosophically, that whole Man (1644), 1, used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under CC BY–SA 4.0, shelf mark, 186–291q

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Others at the outer edges of London’s godly community shared Overton’s position. It was soon alleged that Clement Writer openly defended “Mortalisme,” sparking rumors that he was “the Author, or at least . . . had a great hand in the Book of the Mortality of the Soul.”83 Whether there was a link between Overton and Writer, Mans Mortallitie certainly replicated arguments that had been defended a few weeks earlier by Writer’s partner and housemate, Lawrence Sanders. Most obviously, Overton and Sanders apparently agreed on the mortality of the soul prior to the resurrection. Overton also wholeheartedly endorsed Sanders’s chief claim on the universal extent of Christ’s atonement. As Overton had written in his confession to the Amsterdam anabaptists, Christ’s “sacrifice is . . . sufficient for the people of all and every nation in the whole universe, for their redemption and salvation, if it be by them received in true faith.” He repeated this view in Mans Mortallitie, insisting it was absurd to say that “Christ died not for all.”84 Indeed, Overton’s account of the atonement extended to all creation: “all other  Creatures as well as man shall be raised and delivered from Death at the Resurrection”; “Death comming upon all Creatures by the sinne of Adam . . . life shall come upon all by Christ.” This notion of the redemption and resurrection of all creatures was also unusual, and would soon be taken up by others, including Clement Writer, who amplified it in new directions.85 Carried further, the doctrine of the universal redemption of creation easily slid into overt universalism, whereby all humans were saved, or even a vision of “the restitution of all things,” in which the entire creation was to be restored to perfection (a position sometimes known as apocatastasis).86 Although Overton never personally articulated such positions, as we will see, in 1646 he used his secret press to print the period’s first, most daring statement of outright universalism.87 While Overton’s mortalism can be placed in a context of enthusiastic sectarian theological discussion, much of the tract was devoted not to the Bible, but to proofs from “Naturall Reason.” This focus on non-scriptural explanation, together with Overton’s aggressive exaltation of reason, has sometimes accorded him a reputation as a rationalist, even a proto-deist.88 And Overton indubitably provided a range of arguments redolent of more modern, materialistic claims. He highlighted the way different types of brain damage affected different faculties as proof that consciousness was linked to the brain; he suggested that sleep was akin to the loss of consciousness at death; and he implied that animal sentience was comparable to human awareness, there being a mere difference of degree between sense 83  Gangraena, 1:82. 84  B. Evans, The Early English Baptists, 2 vols. (1862), 1:255; Mans Mortallitie, 1–3, 5. He also agreed with Sanders that condemnation came not for violating the Law, but for lack of faith, an argument expanded in [R. Overton,] The Araignement of Mr. Persecution (1645), 27. 85  Mans Mortallitie, 50; [C. Writer,] The Jus Divinum of Presbyterie (1646), 3, 26. 86 For an overview, see A. Rudrum, “Henry Vaughan, the Liberation of the Creatures, and Seventeenth-Century English Calvinism,” The Seventeenth Century, 4 (1989), 33–54. 87  See Chapter 15, below. 88 See, e.g., W. Haller, ed., Tracts on Liberty in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–1647, 3 vols. (New York, 1934), 1:95–7; G. Mosse, “Puritan Radicalism and the Enlightenment,” Church History, 29 (1960), 431–7.

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perceptions of animals and the rationality of humans.89 Statements such as these have contributed to a view of Overton as an apostle of reason. It is a portrait Overton himself did much to promote. Over the next four years, he crafted a ­rhetoric of rationality that was atypically robust, arguing that all divinity, morality, law, and political argument should be weighed in the balance of human reason, itself a reflection and communication of God’s own mind.90 Yet even here he built  on a discursive foundation being laid more broadly in London sectarian ­circles. Lawrence Sanders, for instance, repeatedly emphasized that “when God perswades . . . he doth it in a rationall way,” and that Christ taught his disciples “by argument and reason.” For Sanders, this proved the generous plenitude of God’s offer of salvation: “God speaks not to men in a Language which they doe not understand . . . but in a language which is plaine, easie, and very suteable to them,” and which could be grasped by all rational people. Mainstream puritan ministers, by contrast, “despise and trample on reason,” relying instead on “dreams and delusions” of special spiritual grace, “filling the world with disputes,” “instead of revealing the gospel.”91 On this account, unvarnished “reason,” a faculty available to all adults, was placed in opposition to the disputatious sophistry of the learned. Overton’s polemical deployment of “reason” was of similar character. The soul’s immortality was one of the fictions used by clerics to tyrannize the minds and purses of the laity.92 Reason thus became a weapon of the weak, which, with the help of “the Spirits Teaching,” served to cut through the “Rhetoricall Glosses” and “Cunning Hocus Pocus” of the persecuting, oppressive clergy, and to trace their “various windings, subtile by-Pathes, secret tracts, and cunning Meanders.”93 T H E S E C TA R I A N S LU R RY: H Y B R I D I T Y, P U B L I S H E R S , A N D   R A D I C A L I Z AT I O N Overton’s exaltation of reason was not a product of sectarian religious sources alone. But it is important to see that similar moves were afoot among other London sectaries; the same is true of his mortalism, his defense of universal atonement, his anabaptism, and his rejection of tyrannical clerical orthodoxy. By late 1643, these trends, along with antinomianism, were burning through the city and, more slowly, penetrating the countryside, partly through published tracts like the ones examined here. This is not to say that people inhabiting these radical puritan circles agreed on all points. On the contrary, the raucous conversations at the edges of the godly community revealed a diverse set of theological opinions, sometimes 89  Mans Mortallitie, 13, 17, 19. 90  For the best statement, see R. Overton, An Appeale From the degenerate Representative Body the Commons of England (1647), 1–5; for evolution of this view, see [Overton,] Araignement, 17–18; [R. Overton,] The Nativity of Sir John Presbyter (1645), sig. B2v; [R. Overton,] Divine Observations (1646), 11. 91  Fulnesse, 72–4, 156–8. 92 [Overton,] Sacred Decretall, 14. 93 [Overton,] Araignement, 1–2, in which reason is figured as “Mr. Sound-Judgment” (supported by “Mr. Reward of Tyranny” and “Mr. Woefull-Experience”).

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pitted against each other; for proof, we need only look to Lambe’s baptist church, which included Batt and Denne (both antinomians, but differing on the extent of the atonement) and possibly Overton, who, despite adopting general redemption, never articulated explicitly antinomian conclusions (although he did publish them in 1646).94 Similarly, William Walwyn, although clearly part of the circle around Sanders, Writer, and Eames, never submitted to believers’ baptism or joined a gathered church; but he did embrace antinomianism, as well as other aspects of the divinity explored here, including “egalitarian redistributionism” and heterodox ideas about the soul’s mortality.95 And importantly, despite variant and even conflicting opinions, these ideologues in London appear increasingly to have consorted with one another, creating what might be termed a radical puritan consociation— one that, to an extent, ignored or overlooked church membership or theological niceties and was increasingly unified by a shared commitment to toleration. The environment of open disputation and the search for “New Light” flourishing among London’s most aggressive war-party activists thus created a kind of “sectarian slurry,” generating a wide range of theological positions. This sometimes led to argument, but it also allowed for hybridization, forcing into being new combinations of ideas, as participants pruned and plucked, mixed and matched, and bulked up existing formulations into new, sometimes dizzying permutations.96 The tailor Laurence Clarkson, for instance, began with an interest in congregationalism, progressed via Tobias Crispe into antinomianism, then embraced anabaptism, combining these positions before proceeding into ever more extreme heterodoxies (to be examined in Chapter  15). In other cases, embrace of one doctrinal novelty had knock-on effects, directly loosening or dislodging other facets of orthodoxy; thus, as Paul Lim has shown, extreme antinomianism, in blurring the line between God and humans, in some cases destabilized the doctrine of the Trinity.97 While there were several different routes to anti-Trinitarian ideas, by 1645 this most sacrosanct pillar of Christian truth was also under pressure in some sectarian circles.98 This is not to say that there were no differences among these figures, or that all was a shapeless and indeterminate muddle. As this chapter has revealed, there existed real and distinctive ideological positions and encampments, and to understand the nature of religious experience in this period, it is necessary that we abstract these into discrete categories—antinomianism, anabaptism, universalism, 94  Overton’s church membership is presumed from reports that he served as “moderator” at a debate on mortalism in Lambe’s congregation in 1646. The difficulty, as Edwards knew, is that Lambe’s church welcomed non-members, allowing them to speak and participate in religious exercises. Gangraena, 1:94, 2:17–18; for his antinomian publishing, see T. Moore, A Discovery of Seducers, that Creep into Houses (1646); Chapter 15, below. 95  As confessed by his son-in-law, H[umphrey] B[rooke], The Charity of Church-men (1649), 4; [J. Price,] Walwins Wiles (1649), 8–10. 96  For an archetypal product of this hybrid environment, see A. Hessayon, ‘Gold Tried in the Fire’: The prophet TheaurauJohn Tany and the English Revolution (Aldershot, 2007). 97  P. Lim, Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2012), 38–123. 98  For the impact of continental Socinianism, see S. Mortimer, Reason and Religion in the English Revolution (Cambridge, 2010).

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millenarianism—just as contemporaries themselves did. But the promiscuous maelstrom of theological discussion ensured that the ideological situation by late 1643 was messy indeed; new ideas bled into one another, and parliamentary enthusiasts of different ideological shadings rubbed shoulders and argued in an open, volatile environment. These debates unfolded in an atmosphere of heightened apocalyptic expectation, which anticipated the unveiling of new truths. Indeed, the freewheeling character of this disputatious community began to appear to some participants as a model for how God’s truth might progress in the world.99 The publishers at the center of this chapter were crucial anchors in sustaining this culture of debate, profiting as they projected these conversations beyond backrooms, pulpits, and taverns. The eclectic book lists of these stationers both mirrored and fueled the frenetic arguments taking place in militant parliamentarian circles, ensuring that a range of diverse and sometimes competing conceits entered print. Most obviously, these publishers’ efforts carried such conversations to a national audience. In 1643–4, godly people in Cambridgeshire received Denne’s The Doctrine and Conversation of John Baptist, and “began to see some light in it”; hearing reports that Denne had come to their area to preach, they flocked to him, establishing the first baptist community in the region.100 In other cases, books were sought for clarification after people began to question orthodoxy; thus, when John Hutchinson, governor of Nottingham, found his certainty on infant baptism unsettled by his wife, he “bought and read all the eminent treatises” on the subject, including Denne’s.101 Lawrence Sanders’s book also migrated: in 1646, Thomas Edwards received reports that “Sectaries” in Somerset had “a Book among them called The fulnesse of Gods love” which they used to argue for “generall election, that God had chosen all men to life, and that election was of all men.”102 Mans Mortallitie, meanwhile, clearly sold well, prompting another printing later in 1644.103 The Kentish man Henry Oxinden, who had diligently sought the Margery Mar-Prelate books, wrote to London for Mans Mortallitie, receiving a copy in early 1645.104 The Cheshire royalist Peter Leycester likewise obtained the tract, and although he was unsatisfied with some of its arguments, Leycester’s interest was kindled because he was himself doubting the immortality of the soul, and by the 1650s he too had adopted a mortalist position.105 Leycester’s engagement with the book points towards the more general collapse of received theological orthodoxy which, in the 1640s and 1650s, claimed victims across the political spectrum, including luminaries such as Hobbes and Milton. 99  See, e.g., [R. Overton,] Divine Observations (1646), 11. Indeed, Cole and Sweeting very occasionally published works of a presbyterian bent: see Wing S5094, G1456 (a reissue, with cancel t.p., of a 1641 tract). 100  E. B. Underhill, Records of the Churches of Christ, gathered at Fenstanton, Warboys, and Hexham. 1644–1720 (1864), 267 n. 101  L. Hutchinson, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson (London, 1973), 169. 102  Gangraena, 3:107. 103  Wing O629E. 104  BL, Add. MS. 28001, fols. 17v–18v. 105  Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, DLT/B88, p. 8; DLT/B67, 48–53, 75. He obtained the second edition.

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The centrality of these publishers also underscores the political dimensions of this raucous sectarian frontier. The same stationers who helped to disperse the General Rising petition, with its sharp attack on the king, and the Remonstrance of March 30, with its exalted vision of parliamentary supremacy, were also responsible for the flow of heterodox works described in this chapter. Yet these works injected into wider discourse currents that had undeniable political consequences in other ways. By late 1643, the authors of The Power of Love and The Fulnesse of Gods Love began to attach to their robust parliamentarianism equally forceful defenses of toleration. Conceptions of liberty of conscience were not new to the separatist fringe. But now, as the hammer of legal coercion fell on even devoted parliamentarians such as Sanders, tolerationist sentiments were dispensed more widely, defined now not with reference to episcopacy, but rather to mainstream puritanism, and increasingly, to presbyterianism. The books examined here also shared a vigorous Christian redistributionism and egalitarianism, presented as alternatives to the supposedly empty faith peddled by godly clerical elites. Despite an intense focus on the plight of the poor, these formulations do not in any straightforward way suggest the emergence of a distinctive or authentic plebeian voice; almost all the propagandists identified here were university-trained intellectuals, or educated sons of gentry or prosperous businessmen.106 In their private affairs, several—including Walwyn, Writer, and Sanders—engaged in legal and commercial arrangements that failed to live up to the rhapsodic cant of love espoused in their writings (the “universall . . . love of God” did not, apparently, rule out the ownership of other human beings, for instance).107 What mattered was not the private behavior, but the public pronouncements, of these polemicists; the insistent publication of these egalitarian sentiments, sharply contrasted against the grasping callousness of mainstream puritanism, created a potent and seductive rhetorical package. And despite their religious origins, these ideas bore profound sociopolitical implications; when laid atop the ascending or crypto-republican constitutional ideas examined in previous chapters, these new trends soon eased into existence some of the more novel and radical politico-ideological innovations of the era. Equally important, once broadcast on a mass scale through print, these ideological complexes, whether political or religious, were detached from the circles that initially produced them. Thus, although the “egalitarian redistributionism” outlined here appears to have crystallized, somewhat counterintuitively, chiefly in association with antinomian divinity, once launched abroad these motifs quickly percolated into wider networks of radical parliamentarian thought. They seeped into the molten amalgam of ideas that sloshed across the leading edge of the coalition, ensuring that they quickly transcended any one sect or theological position.108 106  See further, N. McDowell, The English Radical Imagination (Oxford, 2003). 107  TNA, C 54/3357 (11), showing Writer and Walwyn dismembering the estate of an (imprisoned) debtor; Barbados Archives, RB 3/2, 88, 104–9, 698–9, for slaves owned by Sanders and Eames. 108  Helping, perhaps, to resolve puzzles raised by D. Wootton, “The Levellers,” in J. Dunn, ed., Democracy: The Unfinished Journey, 508 BC to AD 1993 (Oxford, 1992), 74–80.

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Strong traces of this redistributionist rhetoric appeared in the works of Overton and Lilburne in following months, while similar impulses animated the more comprehensive rallying cries of the later 1640s, such as those of Coppe and Winstanley. Through the early 1640s, and particularly after the war’s outbreak, the publishers considered here were left largely unmolested, even enjoying sporadic support of elements within the parliamentary regime, helping to explain their ability to operate. In late 1643, this situation shifted, as religious dissension began to shake parliament’s coalition. Overton’s resort to techniques of dissimulation to publish Mans Mortallitie was a sign of the change. In part, the reaction against such people and ideas was certainly a result of the alarming publications discussed here, which rattled the orthodox and helped win followers in London and beyond. But it was also a response to the real escalation and radicalization engulfing these circles. By 1644, London’s churning environment of sectarian religious experimentation, in its most volatile corners, was threatening to tear itself apart. Lambe’s church underwent a schism, “broken . . . in pieces” by Batt and his disciples.109 The congregation of Writer, Eames, and Blunt saw a still greater rupture, as Writer reportedly moved towards a more extreme position, which embraced mortalism and rejected all ­sacraments and ministry, even questioning scripture (positions examined in Chapter 15). Under these conditions, his “Church broke into peeces, and some went one way, some another, divers fell off to no Church at all.”110 This fissiparous environment generated a range of responses. One enduring consequence was, paradoxically, a process of consolidation and confessionalization, wherein some sectaries, combating the fragmentation described here, huddled together and codified their beliefs against these centrifugal tendencies. An early token of this process was The Confession of Faith, Of those Churches which are commonly (though falsly) called Anabaptists, published in October 1644 by seven London baptist churches, led by William Kiffin’s congregation. This document, based loosely around a 1596 separatist confession, countered charges that the baptists were bloodthirsty enemies of civil government, waiting to replay the ­tragedy of Münster.111 More deeply, it also aimed to neutralize the forces of theological entropy that were shattering churches such as that of Blunt, Writer, and Eames. The Confession thus stressed the Calvinistic soteriological orthodoxy of the seven subscribing churches, reaffirmed the Trinity, and left no doubt about the canonicity and authority of scripture.112 Not coincidentally, then, the increasing discord of the “sectarian slurry” gave rise to countermoves towards association and theological self-definition that in time forged a new denomination, the so-called “particular baptists,” whose identity would be based in large part on rejection of

109 Lambe, Christ Crucified, sig. A4r. 110  Gangraena, 3:112–13. 111  See B. R. White, “The Doctrine of the Church in the Particular Baptist Confession of 1644,” Journal of Theological Studies, N.S., 19 (1968), 570–90; J. Collier, “The Sources Behind the First London Confession,” American Baptist Quarterly, 21 (2002), 197–214. 112  The Confession of Faith, Of those Churches which are commonly (though falsly) called Anabaptists (1644), sigs. A2r–A4r, B3r.

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the kind of universalism espoused by Sanders and Overton. More slowly, but nevertheless discernably, “general baptists” followed suit, consolidating their own communities, practices, and foundational beliefs.113 A second response to the sectarian cacophony was retreat and alienation, a pattern illustrated in the case of Peter Cole. Shortly after the publication of Mans Mortallitie, Cole got in trouble for helping Gregory Dexter resist a stationers’ raid, an event discussed in Chapter 9. Cole continued in 1644 to use his presses (and the old Margery Mar-Prelate ornaments) to publish works such as The Trumpeter Sent by God to all the Principallities, States, and Potentates of Europe (1644), an apocalyptic jeremiad that warned that God had often “cast downe . . . the proud and mighty ones” and foretold a moment when “all the Kings of the Earth shall be trobled, and lament.”114 He likewise published a Latin treatise by the Elizabethan prophetic writer “T.L.,” regarded by many as a dangerous crypto-Familist.115 But by December 1644, Cole grew disillusioned with the frenzied ideological ferment amongst his friends. That month, he confided that he now opposed “a generall Liberty of Conscience.” As he explained, the “Church of Brownists” to which “he had once thought . . . to have joyned himselfe a Member,” had now been hijacked by those who “deny the Scriptures to be the Word of God, and have meetings to reason against the Scriptures.”116 Cole thus drifted from his old allies; his book list suggests he now moved towards a more orthodox congregationalism. The divorce was exemplified by his publication, in 1645, of The Immortality of Mans Soul, an explicit rebuttal of Mans Mortallitie.117 A cynical view might suggest that this merely allowed Cole to double his returns, permitting him to profit first on Overton’s bestselling book, then subsequently on its refutation. But it is a sign that the storm at the edge of the godly community, even as it claimed many victims, sent some fleeing back to safer harbors. Despite Cole’s change of heart, his bookshop continued to be a clearinghouse for unlicensed tracts, frequented by presbyterians and independents alike, suggesting his rejection of “generall Liberty of Conscience” did not remove him from the world of illicit books and disputatious theological discussion described here.118 Nevertheless, his realignment did apparently sever his relationship with Overton in 1644. As religious controversy began to rage in parliament’s camp, and as his friends found themselves under new pressure, Overton returned to his old ways. As we will see, by September 1644 he had set up the first in a series of clandestine presses, which he used to print some of the most famous books of the English 113  See R. Butterfield, “‘The Royal Commission of King Jesus’: General Baptist Expansion and Growth, 1640–1660,” Baptist Quarterly, 35 (1993), 56–80. 114  The Trumpeter Sent by God to all the Principallities (1644), 6–7, 10. 115 T.L., De Fide Eius: Què Ortu, & Natura (1644); P. Lake, The Boxmaker’s Revenge: ‘Orthodoxy’, ‘Heterodoxy’ and the Politics of the Parish in Early Stuart London (Stanford, 2001), 120–47. 116  Gangraena, 1:82–3, 111–12. 117  The Immortality of Mans Soule, Proved both by Scripture and Reason. Contrary to the Fancie of R.O. In his Book Intituled Mans Mortality (1645). 118  Gangraena, 1:82–3; Walwyn, Just Defence, 13–14.

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Revolution. Obligingly, however, he took with him a memento—one of the old printer’s ornaments that had come from Stam, had been used on the Margery Mar-Prelate Press in 1640, and had reappeared in Cole’s works of 1643 now found its way into Overton’s secret print shop in 1646. Here, it would be used to wage paper wars not against royalists, but fellow parliamentarians. Part III reconstructs these increasingly acrimonious religious conflicts.

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PA RT I I I WA R A N D R E L I G I O N , 1 6 43 – 1 64 4

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8 The Rise of Religious Conflict in the Parliamentarian Coalition The Scottish treaty, negotiated in August 1643, was an act of desperation, forced on the two houses by the summer’s military catastrophes. The price for the Scots’ help, as all understood, was collective action on the religious front. From 1640, the Covenanters had always seen their objective for English politics as ending episcopacy and erecting a presbyterian system. MPs recognized this, and, in the same days that they voted to dispatch negotiators to Scotland, they also created a synod of divines and lay MPs to advise parliament on the settlement of the church. The Westminster Assembly convened on July 1, 1643. The quest for church reform exposed underlying rifts that beset parliament’s camp. Many Roundheads were known to be favorable to congregationalism or sectarianism. Indeed, in 1642, when a synod was first proposed, a group of lords and MPs sent to Massachusetts requesting the attendance of the eminent divines, John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, and John Davenport. The invitation, signed by future independents and presbyterians, was likely designed to promote amity and to ensure that congregationalist voices would be heard. Tacitly, however, the invitation attested to preexisting fissures among the godly, and showed awareness that a synod might provoke disharmony. Reluctant to cross the ocean to become magnets for controversy, the New England divines refused.1 Nevertheless, when the Assembly was finally created in June 1643, it included several clerics who oversaw gathered churches in exile, including John Archer’s co-pastors, Nye and Goodwin, as well as  Jeremiah Burroughs, Sidrach Simpson, and William Bridge. The concession suggested an effort to ensure nominal representation for the New England Way. Further evidence that some actors foresaw trouble over religion came in negotiations regarding the alliance in Edinburgh in August 1643. During talks on the Solemn League and Covenant, Sir Henry Vane Jr. intervened to make the text acceptable to those of “independent” bent. The Scots’ proposed draft apparently called for preserving the Scottish kirk “in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, and the reformation of religion in the Church of England according to the example of the best reformed churches,” a formula strongly suggesting joint commitment to presbyterianism. In response, Vane reportedly added the phrase 1 T. Hutchinson, The History of the Colony of Massachusets-Bay, 2nd ed. (1760), 115–17; R. S. Dunn, J. Savage, and L. Yeandle, eds., The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630–1649 (Cambridge, MA, 1996), 403–4.

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“according to the Word of God,” leaving the Covenant more open-ended and subject to scriptural counterclaims.2 Vane was a New England returnee and a man of decidedly unorthodox opinion; while he strongly backed the alliance, he needed to render the Covenant digestible for scrupulous independents, while also leaving space for a settlement that might somehow comprehend them. The resulting text proved palatable to most English independents, although even with the alteration, some objected, igniting conflict as soon as the Covenant arrived in London. The creation of the Westminster Assembly and the Scots’ entry into the war thus forced deep religious divisions to the surface. From the start, both the Covenant and the Assembly were focal points for political contestation and mobilization. This chapter chronicles the first phase of this process, examining how the Assembly and Covenant led to immediate strife over the forms of radical sectarian piety reconstructed in Chapter 7. Partly as a result of these conflicts, divisions likewise soon emerged between more orthodox “congregationalist” puritans and their English and Scottish brethren. The relative calm encouraged by the “Aldermanbury Accord” of 1641 thus began to dissolve into rancor. Increasingly, puritans who had been able to defer questions of church order were forced to make choices and to seek collaborators, with the result that infant political interest groups coalesced. Moreover, these disputes were noted at Oxford, where royalists raced to exploit divisions in their enemies’ ranks, adding another threat to parliamentarian unity. One significant upshot of this rising division was the publication, in January 1644, of An Apologeticall Narration, the famous manifesto of the congregationalist “dissenting brethren” of the Westminster Assembly. While this tract is often thought to mark the beginning of the grand struggle between “independency” and “presbyterianism,” this chapter—by tacking between the Assembly, parliament, and the back rooms, pulpits, and prisons of London—seeks to contextualize An Apologeticall Narration, demonstrating that in fact it stood at the endpoint of months of maneuver and dispute. Before a single Scottish soldier had arrived on English soil, the alliance had thus indirectly driven a new wedge into the already fractious parliamentarian coalition. Just as the Bishops’ War of 1640 unleashed preexisting English ideological developments, so again, the entry of the Scots into the civil war forced into view and placed pressure upon newly refined forms of English religious thought and practice. Part III, as a whole, charts the resulting fragmentation, as religious division spread, first in London, then into the armies and countryside. For many months, impulses towards parliamentarian unity stifled these conflicts, keeping them from seriously distorting parliamentary politics and the war effort. But by late 1644, divisions became impossible to suppress, and England’s nascent religious schisms intersected with earlier political programs and divisions outlined above, resulting in new factional alignments as well as new ideological formulations.

2  G. Burnet, The Memoirs of the Lives and Actions of James and William Dukes of Hamilton and Castlehead (Oxford, 1852), 307. See Gardiner, GCW, 1:229–32.

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T H E W E S T M I N S T E R A S S E M B LY, T H E P O L I T I C I Z E D C L E R I S Y, A N D A N T I N O M I A N I S M When the Westminster Assembly met, it began to review church doctrine as expressed in the thirty-nine articles. This avoided the looming problem of ecclesiastical government, but quickly led the Assembly to intervene in politics. On July 19, 1643, the divines petitioned parliament, lamenting the defeat at Roundway Down and calling for a day of humiliation. Among other sins, the ministers decried the “bold venting of corrupt Doctrines . . . contrary to the sacred Law of God, and religious humiliation for sin,” calling for such heinous errors to “be speedily suppressed.”3 Parliament decreed a day of humiliation, and on July 21, preaching to the Commons, William Spurstowe warned of wolves who “would in these sad times crie downe all acknowledgment . . . of sinne” “and crie up a libertie and freedom from the Law.”4 Together, the petition and sermon inaugurated an offensive against so-called “antinomianism,” which, as shown above, was spreading unchecked in these months. In August, the Assembly reviewed the seventh article, “Of the Old Testament,” leading to a more focused attack. The divines drafted a petition to parliament, complaining of antinomian doctrines, “which, by Preaching, Printing and by other waies, are daily Published and dispersed abroad in very many places . . . but cheifly in . . . London.” The petition alleged that antinomian teachers had “gained many well affected . . . to imbrace their pernitious doctrines,” and warned “that unlesse some speedy Course be taken . . . they will soone draw millions . . . to cast off the whole morall law.” Parliament was urged to “call the Antinomian Preachers before the Assembly to give an account of their damnable Doctrine.” The divines identified five books and eight preachers worthy of discipline. The list included London’s most notorious antinomian teachers—Henry Denne, Timothy Batt, John Simpson, and Giles Randall. Also named were Henry Denne’s Doctrine and Conversation of John Baptist, the published sermons of Tobias Crispe, and Christs Counsell to the Angell of the Church of Laodicea, leaving no doubt about what the Assembly divines meant by “antinomian” doctrines. To these were added works infamous from the prewar period, including posthumous treatises of John Eaton. Robert Lancaster, a sometime Gloucestershire schoolmaster, who had published books by Eaton and Crispe, was likewise targeted. Finally, the petition denounced William Erbery, a pillar of the Welsh–West Country axis analyzed in Chapter 1, who for the first time was decried as an antinomian.5 Erbery was chaplain to a foot regiment in Essex’s army, where he “often vented” his newly radicalized opinions, leading to conflict with other military chaplains, including the Assembly’s new scribe, 3  A Copy of the Petition of the Divines of the Assembly (1643), 3. 4  W. Spurstowe, Englands Patterne and Duty in it’s Monthly Fasts (1643), 31. 5  CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fols. 13v–14v (Christs Counsell is described as “A sermon upon Rev. 3.18”); Lancaster was likely schoolmaster of Northleach in the 1630s. BL, Add. MS. 15670, fol. 207; Bod. L., MS. Rawlinson D. 106, fol. 24v; Alum. Ox., 3:874; LJ 10:596; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/278 (Nov. 20, 1648). This corrects Como, Blown by the Spirit, 70–1, which conflated him with a merchant taylor.

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Adoniram Byfield (who now likely served as informant).6 On August 10, the petition was submitted to the Commons, which responded by forming a committee of MPs to join with the Assembly.7 In part, the goal here was to rectify the breakdown in church discipline. For two years, there had been no real oversight of the religious domain. The petition aimed to restore some rigor, with the Assembly acting as a kind of emergency police body. The divines quickly named their own committee to gather with the Commons’ representatives, thus forming a joint committee with MPs. This group then summoned notorious offenders. In the next days, Randall, Simpson, and Lancaster were brought before the committee and subjected to intensive questioning.8 This was a significant moment. A body of puritan divines, backed by MPs, drew articles, conducted interrogations, and gathered evidence against manifestly godly, albeit doctrinally deviant, clerics, some of whom had suffered under the Caroline regime or royalist armies. The examiners even contrived to question the accused in the Star Chamber. All this looked suspiciously similar to the inquisitorial tactics that until recently had been the bishops’ preserve. The Assembly had branched into a role in enforcing ecclesiastical order, a role solidified in coming weeks when the synod gained power to interview ministers to fill sequestered benefices: here, again, the clerics queried clergymen over doctrine, delaying preferment for those suspected of unorthodoxy. This perhaps explains the Commons’ response, on September 14, when the joint committee reported back, offering a detailed schedule of antinomian opinions. Although it was moved that the first step should be to imprison Simpson, Randall, and Lancaster, the house opted to refer the matter back to the Assembly “to compare the Opinions of the Antinomians with the Word . . . and with the Articles of the Church,” without disciplining the offenders. The Assembly duly formed a new committee for the task.9 But the cautious response of MPs suggested discomfort with the aggressive approach pushed by the divines. T H E P E T I T I O N A G A I N S T T H E C OV E N A N T In the meantime, however, a new challenge emerged in London. In late August, parliament received the Solemn League and Covenant, and over the following days the document was reviewed, securing approval on September 18. Before the text was finalized, however, some Londoners responded with alarm, organizing a petition against the Covenant. No copy of this petition survives, although one MP claimed it was printed.10 Our main source for the petition’s origin and progress is the royalist Thomas Ogle, at the time imprisoned in Winchester House. Ogle’s keeper, Thomas Devenish, was a member of John Goodwin’s church, and probably through 6  Gangraena, 3:250; A. Laurence, Parliamentary Army Chaplains, 1642–1651 (London, 1990), 107, 124. 7  BL, Whit., fol. 69v; CJ 3:201. 8  CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fols. 16r–18v, 21r, 24r, 29r. 9  BL, Yonge 2, fol. 39a; CJ 3:237; MPWA, 2:121–2. 10  BL, Yonge 2, fol. 48a: “a libell printed against the Covenant.”

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Devenish, Ogle learned that the “Independants and Brownists” were “inraged at the Scots Covynant, which wholy blasted their hops of a toleration.” They therefore “mett together, and drue up a very high and daring peticion to the parlament,” demanding that “the Scots Covynant might not pass, or at least not be pressed upon them, for that thay did not take up arms for the Scots prisbitry, which is as antychristian or more then the Einglish prelacy.” On Ogle’s account, the petition warned that “if this therefore were not don, they would not fyght themselvs into a worss condision, but the 3 regaments in the army of thes men would lay downe ther arms and the rest withdraw ther assistanss.”11 Ogle is the sole source for the document’s content, but corroborative evidence confirms that a petition of this nature existed. On September 18, Sir Henry Mildmay informed the house of “a very dangerous Petition now framing in London against the Scottish Covenant.” The Commons quickly named a committee to investigate.12 That committee never reported back. This is likely because the petitioners were convinced to desist. Ogle claimed that “The Presbytiryan, seing the mischef . . . which this petition brought with it, bent all ther indevors to sopress it.” He explained that “as thay formerly sent Mr. Nye into Scotland for the cherishing the hops of that faction then, soe now they imploy him agayne to . . . quensh the fyre of this peticion, giving them assuranss they shall reseve satisfaction and be gratyfyd with what kind of disyplyn ther humors cals for, wherby the peticion was stopt for the present.”13 Although the petition was never delivered, this represented the first moment in which the subject of church government threatened serious schism among parliamentarians. Moreover, the petition against the Covenant appears to have excited a more expansive agitation among radical puritans in London, for in the same days some anabaptists, led by the tolerationist pioneer Edward Barber, launched a petitioning drive to force a debate with the Assembly’s divines.14 As with the attack on London’s antinomians, these mobilizations were indirect consequences of the Scottish alliance, which, by conjuring the Assembly and the Covenant, stirred up preexisting disagreements. A N T I N O M I A N S , T H E C OV E N A N T, A N D T H E “ I N D E P E N D E N T C OA L I T I O N ” The link between these various strands could be seen in debates in the Westminster Assembly over the days that followed. On September 20, the Assembly heard from the committee created to compare antinomian errors against scripture. Detailed biblical citations were adduced to refute antinomian positions. But the committee also “mooved that some reasons might . . . be added . . . to quicken the house” in “quelling of these hereticks.” Chief among these “reasons” was that the antinomians 11 B. M. Gardiner, ed., “A Secret Negociation with Charles the First. 1643–1644,” Camden Miscellany, Volume the Eighth. Camden Society, N.S., 31 (1883), 5–6. 12  BL, Hl. 165, fol. 196r; CJ 3:245. 13  Gardiner, ed., “Secret Negociation,” 5–6. 14  [T. Nutt,] The humble request of certain Christians reproachfully called Anabaptists (1643), “which Petition you shall have at M. Barbers in Thredneedle-Street.”

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“indeavour to blast all Gods faithfull ministers by calling them Legall preachers.” In alarmist terms, the committee also argued that “They strike at the very obedience due to the civill magistrate.” Equally intriguing was the claim that “They creepe into favor of the souldiers, and so are very dangerous.” This was apparently the first public expression of concern that sectarianism was spreading in the armies. It was, of course, a prescient warning, perhaps inspired by the evangelical successes of Erbery. As a coda to this scathing report, Dr. Peter Smith warned that “he heares that the Antinomians intend ere long to come with a petition to the Houses,” likely referring to the petition against the Covenant, denounced two days earlier in the Commons.15 Over the next two days, as the Assembly readied its report, debate flared over whether antinomianism reached the threshold of heresy. Several divines argued that it did: George Walker declared that to “prove them Heritiques and blasphemers is as easy as to stand up or sit downe.” The congregationalist Thomas Goodwin defied this logic. He declared of the antinomians that “I hate them as much as any. That liberty to vent those things, I am against it.” But he warned against a punitive approach, suggesting that “you would first convince, then admonish them, etc. thus I thinke you ought to deale with them. The parl[iaments] intent is not to give judgement in order to punishment, but your opinions.” While several speakers attacked Goodwin, his intervention blunted proceedings, and the Assembly on September 23 gave a report to the Commons that laid out the antinomians’ errors, but offered no determination on whether their errors amounted to punishable heresy.16 Again, the Commons showed little urgency, and two weeks passed without action. Among the tasks consuming MPs was the promulgation of the Covenant, first implemented in the city on October 1, with parishioners subscribing at Sunday service.17 Importantly, the Covenant was also, it seems, sent to parliament’s generals. How systematically it was imposed in the armies is uncertain. But John Lilburne, recently freed from his harrowing captivity at Oxford, claimed that in early October he abandoned Essex’s army on account of the earl’s “persecuting for non-taking the Covenant.” Lilburne now accepted an invitation from a more congenial figure— Oliver Cromwell—and repaired to Lincolnshire, where Cromwell secured him a major’s commission in the Eastern Association. Lilburne’s words suggest that he, and some other officers in Essex’s army, opposed the Covenant from the start; their public resistance apparently sounded the first serious note of religious dissonance in the armies.18 15  CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fols. 48r–50r. 16  MPWA, 2:145–9; CJ 3:252; BL, Hl. 165, fol. 197v. 17  Mercurius Civicus (Oct. 6, 1643/E.70[3]), 146, 152. Subscriptions continued on Oct. 8 and, in many places, long thereafter. 18 J. Lilburne, The Legall Fundamentall Liberties (1649), 23; J. Lilburne, Innocency and Truth Justified. First against the unjust aspertions of W. Prinn (1646), 41; J. Lilburne, The grand Plea of Lieut. Col. John Lilburne (1647), 2; J. Lilburne, The Just Defence of John Lilburn (1653), 5–6. Resistance likely centered on John Holmsted’s regiment, a radical puritan enclave. Lilburne later claimed that he left Essex’s army upon “Col. Homsteed, and all other non-conformists, Puritans, and Sectaries being daily discouraged and wearied out of that Army.” For Holmsted’s regiment, see R. Deane, A Copy of a Brief Treatise of The Proper Subject and Administration of Baptism (1693), 14.

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Meanwhile, in Westminster, ministers frustrated by delays in combating the antinomian menace warned the synod on October 9 that John Simpson, lecturer of St. Botolph Aldgate, “incouradged the Antinomians, and confessed that we ought not to confesse our sins.” An MP agreed to raise the matter again in parliament. Later that day, a complaint was lodged against Simpson in the Commons. Crucially, however, his theological deviance was not the marrow of the charge. Instead, it was alleged that “Mr Symson an Antinomian preachethe against the covenant.” Simpson was immediately removed from Aldgate’s pulpit.19 This perhaps provides evidence as to the makeup of the campaign against the Covenant in London.20 Simpson’s opposition—assuming the charge against him was true—was no doubt heightened by his recent treatment by the divines, who had harassed him in a manner disconcertingly familiar to the godly, offering an unpleasant premonition of a presbyterian future. Yet Simpson’s removal also underscores an important point about rising religious conflicts. Parliament’s primary concern was his resistance to the Covenant, a political instrument, ratified by ordinance. Where MPs were reluctant to move against antinomians for doctrinal error, no hesitation appeared when those opinions bled into the political sphere and challenged the dictates of the civil government. This concern with the dominion of the secular authorities conditioned the coming debates over church polity, as various disputants competed to portray themselves as pillars of good government and to tar opponents as enemies of civil order. Nevertheless, the Assembly’s divines remained intent on crushing antinomianism. The day after Simpson was suspended, a paper outlining his opinions was read. To push parliament to suppress “those damnable doctrines,” the Assembly framed another petition to the Commons. But when the petition was unveiled, the independents, including Goodwin, Bridge, and William Carter, objected in a manner reminiscent of Goodwin’s intervention two weeks earlier. The congregationalists pleaded to “be tender in this,” and called for offenders to be engaged in conference before definitive action was taken. They were overruled, and the petition was sent to parliament, but their plea for lenience is telling.21 It reveals a pattern that would shape the politics of the parliamentarian coalition. Perhaps partly out of awareness of incipient political collaboration in London, orthodox congregationalists, such as Goodwin and Bridge, found themselves increasingly making common cause with less respectable, doctrinally suspect figures at the margins of the parliamentary coalition. Over the years that followed, such congregationalists sculpted a carefully crafted political position, publicly disassociating themselves from sectarian error, while in practice and behind the scenes, often protecting and working with even the most outrageous sectarian elements in parliament’s camp.

19  MPWA, 2:172; CJ 3:268; BL, Yonge 2, fol. 62b. This was surely the Solemn League and Covenant, for immediately after, Yonge wrote that “Doctor Grante of St Bartholomews refusethe to administer yt.” 20  For other hints that antinomians fomented resistance to the Covenant, see The second Part of the Un-Deceiver (1643), 22–4. 21  MPWA, 2:179, 182–3; CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fols. 57v–58v; CJ 3:271–2.

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This unspoken set of compromises was one of the ligatures binding together the broad alliance here termed the “independent coalition.” The posture rendered these prominent divines vulnerable, however. For a start, it invited enemies to conflate congregationalists with more radical sectaries, already a staple of presbyterian polemic.22 And as the most respectable figureheads of “independency,” the magisterial congregationalists were liable to be blamed for actions of more extreme brethren. For example, in mid-October 1643 rumors were flying that Lord Saye had sent Philip Nye to Edinburgh as one of the negotiators in order “to hinder the Scots from comming in because they would hinder the setting up of an independent Government in Churches.”23 Ironically, Nye had recently been struggling to keep radical puritans onside by dissuading them from petitioning against the Covenant. The rumors about Saye and Nye were part of a broader wave of gossip. The next month, a tract posed the questions “Whether the Independents have hindred the Scots comeing in or no,” and “What may the Designe of the Independents be in this Kingdome?” While the author defended the independents as “zealous Patriots,” he also remarked that “I believe ere long, they will of their owne accord take of the cloude of misprision from their Principles, and meete us nearer than we yet suppose.”24 This attested to a rising sense that the congregationalists needed to clear themselves of “misprision” by specifying their vision of church order. The author may have known that London’s congregationalists had promised, as part of the 1641 “Aldermanbury Accord,” to give an explicit “model” of their ecclesiology; they failed to do so, and once the Assembly convened, the congregationalists came under growing pressure to produce the goods. Calls for such a model only grew after October 12, when parliament ordered the Assembly to drop the thirtynine articles and to tackle church government and liturgy. Again, impetus for this order appears to have come at least partly from the Scottish commissioners, who had recently arrived in London.25 The order exacerbated latent divisions over church government, leading to intense debate in the Assembly, which soon spread beyond Westminster. In ensuing weeks, contention over discipline and doctrine spilled over into the churches, houses, and streets of London. L O N D O N , T H E A S S E M B LY, A N D T H E M I C RO - P O L I T I C S OF RELIGIOUS DISPUTE In the Assembly’s debates, congregationalists found themselves at a severe numerical disadvantage. Perhaps to remedy this, on October 30 the upper house named two new clerics to the synod, Dr. John Goodwin and Dr. Nathaniel Holmes. Respected 22  Indeed, on Oct. 9, Peter Sterry, a congregationalist sympathizer, was attacked in the Assembly for perceived antinomian tendencies. MPWA, 2:177–8. 23  A Copy of a Letter Written to A Private Friend, To give him satisfaction in some things Touching the Lord Say (1643), 4. 24  The Compleate Intelligencer and Resolver (Nov. 14, 1643/E.75[32]), 45–7. 25  The order passed the Commons on Sept. 18, just after the Scots arrived. It stalled in the Lords for three weeks (CJ 3:242, 246; LJ 6:254).

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divines, both were also known congregationalists. Their selection bespoke backing in the upper house, with Saye and Wharton likely culprits.26 The Commons failed to respond, suggesting some discomfort with the choice. On November 7, the Westminster Assembly heard report of “one Mr. Anderson a plundered divine” who had been put forward for a benefice. Anderson had earlier been “turned back for want of orders,” but now brought a certificate of ordination. The Assembly then learned of a “company of ministers in the city that took on them to give orders.” On inquiry, it was “proved that Dr. Holmes and Mr. John Goodwin had ordained” Anderson. Holmes and Goodwin were accused of establishing themselves as a self-proclaimed ecclesiastical authority, and the lay members agreed to inform parliament. It was then alleged that the congregationalist Nicholas Lockyer “asperseth the Assembly in his sermons, and exhorteth to gather new churches.”27 The collective activities of Goodwin, Holmes, and Lockyer looked like proof of the anarchic consequences of independency. That the attack on Goodwin and Holmes followed their nomination to the Assembly was highly suspicious. The next day, William Bridge brought a paper from them, denying the charges. The congregationalists indignantly insisted that Goodwin and Holmes “know nothing of that for which they are accused.” Thomas Goodwin hinted at the malign intent behind the move: “Those men ware commanded by the Lords to be of this Assembly”; to inform parliament of the false charge “would be prejudiciall” to their appointment, and the divines demanded “satisfaction . . . to the men for the misreports . . . concerning them.”28 These hostile exchanges intensified in parallel with debates in the city. On November 3 the London turner Nehemiah Wallington wrote to his pastor, Henry Roborough, a member of the Assembly. “Hearing of some differances . . . about Church goverment,” Wallington had recently confronted a fellow puritan: “speaking to one of a Contrary Judgment And I heareing that he and others (whom I reverence) were . . . setteling a church by themselves I did bid him take heed what he did.” The unnamed saint “answred that they would doe nothing but by the rule of the word of God and bid me take heed of . . . resting upon mans judgment.” Wallington protested that he would “be guided by this great Assembly.” Wallington then asked his pastor for help in drafting reasons to gag “all those blacke mouths which shall be opened against you or any other of that Godly Assembly.” The gathering of churches was becoming a serious problem. By early 1643, Holmes, John Goodwin, and Henry Burton had formed churches in London, adding to the dozen or more separatist and anabaptist communions around the city.29 As Wallington’s dispute and Lockyer’s sermon suggest, those inclined to congregationalism felt growing pressure to formalize church relations in advance of a contrary settlement. Fellow puritans were being forced to take sides and commit themselves.30 26  LJ 6:283; J. Coffey, John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution (Woodbridge, 2006), 102–3, upon which this account builds. 27  Lightfoot, 13:42, 45–6. 28  MPWA, 2:292–3; Lightfoot, 13:46. 29 Coffey, Goodwin, 98–100; J. Halcomb, “A Social History of Congregational Religious Practice in the Puritan Revolution” (PhD diss., Cambridge University, 2010), 31. 30  BL, Sloane MS. 922, fols. 140r–141v.

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But this was not a one-way street, with events in the Assembly triggering responses in the city. Instead, conflicts in the city fed back into the Assembly, threatening to spill into parliament. Thus, on November 12, as the presbyterian Edmund Calamy scaled his pulpit, he was handed a manuscript, adducing scripture “to prove that it was not lawfull for a sinod to set up government.” Calamy answered these criticisms. The next day, when the Assembly met, Cornelius Burges moved to “renew our information . . . to the . . . Commons, concerning the clancular ordinations and gathering churches in London,” and he was seconded by the presbyterian, Lazarus Seaman. Then, Calamy reported the ticket handed to him the day before.31 In a move suggesting these maneuvers were coordinated, a note was produced from “Mr. Arthur Swanwicke,” draper of St. Andrew Hubbard, local assessment collector, and future presbyterian elder. Swanwicke “relateth that . . . some have complained that they could not have freedome of speech in the Assembly.”32 It was voted that all should be reported to parliament, suggesting a multi-pronged assault on independency. Although exploited by the Assembly divines, Calamy’s pulpit ticket and Swanwicke’s information show that external pressure was now forcing its way into the synod. Moreover, these disputes swiftly ricocheted back to the city: in the following days, John Goodwin responded by answering Calamy in a sermon.33 The external pressures on the Assembly were soon amplified by the Scottish ecclesiastical commissioners in London, who on November 14 submitted a paper detailing central aspects of the presbyterian system; in subsequent days, the Scots, who had previously remained quiet in the Assembly, began to participate more actively. Over time, the Scots would serve as a nerve center for presbyterianism in London, working closely with English allies in the Assembly, coordinating publicity campaigns, and providing a point of contact with powerful MPs.34 Considerable sympathy with the Scots already existed among city clergy. On November 20, the Assembly received a letter from unnamed ministers in London, which included a plea “against Brownism, Anabaptism, Antinomianism,” and remonstrated “Against the gathering of churches.”35 This was the first organized bid by ministers outside the Assembly to sway the synod, marking an important step in the emergence of a self-conscious presbyterian grouping in London. As we have seen, the first signs of such a grouping had appeared as early as 1641, but the campaigns, first against antinomianism, then against congregationalism, now forged a more organized network of ministers in the Assembly and the city, entangling eager lay folk such as Swanwicke and Wallington; those involved in this 31  MPWA, 2:311; BL, Yonge 3, fol. 10a; Lightfoot, 13:50. 32 Lightfoot, 13:50; LMA, COL/CHD/MN/03/001, bk. 1, fol. 13v; SP 28/170, unfol.; C.E. Surman, ed., The Register-Booke of the Fourth Classis in the Province of London, 1646–1659, Publications of the Harleian Society (1952–3), 82–3, 154. 33  BL, Yonge 3, fol. 10a. 34 Lightfoot, 13:50–3; V. Pearl, “London Puritans and Scotch Fifth Columnists: A MidSeventeenth Century Phenomenon,” in A. E. J. Hollaender and W. Kellaway, eds., Studies in London History Presented to Philip Edmund Jones (London, 1969), 317–31. 35  Lightfoot, 13:56–7.

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network harbored important differences over ecclesiology, but they were now being drawn together against an independent and sectarian threat.36 Not coincidentally, these issues erupted in the Commons that day. The catalyst was a reminder from the peers about the nomination of Goodwin and Holmes to the Assembly. Someone now informed “against Mr Goodwin and Dr. Holmes for ordayninge of ministers.” Worse, Goodwin allegedly claimed “he could not administer the sacraments to any . . . not of his congregation.” The house then learned of the hostile paper thrust into Calamy’s hand in church, and the dueling sermons of Calamy and Goodwin. Strikingly, the debate was carried to undermine the independents’ standing. The dubious charges against Goodwin and Holmes were peddled as proven fact, and it was hinted that independents denied parliamentary— indeed, all civil—authority. John Glyn opined that “no government cann be introduced but by authority of parliament These men affirme that no private secular man may exercise eccl[esiast]i[c]all but an eccl[esiasti]i[c]all man,” implying independents denied parliament’s jurisdiction over the church. MPs heard that the manuscript foisted on Calamy sought “to knowe upon what authority the assembly is called,” thus impugning parliament’s right to settle religion (and hinting that Goodwin, refuting Calamy, likewise questioned that right). But the most damning charge was that the independents “tell us they are Jure divino and therefore the parliament have noe power over them.” Once again, the house ignored the intrusion of religious conflict until it impinged on civil authority, at which point stern action followed. The Commons vetoed the nominations of Goodwin and Holmes, and ordered the Committee for Plundered Ministers to look into those presuming “to give Orders” as well as the problem of those taking “Liberty . . . to gather Churches, contrary to the Laws . . . and Authority of Parliament.”37 Already under pressure to clarify their stance on church government, the congregationalists in the Assembly now found themselves in serious difficulty. Attempts to bolster their numbers had been defeated; their activities and ideological integrity had been questioned in the Commons; and the house had taken notice of the gathering of churches, beginning formal proceedings hinting at the suppression of such churches. In the next six weeks, congregationalist leaders engaged in intensive efforts to repair their standing and to stake out a polemical position to fend off these attacks. A first effort came on November 29, when William Bridge preached a fast sermon before the Commons. Bridge asked, “who is fit to be a member of a true Church?” responding, “He that hath cleane hands, and a pure heart,” suggesting that true churches were gathered groups of visible saints. He likewise insisted that, in the early church, “the Congregations had the power of Chusing their owne Ministers.” For him, parochial control over selection of ministers (carefully omitting overarching, presbyterian oversight) was a touchstone of Christ’s church. More ominously, 36 For these ties and differences, see E. Vernon, “The Sion College Conclave and London Presbyterianism during the English Revolution” (PhD diss., Cambridge University, 1999), 77–111; H. Powell, The Crisis of British Protestantism: Church Power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–44 (Manchester, 2015), 181–220. 37  BL, Yonge 3, fol. 10a; CJ 3:316.

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Bridge also echoed a more strident note of emerging independent polemic. He warned against the appearance of a persecuting disposition among the godly: “Oh what a sad thing is this that the spirit of the Papists should live in Protestants! . . . that the spirit of Prelats should live in those . . . risen up to . . . cast them out!”38 Later that day, Bridge’s sermon was attacked for tending “to the maintenance of independency,” and some MPs unsuccessfully tried to deny the customary invitation to publish his sermon.39 Bridge’s performance both responded to and contributed to the ongoing wrestling match in the city and Assembly. Perhaps because parliament had signaled a desire to halt the gathering of congregations, efforts were now made to mediate an agreement and Stephen Marshall brokered a deal with the Assembly’s congregationalists. A statement was drafted, calling for people to desist from gathering new churches, but in highly conciliatory terms.40 The text noted that many “we . . . love in the Lord, are . . . entring themselves into Church-societies,” but asked readers patiently to await parliament and the Assembly for reformation. Yet assurances were also given that the settlement would “preserve . . . the rights of particular Congregations, according to the Word, and to beare with such whose Consciences cannot in all things conforme to the publicke Rule, so farre as the word of God would have them borne withall.” Thus, even as the statement asked readers “to forbeare for a convenient time the joyning of themselves into Church-societies,” it held out large, albeit vague, promises of toleration. This statement was presented to the Assembly on December 22, having already been signed, it seems, by twenty-one divines, including the chief congregationalists. It was soon printed as Certaine Considerations to Dis-swade Men from Further Gathering of Churches in this present juncture of Time (1643).41 While on the face of it this seemed a statesmanlike triumph, the bartering that produced the document was contentious: it was first “urged that they should lay downe and resigne the churches they had already gathered; but when that could not be obtained, the other was accepted.”42 Still, the divines had found a formula that seemingly defused conflict over gathering churches and staved off disciplinary action from parliament. The Scots were unhappy about the accord. In Robert Baillie’s words, “I truelie wish it had never been moved; for I expect more evill to our cause from it than good.” Baillie suspected that the Considerations prompted the next intrusion from outside. On December 28, the divine John Lightfoot was called out and handed a bundle of books “directed to the Assembly from Amsterdam from one of the separation, in which he pleadeth that we are bound . . . to tolerate all sects.” This was surely An Exhortation Unto the Learned Divines assembled at Westminster, by the 38  W. Bridge, A Sermon Preached Before the Honourable House of Commons (1643), 19–21, 28. 39  BL, Hl. 165, fol. 221r. 40  Baillie, 2:118, claimed it was “drawn up by Mr. Marshall, in the name of the cheefe men of the Assemblie, and the chief . . . Independents . . . and by their advyce . . . published”; CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fol. 71v (Lightfoot, 13:92). 41  Certaine Considerations to Dis-swade Men from Further Gathering of Churches in this present juncture of Time (1643), 1, 3, 5. 42  CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fol. 71v (Lightfoot, 13:92).

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separatist greybeard Leonard Busher of Amsterdam. On Baillie’s account, the book, delivered by “some of the Anabaptists,” was prefaced by a cover letter, “enveighing against our Covenant.” The next day, when the clerk offered to read the letter and book, there was hot debate, with “Goodwin, Nye, and their partie, by all means pressing the neglect, contempt, and suppressing all such fantastick papers; others were as vehement for taking notice of them, that the Parliament might be acquaint therewith, to see to the remedie of these dangerous sects.” Goodwin, Nye, and their allies argued that the book and letter should simply be ignored, suggesting that such “fantastick” ramblings did not merit serious consideration. Their opponents, by contrast, wanted the pamphlet and its promoters reported to parliament. In the end, the matter was buried in committee, “but manie marvelled at Goodwin and Nye’s vehemencie.”43 Their tactic, however, matched their earlier posture over antinomianism, when they repudiated anti-legal error, even as they shielded accused antinomians from serious consequences. A N A P O LO G E T I C A L L N A R R AT I O N Meanwhile, the Assembly’s congregationalists were quietly planning a grander political intervention. On December 30, two days after the Considerations on gathering churches appeared in print, An Apologeticall Narration, Humbly Submitted to the Honourable Houses of Parliament was licensed for press. Signed by five leading ministers—Bridge, Nye, Burroughs, Goodwin, and Sidrach Simpson—this brief pamphlet was released in early January.44 The Narration professed to offer an account of congregationalist practice and belief, as the authors put it (in terms similar to those used in the pamphlet press a month earlier), to dispel “the cloud of mistakes and misapprehensions” obscuring their opinions.45 The Narration was vague on precise details of church governance, seeking to reassure readers that congregationalists, while prioritizing particular congregations, held that each church was to remain in communion with all others, and could participate in synods and consultations (although not, if one reads the fine print, synods with coercive power). The apologists emphasized their connection to existing reformed churches, stressed their own orthodoxy, and insisted they had always regarded the English church as a true church. Thus, a central argument was that “in the chief and fundamental point of all Church discipline. . .we differ much from” outright separatists. As they wrote, “we beleeve the truth to . . . consist in a middle way betwixt that which is falsly charged on us, Brownisme; and that which is the contention of these

43  Baillie, 2:121; CUL, MS. Dd.14.21, fols. 72–3 (Lightfoot, 13:93); [L. Busher,] An Exhortation Unto the Learned Divines (Amsterdam, 1643). 44  SR, 1:92. Thomason dated his copy Jan. 3. Claims that the pamphlet was not released until later are incorrect. Mercurius Britanicus (Jan. 10, 1644/E.81[20]), sig. A4v, on Jan. 10 referred to a book “of late . . . set out” by “Goodwin . . . Nye . . . Bridges . . . Simpson . . . Burroughs,” then summarized the Narration. 45  An Apologeticall Narration, Humbly Submitted to the Honourable Houses of Parliament (1644), 23.

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times, the authoritative Presbyteriall Government.”46 The goal was to distance congregationalism from sectarian taint (particularly important since, behind the scenes, the “dissenting brethren” were protecting sectaries of various hue). Claims to orthodoxy and anti-sectarianism were part of a broader strategy to cast the congregational way as inherently moderate and peaceable.47 In this vein, the pamphlet repudiated “That proud and insolent title of Independencie . . . the very sound of which conveys . . . an exemption of all Churches from all subjection and dependance, or rather a trumpet of defiance against what ever Power, Spirituall or Civill.” This was a deft rhetorical move, which glossed over the fact that the “dissenting brethren” had themselves helped to popularize the nomenclature of “independency” in the famed tract, A Glimpse of Sions Glory. Yet it also served to introduce a more subtle theme: the pamphlet left no doubt that parliament was the “Supreame Judicatory of this Kingdome,” that congregationalism could coexist “with the peace of any form of Civil Government,” and that congregationalists “professe[d] ever to submit” to the “Magistrates interposing power” in religious affairs. Indeed, the apologists positively welcomed the intervention of “the Magistrates power,” “to which we give as much, and (as we think) more, then the principles of the Presbiteriall government will suffer them to yeeld.”48 This argument was carefully crafted to undermine the destructive charges leveled against the congregationalists in the Commons a month earlier, and it was to become a recurrent motif of independent propaganda. The publication of the Narration has always been something of a mystery: why, at this stage, did the “dissenting brethren” break the mutual silence of the “Aldermanbury Accord,” particularly when only a few days earlier, they had engaged in a backroom deal to defuse these controversies? Indeed, the congregationalists may have regarded the Narration as a kind of “counter-ballance” to the Consider­ ations on gathering churches. Thomas Edwards made precisely this argument, suggesting that the Considerations had irritated independent allies, “many of them greatly exclaiming against” the dissenting brethren for signing the document, which in turn forced them to preserve their credibility by releasing the Narration.49 At a broader level, however, An Apologeticall Narration was an artful response to the increasingly dangerous political situation. It pretended to satisfy growing calls for a public statement of their opinions, while giving few hostages to fortune and striking a tone of submissive moderation. At the same time, it sought to shut down the polemical vulnerabilities critics had exploited against them, most notably their apparent ties to the sectaries and the recent portrayal of independents as enemies of parliament’s authority. 46  Apologeticall Narration, 24. 47  See, more generally, E. Shagan, “Rethinking Moderation in the English Revolution: The Case of An Apologeticall Narration,” in S. Taylor and G. Tapsell, eds., The Nature of the English Revolution Revisited (Woodbridge, 2013), 36–47. 48  Apologeticall Narration, 1, 3–4, 17, 19, 23. 49  T. Edwards, Antapologia: Or, A Full Answer to the Apologeticall Narration (1644), 6; for “independent” criticism of Considerations, see [W. Walwyn,] The Compassionate Samaritane: Unbinding The Conscience (1644), 44–5; for alarm when Considerations was sent to Great Yarmouth’s gathered church, see Halcomb, “Social History,” 33.

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If the goal was to forestall further criticism, the tract was a dismal failure. Despite its tone, An Apologeticall Narration ignited considerable controversy, and historians have often regarded its publication as the opening shot in the great battle over church government. As we have seen here, however, the Narration stood not at the beginning, but at the culmination of an increasingly acrimonious series of conversations, debates, and political machinations, some very uncivil in character, which had been escalating in London for months. What appeared a humble statement of irenic moderation was therefore regarded not as an olive branch, but as a flaming javelin, hurled into the public arena in defiance of a string of deals brokered to contain the growing disputes over church government. ROY A L I S T P L OT T I N G A N D R E L I G I O U S “ PA RT Y ” P O L I T I C S These disputes had not gone unnoticed at Oxford. In late 1643, as news trickled to the royalist capital, the king sought to exploit emerging divisions between presbyterians and independents. The first attempt was hatched in October 1643 by the royalist prisoner Thomas Ogle, held in Winchester House under Thomas Devenish, John Goodwin’s follower. Ogle learned of the petitioning campaign triggered by the Covenant, as well as the rising tide of independent discontent. Ogle sent a letter to the Earl of Bristol at Oxford, suggesting that if the independents were offered toleration, they could be split from the presbyterians and their Scottish allies, shattering parliament’s coalition. Bristol responded positively, the king was alerted, and plans were made to woo the independents, first secretly, and then later by formalizing this commitment to them through the upcoming Oxford Parliament. Unbeknownst to Ogle, however, Devenish and his allies were serving as double agents. Devenish got Ogle to pawn him his seal, thus allowing Devenish to cut a duplicate, giving the keeper secret access to Ogle’s correspondence. Others were recruited: the ministers Nye and John Goodwin both entered the operation, as did Lt. Col. John Mosely, acting commander of Aylesbury garrison, and almost certainly a member of Goodwin’s gathered church.50 The design, along with copies of intercepted correspondence, was revealed to a handful of MPs and lords, who monitored the operation. A subterfuge was concocted, in which Devenish and his son pledged to raise 200 soldiers for the king, ostensibly to plant them as a royalist Trojan horse into parliament’s garrison at Windsor; meanwhile, Mosely feigned intention to betray Aylesbury to a party of royalists; having arrived at the gates, the Cavaliers were to be cut off from Oxford by forces sent to surprise them from behind. The fiction was nursed for many weeks. Goodwin and Nye corresponded with Ogle; Ogle was allowed to “escape” from custody, permitting him to return to Oxford; finally, in January, the scrivener Richard Price, another member of 50  His 1651 will named Mark Hildesley executor and was witnessed by Daniel Taylor (both leaders of Goodwin’s church). TNA, PROB 11/218/273; for original signatures, confirming identity, cf. PROB 10/736, “John Mosely”; SP 28/8, fol. 154.

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Goodwin’s church and latterly one of the organizers of the Remonstrance of March 30, was dispatched to Oxford, where he met with Charles I, who gave his word that if “the independents would turne . . . and be active for him against the Parliament . . . then he would grant them whatsoever freedom they would desire.”51 Meanwhile, in the same weeks, the king launched an even more ambitious design: using Lord Lovelace as intermediary, around January 4 Charles sent a letter to Sir Henry Vane Jr., intimating that Lovelace would “Impart some Proposicions” tending “to Publique Peace.”52 Vane, who emerged after Pym’s death as a leader of the Commons, was known to be the chief supporter of independency at Westminster. Vane decided to play along. But as with Devenish, his goal was to lay a trap. He secretly informed four MPs—St. John, Browne, Hesilrige, and Lenthall—and the Scots’ commissioners of Lovelace’s approach. Together, the MPs and Scots dispatched Moses Wall, the Earl of Warwick’s chaplain, to gather intelligence.53 Wall met Lovelace at Henley, receiving proposals for Vane’s consideration. First, Wall was told that “the King did Esteeme . . . Vane and his Party, the honestest Men of them that stooke to the Parliament; And that the King would . . . preferr them before any other,” and second, “That the King will yeild to the Disannulling of Lawes . . . against tender Consciences.”54 The king hoped that promises of toleration might entice the independent “Party” to turn against parliament. These hopes turned out to be pure fantasy. When the royalists arrived at Aylesbury on January 21, having marched through a snowstorm to take the garrison, they found themselves betrayed. Although they evaded parliament’s flanking operation, the freezing weather inflicted losses on the king’s army. The carefully managed stratagem was then revealed to parliament, and finally—shorn of details of spycraft—to the public.55 The proffer to Vane, by contrast, sparked serious conflict. On January 17, perhaps concerned that word of his contacts with the enemy might leak, Vane revealed to the lower house details of his “negotiations” with the king’s side. Getting wind of these transactions, Essex quickly moved to have Vane and his collaborators tried by court martial for treasonable correspondence with the enemy. He ordered his Advocate, Isaac Dorislaus, to examine Wall and the Westminster divine Peter Sterry (who confided with Vane in planning the design). Alerted to Essex’s inquiries, Vane and his allies lodged a furious complaint in the lower house on January 24. This not only made Essex look ridiculous—it was clear that Vane had been engineering an intelligence operation, not seriously treating with the enemy—but also cast the earl’s maneuvers as an affront to the house’s autonomy. The affair, the Londoner Thomas Juxon wrote, provoked great offence in the Commons, where the attack on Vane and the others was dubbed a second “accusing of the five members,” 51  LJ 6:394; CJ 3:378; Gardiner, “A Secret Negociation,” 1–37; J. G. Muddiman, ed., Trial of King Charles I (Edinburgh and London, 1928), 22–3; Bod. L., MS. Nalson 1, fols. 27r, 31r. 52  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/163 (Jan. 24, 1644), fol. 57r–v. 53  Baillie, 2:135–6; N. Malcolm, “Moses Wall: Millenarian, Tolerationist, and Friend of Milton,” The Seventeenth Century, 27 (2012), 25–53. 54  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/163 ( Jan. 24, 1644), fol. 58r–v. 55  LJ 6:394; CJ 3:378; Parliament Scout (Feb. 2, 1644/E.31[7]), 269–70.

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and where it was much resented that Essex “should seem to exercise a power over the members” and thus “bring the parliament under the power of the army.”56 The affair thus served to drive a deeper wedge between Essex and his friends, on one side, and the war-party configuration surrounding Vane, St. John, and others, on the other. Yet Juxon also thought the affair unchained the independents’ enemies in London. On January 22, five days after Vane’s dealings were exposed, a bid was made in London’s Common Council to have the city petition parliament to “speed the settlement of the Church Government” and to urge that “private persons may be prohibited to anticipate the wisdome of both houses of Parliament by assembling themselves togeather and excercising of Church Discipline without the warrant of the Civill power.”57 We know nothing about the promoters of this measure, but Juxon claimed that when “the king sought to draw to the Independents to him,” the petition was pressed in Common Council with the intention “to disengage the same persons” and to provoke them “to do something in defence of themselves.”58 Juxon believed news that the independents were treating with the king elicited an attempt to provoke them to betray or abandon the cause. In the end, cooler heads evidently prevailed. No such petition ever emerged from committee. But, crucially, the whole chain of events began with the king’s efforts to exploit spiraling divisions between independents and their presbyterian critics, setting off a reaction in London, as critics of independency sought for the first time to use institutions of the city to pressure parliament over church government, an ill omen of the future. In various ways, then, emergent religious divisions threatened to destabilize the parliamentary coalition by the end of 1643. This is what energized the strident tolerationist cries of The Power of Love and Lawrence Sanders’s The Fulnesse of Gods Love, in turn fueling the bid to suppress that book. As we have seen, enthusiasts on both sides of the divide eagerly stoked the conflict, pursuing it in the pulpits and back rooms of London, and trying to push the issue into parliament’s purview. Moreover, the Scots’ arrival and the scheming at Oxford exacerbated tensions. There were certainly those in the Assembly, and even some MPs, who were eager to carry these emerging disputes into the two houses. But importantly, attempts to force religious issues into parliament largely failed. Despite countless hours spent on the antinomian threat, the Assembly divines succeeded in silencing just one minister—John Simpson.59 Although activists scotched the appointments of Goodwin and Holmes to the synod, they did so only by playing up the supposedly lawless political consequences of independency. So, too, they failed to suppress Bridge’s sermon and obtained no official action against gathering congregations. Essex’s move against Vane collapsed. In short, it seems that most Roundheads continued in late 1643 to judge that the war effort demanded a unified front. MPs proved unwilling to act against committed parliamentarians, whatever their precise 56  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/163 (Jan. 24, 1644), fols. 55–63; BL, Whit., fols. 108v–111r; Baillie, 2:135–6; Juxon, 40–3; CJ 3:375–6. 57  LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fol. 86r–v. 58  Juxon, 43. 59  In Aug. 1644, a source also claimed that Giles Randall “for his Anabaptism, was removed,” hinting he was disciplined, but independent evidence is lacking. CJ 3:584.

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spiritual predilections—until, that is, a case was made that religious opinions spilled into the political sphere in a way that undermined parliament’s authority or the war effort. There was, then, an increasingly polarized situation in London. Clerical and lay activists were breaking into factions, and attempting to leverage their factional preferences into the parliamentary arena, through petitions and selective sorties against enemies. For a long time, however, the two houses resisted such intrusions. But the pressure grew in 1644. The final stage, in which the parliamentary coalition fractured into something more like “independent” and “presbyterian” factions, came only slowly, as outside pressure gradually impinged on the two houses. At this point, older factional alignments—the division between war-party zealots like Vane and peace-party friends of Essex—dovetailed with emerging religious conflicts. The result was a complicated configuration in which the houses were polarized (although never absolutely) into groupings that grew out of, and were overlaid upon, the older factional configuration, but in which religion now played a central and increasingly predominant role. The story of how and why this happened will be chronicled below.

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9 Print House, Petitions, and Provinces Religious Politics, Toleration, and the Making of an “Independent” Coalition The spiritual struggles roiling the Roundhead camp by early 1644 introduced new dimensions of conflict to the parliamentarian coalition, cutting across prior factional alignments, and rendering the politico-religious situation more fraught and complicated. This complexity increased as religious divisions percolated beyond London, afflicting localities and spreading to parliament’s armies. Meanwhile, amid this mounting conflict, processes of ideological change and rupture continued apace, as new patterns of thought appeared or solidified, in association with rising factional infighting. This chapter shifts between parallel fields of investigation to chart the creeping advance of conflict and change across several theaters; it begins with illicit print, exploring new religious ideas on display and the shifting conditions of the press in London. It then surveys the process whereby religious dispute began to intensify and to migrate, in parallel, in three distinct domains: first, Westminster and the capital, then the parliamentarian armies, and finally the localities. The spread of religious controversy into the armies and provinces is a multifaceted subject, deserving a separate study in its own right. The present account thus focuses on two case studies, the Eastern Association army and Hertfordshire. Examination of parallel streams of events in multiple theaters allows us to see the coalescence, in clearer terms, of an “independent” alliance or coalition that was now decisively taking shape. But the analysis here also shows that these processes were not just parallel; they were also interlinked. Charting the crystallization of a new “independent coalition” across these domains reveals the emerging outline of a distinctive political infrastructure, which both facilitated, and was in turn facilitated by, the conflicts described here. Parliament’s infant military and bureaucratic apparatus, in particular, created a matrix through which religious and political ideas and controversies spread rapidly across these various domains, pulsating from London into other parts of the country with great speed and organizational efficiency. Yet, at the same time, these same bureaucratic and military structures became sites of contestation, as rival groups sought to gain predominance over opponents. All of this ensured that the flow was not one-way, with disharmony emanating from London; instead, conflicts in army and countryside were recycled back to the capital and centers of

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power at Westminster, further inflaming dispute there. The conditions of civil war were thus, inadvertently, creating circuitry for focused, intensive organization and conflict—indeed, for a kind of sustained partisan politics, centering on London, but with spokes reaching out into the rest of the country. This circuitry was composed in part of parliament’s new committees, officials, and armies, and in part of overlapping, preexisting communities of political activists, who now exploited techniques and associational forms analyzed in preceding chapters, including the calculated use of the press, concerted petitioning campaigns, and the mobilization of gathered churches or fraternities of local ministers and their backers. This chapter illustrates the basic outlines of this emerging infrastructure. S E E K I N G TO L E R AT I O N : RO G E R W I L L I A M S , G R E G O RY DEXTER, AND RADICAL ANTI-FORMALISM Central to this emerging circuitry, of course, was the print trade, which continued both to reflect and to exacerbate new religious divisions. The days after the publication of Mans Mortallitie saw the release of several equally sensational works of propaganda. On February 2, 1644, Thomason acquired the second, enlarged edition of John Milton’s The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, the poet’s famously controversial defense of divorce. The first, unlicensed edition appeared in August 1643, without Milton’s name, but bearing the initials of its printers Thomas Paine and Matthew Simmons. Milton’s authorship of the book was an open secret, and he thus opted to attach his name to the expanded version of his tract, which bore a new dedication to parliament. Rising political tensions convinced its publishers to remain anonymous; the work bore no imprint or colophon. There is, however, no doubt about the printer. Through detailed comparison of ornaments and distinctively broken pica letters, it has been demonstrated that the edition was certainly produced using the materials of Gregory Dexter.1 This is unsurprising; Dexter and Oulton published some of Milton’s first pamphlets in the early 1640s.2 Given Dexter’s willingness to handle inflammatory material, he was a natural choice for Milton’s new edition. Three days later, on February 5, Thomason acquired Mr. Cottons Letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answered by Roger Williams. Although published without imprint, it was executed in the same typeface and ornaments as Milton’s Doctrine and Discipline. Minute comparison of broken letters has again established beyond doubt that Dexter was responsible—hardly a surprise, since a few months earlier, he had openly published Williams’s first book.3 This new, more incendiary tract represented the first printed shot in a protracted contest between Williams and 1  D. Como, “Print, Censorship, and Ideological Escalation in the English Civil War,” JBS, 51 (2012), 831–2, 849–57; Mr. Cottons Letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answered (1643). 2  W. R. Parker, “Contributions toward a Milton Bibliography,” The Library, 4th ser., 16 (1936), 425–38. 3  Como, “Censorship,” 830–4, 846–57.

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John Cotton, in which the two men disputed the details of Williams’s exile from Massachusetts, as well as broader questions of religious toleration. Appearing almost simultaneously was the pamphlet Queries of Highest Consider­ ation, Proposed to the five Holland Ministers and Scotch Commissioners (So Called.) Upon occasion of their late Printed Apologies for themselves and their Churches. Although anonymous, this tract, too, was surely written by Williams, as established by later generations of scholarship. Again, the work showed ornaments and damaged broken letters found in the stock of Gregory Dexter, leaving no doubt that he printed it.4 Queries of Highest Consideration and Mr. Cottons Letter began to outline the wider argument for spiritual liberty that would soon be associated with Williams’s name. Both tracts rejected the New England Way, claiming that congregationalists’ refusal to separate decisively from antichrist, their persecutory practices, and their muddling of the spiritual and secular realms represented egregious affronts to God’s will. As its title indicated, Queries was aimed particularly at the “dissenting brethren,” whose recent Apologeticall Narration sought to disassociate congregationalism from the sects, while ascribing the magistrate a key role in regulating religion. This posture irritated some sectarian sympathizers, who expected better from “independent” divines seen as natural allies. Williams, however, harbored no illusions about the dangers of New England-style congregationalism, and he stigmatized the apologists as “Dutch,” lumping them with that other foreign presence, the Scots. Both were then informed that “the Common-weale cannot without a spirituall rape force the consciences of all to one Worship,” and ultimately, that the idea of an overarching “Nationall Church” was built upon Mosaic principles. Christ’s church was wholly spiritual, bearing no relation to the temporal state or mechanisms of magisterial coercion. Pushing towards the extreme formulation Williams would develop in his later works, he hinted that coercion of papists was equally illegitimate, suggesting that although Catholics may have slaughtered Protestants, it was crucial to ask “whether or no the Lawes inacted, and Violence offred even to the Consciences of the Papists themselves, have not kindled these devouring flames.”5 These were all themes elaborated at great length in Williams’s more famous tract, The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, a few months later. There was nothing shockingly novel about these arguments; parallel claims had been made in the early 1640s by ultra-separatists such as Lilburne and Edward Barber (with Lilburne preempting Williams by three years in decrying New Englanders for their category confusions and persecutions). But Williams’s insistent elaboration of the theme in 1644 made the case standard and widely available. And he was coaxed into action partly by An Apologeticall Narration. Thus, London’s rising religious disputes did not simply create two homogeneous parties; as groups articulated their respective visions, new fault lines emerged. In this case, an ultratolerationist position, born at the separatist fringe, was being sharpened and dispersed in direct response to An Apologeticall Narration, which forced a closer 4  Como, “Censorship,” 830–4, 846–57. 5  Queries of Highest Consideration, Proposed to the five Holland Ministers and Scotch Commissioners (1643), 3, 6–8.

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look at the New England polity, with the result that sectarian sympathizers now formulated more extreme, fully conceptualized cases for liberty of conscience. Ironically, then, An Apologeticall Narration helped generate some of the more influential and celebrated civil-war arguments for religious toleration, which began to appear in early 1644. Yet it should also be stressed that the seeds had been planted years before in New England—Williams was merely transporting a longstanding argument back across the Atlantic to England, where it was now ripe for wider consumption. Williams’s two pamphlets also imported another ideological development from North America. By 1644, Williams had moved far beyond the rough congregational ecclesiology shared by both the “dissenting brethren” and sectaries such as Lilburne. Williams was banished from Massachusetts Bay chiefly for his incorrigible separatism. Soon after his flight to Providence, and in anticipation of many English separatists, Williams in 1639 rejected infant baptism and underwent rebaptism.6 Yet matters did not rest here; Providence served as a laboratory for further spiritual experimentation, and by 1643, when Williams returned to seek a  patent for his new colony, he had arrived at an even more exotic position.7 This stance was the stuff of gossip in London by June 1644; as the Scot Robert Baillie wrote, “Mr. Williams has drawn a great number after him, to a singular Independencie, denying any true church in the world, and will have every man to serve God by himselfe alone, without any church at all. This man hes made a great and bitter schisme latelie among the Independents.” Other observers reinforced this picture, leaving no doubt that Williams had passed through separatism and anabaptism, arriving at a position in which he argued that all churches were vitiated by anti-Christian corruption.8 Williams was circumspect in his own writings. Only later did he admit explicitly that he had abandoned all church ordinances, providing more extensive justification of his stance.9 Nevertheless, one of the tracts of early 1644 contained suggestive hints. In the prefatory epistle to Mr. Cottons Letter Lately Printed, Williams concluded with a series of scriptural verses, bound by a common theme: “There is a seeking of the God of Israel” (Ezek. 13); “Gods promise assures us, that his people returning from Captivity, shall seeke him and pray and find him” (Jer. 27); “Gods Angel comforts those against all feares, that seeke Jesus” (Mark 16); “seekest that true Lord Jesus” (Heb. 7). Williams summed up the message in this way: “If him thou seekest in these searching times, mak’st him alone thy white and soules beloved, willing to follow and be like him in doing . . . although thou find’st him not in the restauration of his Ordinances, according to his first Patterne.” Christians 6  R. S. Dunn, J. Savage, and L. Yeandle, eds., The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630–1649 (Cambridge, MA, 1996), 286. 7  T. Lechford, New-Englands Advice to Old-England (1644), 42, showing that Williams adopted the stance by Jan. 1642. 8  Baillie, 2:191–2; J. Cotton, The Bloudy Tenent, Washed, And made white (1647), 54, ascribed to Williams the view “that since the Apostasie of Antichrist, Antichrist hath so farre prevailed against Christ, and his Kingdome, that he hath no Church, nor Church-Officers left upon . . . earth to this day”; G. Fox and J. Burnyeat, A New-England Fire-Brand Quenched (1678), sig. Hhh4r. 9  R. Williams, George Fox Digg’d out of his Burrowes (Boston, 1676), 102–4.

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were thus to seek God ceaselessly, despite the failure of attempts at reformation. But as Williams promised such seekers, “Yet shalt thou see him, raigne with him, eternally admire him, and enjoy him, when he shortly comes in flaming fire to burne up millions of ignorant and disobedient.” In the margin, he boiled down the message: “Whole hearted seekers the only seekers of Christ Jesus” and “Seekers of Christ are sure of a gracious answere.”10 The motto “Seekers of Christ” was of central importance: Williams was adopting the phrase as a term of self-description. It quickly caught on in London. As noted above, in the tempest of theological speculation at the sectarian margins of the godly community, some professors, at once frustrated and excited by the quest for “new light,” were sidling towards similar positions. Chapter 15 will show there were subtly different flavors of such extreme “anti-formalism.” But a growing number of godly people by 1644 were ready to reject all or most church “ordinances,” including baptism and the eucharist. Williams was a figure of great stature, recently back from the colony he had founded on tolerationist principles, and he served as a magnet for like-minded people. Some of London’s new anti-formalist extremists joined him in embracing the name “seeker,” which (as Williams’s own words prove), unlike many contemporary epithets, was a badge of self-description from the start. As one critic later wrote, Williams “became the Father of the Seekers in London.”11 It is tempting to see this anti-formalist turn as a rejection of the overheated search for purity that characterized civil-war England. Fatigue, confusion, and backbiting among God’s people surely played a role; but it would be unwise to mistake the “seeking” posture as one of defeat or indifference; as Williams’s words show, it was a position suffused with eschatological expectation and zeal. It will be recalled that, in 1641, one of the “dissenting brethren” had excitedly questioned whether the subjects of Christ’s kingdom on earth would have any need of ordinances. “Seekers” and other anti-formalists were often inspired by a similar mixture of eschatological pessimism and optimism: anti-Christian apostasy had infected all church forms and the only alternative was to seek God and wait for his prophets to arrive, an eventuality which, owing to new light breaking into the world, was perceived as imminent. Paradoxically, far from retiring into quietude, many chief adherents of these ideas thus promoted their positions with evangelical enthusiasm. Williams’s words also reveal that his message of toleration was itself intimately tied to broader eschatological expectation. The fall of anti-Christian persecution was seen as essential to the drama of apocalyptic change, but it was also the means through which God would effect this change.12 Williams thus directed Queries of Highest Consideration to parliament, imploring the houses to abandon projects to legislate the English church into conformity with the Scottish or “New-English 10 Williams, Mr. Cottons Letter, “To the Impartiall Reader.” The body of the tract had been written in 1638–40 (that is, before his turn to anti-formalism). It thus located God’s true church in “particular churches” (p. 24). 11  R. Baxter, Plain Scripture Proof of Infants Church-membership (1651), 147. 12  For the counterintuitive link between toleration and millenarianism, see A. Walsham, Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England (Manchester, 2006), 245.

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Churches,” and rather to pass “some higher Act concerning religion,” rolling back anti-Christian persecution for conscience. He also raised the related problem of press censorship: “we have been humbly bold to presume as Ester into Ahasuerus his presence, against your Order: For who can passe the many Locks and Bars of any the severall Licencers, appointed by you with such a Message.” Williams thus highlighted his decision to publish without approval, leaving no doubt that the Licensing Ordinance was now seen by some as obscuring the “Light . . . though it come from God.”13 The appearance of these provocative tracts, along with rising tensions in London, drew an immediate backlash. Fueling the fire was John Simpson, the antinomian minister recently relieved of his lectureship for opposing the Covenant. After his ejection, Simpson continued to preach in “private houses,” for which he was “checked by the lord-mayor.” On February 4, Simpson began the morning in Covent Garden, “warning that he would preach no more in corners, and that, in the afternoon, they should hear in the broad walk at Paul’s.” He and his backers then went to the cathedral, but finding the doors shut, Simpson installed himself at Paul’s Cross. Here, commandeering the nation’s foremost pulpit, Simpson preached a sermon, “whereby a tumult was made in the city.” On February 5, the next day, his case provoked outrage in the Westminster Assembly, which informed the Lords. Simpson was imprisoned in Ely House.14 Such an outrageous display in St. Paul’s Churchyard, the center of the book trade, combined with the recent release of unlicensed works by Overton, Milton, and Williams, perhaps spurred the Stationers’ Company to action. That night, after the peers learned of Simpson’s misdeeds, the company raided Gregory Dexter’s house. Peter Cole, whose print shop had secretly produced Mans Mortallitie, was present, and attempted to obstruct proceedings. A week after the raid, parliament’s Committee of Examinations ordered Cole to read a confession before the Stationers’ Company: I Peter Cole . . . on Monday night the 5th of February instant, did disobediently Carry my selfe in resistance of the Warden of my Company (and those that assisted him), in a search and taking downe a presse in the house of Gregory Dexter, wherewith was  unlawfully printed divers bookes Contrary to a late ordinance of Parliament Concerning Printing. I the said Peter Cole according to the Comand of the honorable Comittee of Examinacions, doe hereby acknowledge my disobedience . . . And do promise (for the tyme to Come) to behave my selfe orderly to the Master wardens and Assistants of my said Company.15

Cole read his prescribed confession, but “in a very carelesse and slight manner,” and refused to sign it. The exact reason for Cole’s presence at the search is uncertain, but he was likely meddling on behalf of Dexter, who shared sectarian ties and an 13  Queries, sig. A2r–v. 14  Lightfoot, 13:131; G. Gillespie, Notes of the Debates and Proceedings of the Assembly of Divines, ed. D. Meek (Edinburgh, 1846), 10; Mercurius, &c (Feb. 6, 1644/E.31[18]), 16; Occurrences (Feb. 9, 1644/E.32[9]), sig. A2v; LJ 6:409. Four sources alleged that he preached at the Cross. 15  Stat. Co., Court Book C, Feb. 12, 1644, fol. 197r (McKenzie and Bell, LBT, 1:109).

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interest in underground printing. The two had probably done business with each other as late as October 1643.16 Cole’s obstructionism was presumably inspired by solidarity with Dexter and his illicit operation, if not by some now hidden trade partnership. Dexter’s enterprise never recovered from the costly raid: no work bearing his name ever appeared again in London’s bookstalls and he soon sold off his business.17 The seizure, along with Cole’s humiliation, marked a turning point in the print trade. The regime of relative freedom that characterized parliamentarian publishing in London was now at a close. Dexter was a veteran of parliament’s war, a man who staked his life on the field in 1642. But the emergence of significant religio-political conflict in parliament’s camp meant that he was now a target. The arrest of Dexter’s author Lawrence Sanders in December was a warning shot; the demolition of Dexter’s press, followed by the destruction of his business, was altogether more serious. The printer had seen enough: he now fled into exile, resettling in Roger Williams’s colony of Providence.18 But the legacy of the raid endured, serving as an admonition to those who aspired to project uncomfortable messages through the press. T H E TO L E R AT I O N P E T I T I O N : T H E C O N S O L I D AT I O N O F   “ I N D E P E N D E N C Y ” A S A P O L I T I C A L F O RC E Rising tensions now forged a new attempt to mobilize supporters of “independency.” In his diary for February 15, 1644, the Scottish commissioner George Gillespie wrote that he “saw a petition presented to the House of Peers, in the name of many thousands, desiring the liberty of a congregational way, that they be not forced to leave the kingdom and the parliament’s service, to seek the liberty of their consciences elsewhere; desiring also that others of their mind might be recalled from New England and Holland . . . steadable for the parliament’s service.”19 No copy of this petition survives. But its allusion to “parliament’s service” hints that it was organized partly in the Roundhead armies, a hypothesis explored below. The petition’s content resembled the abortive petition against the Covenant, circulated in September, which had reportedly threatened the loss of “3 regaments in the army,” composed of independents. The new petition of February perhaps built on this earlier effort. The Lords’ Journal contains no reference to such a petition. Two weeks later, however, an informant in London wrote to the French court, describing conflicts over church government, and noting of the “independents” that “Their petition 16  Como, “Censorship,” 835 n.51. 17  Four months later, the company gave “Dexter . . . leave . . . to sell his presses and other things (seized by the Wardens) to Moses Bell, the charges of seizure laid out by the warden beinge first paid.” Stat. Co., Court Book C, June 6, 1644, fol. 202v (McKenzie and Bell, LBT, 1:116). 18 For his later life, see B. F. Swan, Gregory Dexter of London and New England, 1610–1700 (Rochester, NY, 1949). 19 Gillespie, Notes, 20.

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was brought to the Parliament, sustained by the Lord Say, and combated by the Lord Pembrok.”20 This accords with Gillespie’s diary, and also correctly rendered the stances of Saye and Pembroke, suggesting that a petition was indeed brought to the upper chamber and debated in some way, but not formally accepted, explaining its absence in the journals. The petition evidently provoked discomfort in the upper house. On February 16, the day after Gillespie noted the petition and its presentation, the peers suddenly passed an order that in view of the “urgent Reasons of having the Government of the Church speedily settled,” parliament should write “to the Assembly, to hasten . . . their Advice to the Houses of Parliament, for the settling of . . . the . . . Discipline of the Church,” and, in the meantime, should send to the Lord Mayor, “to require all the Ministers of the . . . Churches in London” to “suffer none to preach in the Places whereof they have their Charge.” The resolution was relayed to the Commons at a conference, where the peers explained that they acted upon “a Complaint of some . . . Ministers, who had made a rent and Division in the Church by their Factious preachings in the Lord Generalls Army, and in diverse Parish Churches in London.” The names of these “factious” preachers do not survive, but the most likely culprit in Essex’s army was the foot chaplain William Erbery, whose activities in Hertfordshire during these weeks are discussed below. The lower house approved the Lords’ order, and letters were written to the Assembly and Mayor.21 When the order to speed the church settlement reached the Assembly, the dissenting brethren sensed the danger, quickly mounting efforts to slow this new push: “Mr. Nye especially spake against . . . hastening.”22 On February 21, an unusually large number “of the prime nobles and the chiefe members of both Houses” attended the Westminster Assembly, and Nye seized the occasion “very boldlie . . . to demonstrate” that Scottish presbyterianism was “formidable, yea, pernicious and thrice over pernicious, to civil states and kingdoms.” This was, as we have seen, one of the chief polemical tactics congregationalists had been crafting: independent church government, they argued, was more conducive to civil order and secular power than presbyterianism, which bore the seeds of priestly tyranny. Nye was roundly denounced for his speech, and some members moved that he should be “expelled the Assemblie as seditious.”23 Nye’s maneuver surely provoked the ill-will of his fellow divines, but his goal was not to make friends; rather, this was a flamboyant intervention, at a moment of rising tension, to drive home to MPs and peers the fundamental danger posed by presbyterianism, and to stoke lingering suspicions many members shared about clerical power. In this atmosphere of rising controversy, John Goodwin, the controversial city divine, again entered the fray. The next Sunday, February 25, he delivered an inflammatory sermon at St. Stephen. Goodwin’s precise words were later a matter of dispute: William Prynne claimed the sermon impugned parliament’s right to 20  AMAE, Paris, vol. 51, fol. 23v (from London, Feb. 29/Mar. 10, 1644). “Leur petition a esté porter au Parle[ment], soustenue par le Mil[ord] Say, et combattue par le Mil[ord] Pembrok.” 21  LJ 6:429; CJ 3:401; BL, Whit., fol. 117r. 22  MPWA, 2:507; Lightfoot, 13:163. 23  Baillie, 2:145–6; BL, Hl. 166, fols. 15v–16r; MPWA, 2:530–3.

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settle religion, with Goodwin preaching that “hee should rather yeeld to bee torne in pieces by wild horses, than submit to such a Government which proceeded from a Parliament, chosen by the Riffe-raffe of the world.” Goodwin, by contrast, protested he had merely said that it would be “as easie for mee to be torn in pieces by wild horses, as to submit to any Church-government . . . not agreeable to the Scriptures, and minde of Christ.”24 Although the precise substance of Goodwin’s homily is uncertain, he was surely playing a dangerous game; just three months earlier, he had been denounced in the Commons for implicitly questioning parliament’s right to determine religious affairs. Indeed, in some ways, his outburst ran contrary to the polemical acrobatics his fellow congregationalist Nye had just performed in the Assembly, and invited the charge that it was independents, and not presbyterians, who were the true threat to secular power. Critics seized this opportunity to disrupt the narrative being spun by Nye and others, and Goodwin was called before parliament’s Committee for Plundered Ministers. The result was an investigation in which some of Goodwin’s listeners were “examined about the Sermon.”25 Again, the inquest cannot have gone unnoticed in London: here was a famous puritan minister, harassed by parliament for statements uttered in the pulpit. Three days after Goodwin’s sermon, in a clear attempt to regain initiative after Nye’s intervention, the Scot Robert Baillie preached a fast sermon before the lower house suggesting that those who retarded reformation were agents of Satan, and bemoaning the spread of heresy and immorality stemming from the delay in settling church government.26 Baillie’s charges received seeming confirmation in the next days, as disturbing news flowed to Westminster about the outrageous activities of sectaries in Hertfordshire (reports detailed below). With open sniping between ministers at the core of parliamentarian power, and evidence mounting that religious dispute was metastasizing beyond London, the silence sustained by the “Aldermanbury Accord” of 1641 now gave way to an increasingly dyspeptic open debate. Publications on church government began to multiply, appearing at a rate of roughly one every ten days between mid-February and mid-April.27 By late February 1644, the battle over church government was fully joined. Moreover, Nye’s inflammatory address, and the counterattack in London and Westminster, suggested that the shape of the competing coalitions in that battle was now assuming clearer form.28 Despite their attempt in An Apologeticall Narration 24  W. Prynne, Truth Triumphing over Falshood (1645), sigs. A4r, Pv–P2r; J. Goodwin, Calumny Arraign’d and Cast (1645), 4. 25 Prynne, Truth Triumphing, sigs. Pv–P2r; Goodwin, Calumny Arraign’d, 4–6. 26  R. Baillie, Satan the Leader in chief to all who resist the Reparation of Sion (1644), 25, 36–7, 46–7; W. Haller, Liberty and Reformation in the Puritan Revolution (New York, 1955), 121–4. 27  T. Parker, The True Copy of a Letter (1644, Feb. 19); A. Steuart, Some observations and Annotations upon the Apologeticall Narration (1644, Feb. 29); [N. Holmes,] A Coole Conference Betweene the Scottish Commissioners Cleared Reformation (1644, Mar. 4); W. Rathband, A Briefe Narration of some Church Courses (1644, Mar. 9); R. Mather and W. Tompson, A Modest & Brotherly Answer To Mr. Charles Herle his Book (1644, Mar. 15); A. Steuart, An Answer to a Libell Intituled, A Coole Conference (1644, April 16). See also the overtly tolerationist [H. Robinson,] Liberty of Conscience (1644, Mar. 24). 28  H. Powell, The Crisis of British Protestantism: Church Power in the Puritan Revolution, 1638–44 (Manchester, 2015), 187–90, sees Feb. 1644 as a key moment when the dissenting divines realized they had been outflanked in the Assembly, while also arguing that much common ground remained.

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to disassociate themselves from separatist error, and notwithstanding the spasm of distaste this provoked among Roger Williams and others, the dissenting brethren and their closest allies from February 1644 began to construct a practical political coalition alongside the very sectarian elements they disavowed in their tract. This coalition aimed at an expansive degree of toleration, the exact extent of which remained undetermined. But equally important, the congregationalists’ strategy from the outset recognized that, given their minority status, it was necessary to win support of a much broader subsection of parliament’s supporters, a task that could only be accomplished, on the one hand, by reaching out to their more numerous sectarian brethren, and, on the other, by playing up the subversive and tyrannical nature of a uniform presbyterianism along Scottish lines. T H E M I L I TA R I Z AT I O N O F R E L I G I O U S C O N F L I C T: T H E   E A S T E R N A S S O C I AT I O N A R M Y Events at the center cannot, however, be separated from parallel developments beyond London. Indeed, there are signs that the now-lost petition for toleration had its origins in parliament’s armies, in particular, the Earl of Manchester’s army of the Eastern Association, which began in these weeks to be troubled by religious controversy. This force was recruited from the godly heartland of East Anglia and naturally reflected developments in the broader puritan community. But, importantly, many of the army’s officers and troopers were Londoners, ensuring a steady flow of information and rumor between the capital and the army. Manchester’s army quickly earned notoriety: Robert Baillie in May 1644 received reports that “the most part of my Lord Manchester’s armie are seduced to Independencie, and very many of them have added either Anabaptisme or Antinomianisme, or both.”29 While a systematic study of the composition of the Association army lies beyond the scope of this book, there is no doubt that these rumors were partly justified.30 Of deepest concern was the circle of soldiers surrounding Oliver Cromwell, whose exploits in the field were rapidly turning him into a parliamentarian hero. From an early stage, Cromwell’s efforts to recruit enthusiastic godly partisans meant that his forces, now folded into Manchester’s army, contained a leaven of radical puritans, and as early as October 1643, Cromwell was compelled to parry claims that his men were a rabble of anabaptists.31 Despite his protests, Cromwell leaned towards a capacious vision of toleration, and as 1644 progressed, he found himself in rising conflict with those of presbyterian inclination. The first clear signs of this conflict came in the weeks under consideration here. In late 1644, when these quarrels exploded and the competing sides began to collect evidence against each other, the Association officer William Dodson produced an 29  Baillie, 2:170, 185. 30  The best account remains Holmes, Eastern Association, 162–79, 189–205. 31  W. C. Abbott, ed., The Writings and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell, 4 vols. (Cambridge, MA, 1937–47), 1:258–9.

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extensive account of Cromwell’s misdeeds. Dodson wrote that “about a year” previously “there came two of Colonell Cromwell’s troopers and an other man to my house in London and showed me a petition with a great many hands and markes to it, and desired my hand to it, and I red the petition, and it was to the Parliament for libertye of consciencs.” Dodson was appalled, “and tolld them if any nation in the world ware in the ready way to Heaven it was the Scots,” a response that drew condemnation from the petitioners, who chided him that “they thought I had been a godly man, but now they perceive what I was.” Dodson further claimed that after this point, “Cromwell did sleight me.”32 The exact timing of this incident has never been established, although internal references in Dodson’s narrative, combined with knowledge of Cromwell’s movements, fix it sometime between November 1643 and March 1644, with its most probable date in mid- to late January 1644.33 Dodson was thus likely describing the petition for religious toleration, with its allusions to “the parliaments service,” that reportedly made it into the House of Lords, and was seen by Gillespie, in mid-February. Dodson’s account is crucial in explaining how that petition was organized. It was promoted by soldiers, in this case two of Cromwell’s “troopers,” the private cavalrymen under his command, and Cromwell was evidently tracking the petition’s progress. Yet canvassing took place in London, where Dodson, and many other Association soldiers, lived or had houses. Although pushed by the soldiery, the petition was inseparable from politics in London, where tension had been building for months, and where, at the same moment, activists were attempting to ram through the city government a petition against the gathering of churches. Clear, also, is that the presence of the Scots—whose army entered northern England in late January—served further to polarize debate and to force people to choose sides. The conflicts grew more severe as Eastern Association forces took the field for the campaigning season. Cromwell’s role was cemented by his promotion to Lieutenant General of the horse. His influence was checked, however, by Manchester’s appointment of the Scot Lawrence Crawford as Major General of the infantry, a move perhaps intended to signal statesmanlike balance and godly unity. By March 32  Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 75; for Dodson’s authorship, see C. Holmes, “The Identity of the Author of the ‘Statement by an opponent of Cromwell,’” EHR, 129 (2014), 1371–82. 33  Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 71, 75. Dodson’s paper was likely written in early Dec. 1644, as it dates an event “About the middle of December, now allmost two yeares sinc.” He claimed the clash over the petition happened in London, “some 4 dayes after” a discussion which occurred “about a yeare senc,” while Dodson and Cromwell traveled to Manchester’s quarters at St. John’s, Cambridge, suggesting Dec. 1643 as the date. But Dodson’s imprecise “about a yeare” hints it might have been slightly later or earlier; Cromwell was in Ely on Jan. 9, 1644, in Cambridge on Jan. 12, and in London by Jan 17. These movements fit Dodson’s story, and explain why Dodson (based in Wisbech) was traveling with Cromwell to the earl’s quarters; moreover, evidence suggests Dodson went with Cromwell to London, for on Jan. 19 Cromwell signed a warrant to pay Dodson’s arrears (which, on this chronology, might appear as a lure to draw him onside). The clash occurred before mid-March 1644 and “Prince Rupert . . . comming to rayse our seige at Newark.” For Cromwell’s movements, cf. G. Hart, “Oliver Cromwell, Iconoclasm, and Ely Cathedral,” Historical Research, 87 (2014), 372–3, 376; Certaine Informations (Jan. 15, 1644), 408; BL, Yonge 3, fol. 49b; SP 16/539/175. Cf. S.L. Sadler, “‘Lord of the Fens’: Oliver Cromwell’s Reputation and the First Civil War,” in P. Little, ed., Oliver Cromwell: New Perspectives (London, 2008), 83, suggesting a late-Jan. date.

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1644, the army was on the move; a large brigade, assembled from several garrisons and local forces, including units of the Eastern Association army, undertook the siege of Newark, an obstacle to parliament’s control of the East Midlands; other parts of Manchester’s army, under Cromwell and Crawford, rotated west, towards Buckinghamshire. Cromwell’s forces quickly captured Hillesden House, and he returned to Cam­bridge, leaving Crawford in charge. At this point, serious conflict emerged between the two men. Crawford, an unapologetic presbyterian, commanded his own Lieutenant Colonel, Henry Warner, to appear before Manchester at Cambridge to face disciplinary charges, apparently because of Warner’s anabaptism. Around the same time, Crawford imprisoned one of Cromwell’s officers, Lieutenant William Packer, ostensibly because he “disobeyed . . . orders near Bedford,” but also, it seems, because on Crawford’s account, Packer was “a notorious Anabaptist.” On March 10, Cromwell responded by writing to Crawford, remonstrating that it was unclear whether Warner was actually a baptist, but protesting that, either way, it was irrelevant: “Sir, the State, in choosing men to serve them, takes no notice of their opinions, if they be willing faithfully to serve them.” In dealing with his own officer Packer, Cromwell was even more proactive, dispatching Lt. Col. Nathaniel Rich “to signifie . . . that [Crawford] did exceeding ill in chequing such a man which was not well taken, he being a Godly man.”34 Religious rancor, which had begun to gnaw at the Eastern Association army as a result of the abortive petitioning campaign, now grew more severe, prompted by the parallel promotions of Cromwell and an aggressively presbyterian general officer. Again, however, links back to London should not be ignored. Crawford’s Lieutenant Colonel, Warner, was a Londoner, and whether or not he was questioning infant baptism, he was very likely a member of Henry Burton’s gathered church.35 In mid-March, with Cromwell still at Cambridge, Prince Rupert’s forces descended on Nottinghamshire and raised the siege of Newark. This failure shook parliament’s camp, causing a convulsion of recrimination. Significantly, some quietly attributed the loss “to the malcontent of the Independent souldiers, who did mutinie; others to the slacknesse of Colonel Cromwell, the great Independent, to send to Meldrum tymeous relief.”36 For the first time in the war, religious factionalism was adduced as an explanation for military success or failure; observers, meanwhile, simply assumed that Manchester’s army was a hotbed of independency. The crucial point about these rumors is not that they were true, but that they were circulating at all, providing a sense of how contemporaries interpreted the politics of parliament’s war effort.

34 Abbott, Cromwell, 1:278; Bruce and Masson, ed., Quarrel, 59. 35  TNA, PROB 11/193/291 shows Warner leaving money to Burton “to be distributed amongst some poore faythfull Christians, as he thinkes most fitting.” 36  Baillie, 2:153, who doubted these rumors, blaming Meldrum, the Scottish commander. The “mutinie” perhaps referred to the Norfolk foot of Hobart and Palgrave: A Briefe Relation of The siege at Newark (1644), 7.

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T H E P ROV I N C I A L I Z AT I O N O F R E L I G I O U S C O N F L I C T: H E RT F O R D S H I R E Until early 1644, rising intra-puritan conflict had been confined mainly to London. It now became clear that the contest was tumbling into the countryside. Hertfordshire exemplifies this “provincialization” of religious dispute. The county fused several trends examined in this chapter: a short ride from London, it was in many ways a rural extension of the city, and was thus quick to experience ideological or political pulses emanating from the capital. At the same time, it was part of the Eastern Association, and was thus linked to developments unfolding in Manchester’s army. But Hertfordshire also possessed an intricate military-bureaucratic establishment, largely independent of the Association, and this infrastructure itself became both the source and the vehicle for new religious conflicts. In addition to this complex jurisdictional tapestry, the county had the misfortune to host much of Essex’s army in the winter of 1643–4. The burdens of free quarter and provision quickly elicited a chorus of complaint, especially when laid atop existing demands to maintain local and Association forces, creating a volatile political environment.37 Meanwhile, the presence of the soldiery put native godly extremists in contact with radical elements in Essex’s army, helping to consolidate a local network of sorts. This network quickly drew hostile attention: rising religious disputes merged with other local grievances, and were then directed back to the Westminster Assembly and parliament, prompting a conflict that played itself out over months, and which appears to have helped seal the emergent political battle lines in the county. The first signs of trouble appeared near St. Albans, in the west of the county, where Essex’s forces were mainly quartered. On February 8, 1644, Robert Baldwin appeared in the pulpit of Hatfield, having evidently preached there before. Baldwin’s origins are obscure, but in these weeks his busy evangelism took him in a triangle around St. Albans, from Hatfield west to Hemel Hempstead, and south to Ridge and South Mimms. Baldwin allegedly preached that “Baptism is not to be administered to Infants” and that “the Sacrament of the Supper is not to be administered by us,” as “he reckoned it among Carnal Ordinances.” He also warned that “this Reformation which we expect . . . is no Reformation,” suggesting skepticism about the push for church settlement.38 On February 15, a squadron of alarmed local ministers resorted to the parish of Hemel Hempstead, where Baldwin was set to preach. Here Baldwin “inveighed much against Baptizing of Infants, as a Carnal Ordinance” and explicitly questioned the Assembly and parliament, declaring that “we are free from National Bondage, which he thought more fit to be insisted on, because we are like to be engaged at this Time in a State-religion, and to be commanded to serve God in One Way.” Baldwin purportedly “preached . . . against the covenant,” a sign that the vow, newly ordered to be taken across the country upon the entry of the Scots, 37  BL, Whit., fol. 118r; BL, Hl. 166, fol. 18v; SP 28/33, fol. 482r; A. Thomson, ed., The Impact of the First Civil War in Hertfordshire, 1642–1647, Hertfordshire Record Society, 23 (2007), 114–16, 138. 38  LJ 6:433–5.

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stirred fresh anxiety among some. He then challenged all comers to a disputation two weeks later. The ministers quickly wrote to Cornelius Burges, a leader of the Westminster Assembly, partly to request advice, but also presumably to inform the authorities.39 Their message arrived in London on the heels of other reports of “factious” sermons in Essex’s army, and just as the two houses issued orders against disorderly preaching and in favor of hastening the Assembly’s deliberations. On February 19, the peers were alerted; Burges was dispatched to Hertfordshire to preach down heterodoxy. Upon his return from Hemel Hempstead, he reported to the upper house that “the People there much possessed with Anabaptism and Antinomianism.”40 The root of the problem was the town’s minister, George Kendall, who had been installed by parliament in 1643. Kendall was a universitytrained divine, but he quickly spiraled into radical puritanism, and by September 1643 he had already been accused of sectarian tendencies.41 Kendall was now identified as “a chief Promoter of all the distractions” in the town: “he refuseth to baptize any infants” and he allegedly denied the validity of the Church of England on the principle that “a Parochial Congregation cannot be a true Church.”42 More information was also forthcoming about Robert Baldwin, the lay preacher with whom Kendall had shared his pulpit. The peers received a letter in Baldwin’s hand, wherein it was professed that “Infants . . . are not fitt subjects of Baptisme,” and that believers were to avoid the “Ministry of the Church of England . . . as the Members of Antichrist.” This letter, which survives today, leaves no doubt that the basic charges against Baldwin were wholly accurate; he was imprisoned, and an order was issued to arrest Kendall.43 When Kendall appeared before the Lords two weeks later, he admitted that he had “not administered the Communion to the Parish since he came there,” and that “he was not resolved about some Ceremonies, and he forbore to use them; as the Manner of Baptism, and the Power of it.” This hinted that Kendall was trying to avoid charges of overt anabaptism: his difficulty was with the “manner” of the ceremony. The Lords, however, were unconvinced, particularly when they heard that he had also shared his pulpit with the more prominent William Erbery, chaplain of Philip Skippon’s foot regiment (which was apparently quartered near St. Albans).44 As we have seen, Erbery was a leader of Welsh puritanism in the 1630s, establishing himself as a congregationalist anchor of the godly network straddling the western border. But it was during his stint in the army, following his flight from Wales, that Erbery aired even more radical ideas: in August 1643, as shown above, he was decried for antinomianism in the Assembly. The new charges against him were more disturbing: it was alleged that “That Mr. Erbury preached . . . at Hempsteed, that Baptism was a human and a carnal Ordinance; and if . . . Parliament and the Assembly do make a Rule and a Tye to observe it, it is Antichristian.” Crucially, 39  LJ 6:433–5; Lightfoot, 13:163. 40  LJ 6:446–7. 41  LJ 5:667; described as “Master of Arts,” he was likely George Kendall of Northants, MA at Oxford in 1636. Alum. Ox., 3:843; Mercurius Aulicus (Sept. 30, 1643/E.70[8]), 542–3. 42  LJ 5:447. 43  LJ 6:447; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/166 (Mar. 2, 1644). 44  LJ 6:470; Skippon was in St. Albans on Feb. 24: CJ 3:420.

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this suggested that Erbery had rejected not merely infants’ baptism, but the sacrament in its totality. While some skepticism must attend this hostile charge, other sources show that this was precisely the position Erbery adopted by early 1645, rendering the report plausible. In a likely case of parallel evolution, Erbery, alongside Roger Williams, was coming to repudiate ordinances. Kendall, who conceded he had permitted Erbery to preach, was quickly imprisoned in Newgate.45 Just as Nye was trumpeting the orderly nature of congregationalism and the dangers of presbytery, the House of Lords turned over a rock in Hertfordshire, only to discover a nest of sectaries, revealing an alliance between a local minister, a radical lay preacher, and an army chaplain, all accused of derogating parliament’s right to settle religion. If Erbery was a destabilizing external influence, Kendall’s authority was clearly based on a deep local following, which included many leading residents of Hemel Hempstead. On March 21, he supplicated the lords, offering to give up his cure, but also appending a petition signed by almost a hundred parishioners. That petition averred that Kendall had “faithfully with much fruite fullfilled his worke amongst us, saveing that in the tendernes of his conscience, he could not performe those Church Offices he was called unto by some of the parish; for which he now suffereth imprisonment, and we much in him.” Far from seeking to dump Kendall, the parishioners implored the Lords “to consider of us, and him; and to restore him againe unto us, till by your meanes, the Church may further be setled in truth and peace.” The petition was signed by many substantial householders, including, at the head of the list, Tobie Combe, a local gentleman and county committeeman.46 In this town, at least, radical puritanism was apparently an organic communal enterprise. These Hertfordshire residents were warmly attached to their minister, notwithstanding his extreme opinions on baptism and his patronage of heterodox preachers. Yet others clearly found him offensive, and Kendall confessed that “there were great Divisions in the Parish.”47 These divisions were not, however, confined to the area near Hemel Hempstead, but were more widespread in Hertfordshire. Combe’s involvement was a sign of the depth of radical puritan inroads in the county. Hertfordshire’s complex bureaucratic matrix involved three major organs by this stage: the western part of the county was administered by a standing committee at St. Albans—Combe was a leading member of this group. The eastern part of the county was run by a parallel standing committee in Hertford. Here, the dominant figure was Gabriel Barber, the colonial adventurer and puritan patron who, as we have seen, had spearheaded the circulation of Prynne’s diatribe against Ship Money in 1637. Barber was the most active, influential man on the Hertford standing committee. In late 1643, parliament set up a third committee, including many of the county’s most zealous parliamentarians, to oversee and fund the county military forces. Although members were appointed from both halves of the 45  LJ 6:470. 46  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/167 (Mar. 21, 1644); for Combe’s committee work, see SP 28/231, unfol. Several were prosperous householders: TNA, E179/248/19, fol. 4v. 47  LJ 6:447, 470; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/169 (May 7, 1644).

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shire—Tobie Combe, for instance, was named—in the event, the new county Militia Committee was chaired by Gabriel Barber, backed by close associates, such as his son-in-law William Turner, and it conducted everyday business in Hertford, making it essentially an outgrowth of the standing committee for the eastern sector of the county.48 The institutional complexities are less important than the fact that both the eastern and western bureaucracies were heavily influenced by puritanism of an extreme variety. This was most pronounced in Barber’s Hertford establishment. As we have seen, Barber was patron to the congregationalist pioneer John Archer, and Barber and his son-in-law Turner would both be committed independent organizers in the 1640s. Adam Washington, a local colonel and Militia Committee member, emerged as part of the same independent organizing network, and a fierce opponent of compulsory tithes; in April 1646, he disrupted a sermon by Thomas Edwards, denouncing the presbyterian as a “false Prophet.”49 While Barber’s preeminence meant that the Hertford wing of the county bureaucracy was dominated by an emergent independent interest, the St. Albans side was little better. In addition to Tobie Combe, at least two other key figures in the west Hertfordshire establishment soon showed radical tendencies. William Hickman, treasurer of the St. Albans district, and Alban Coxe, a member of the standing committee and leading county officer, were both extreme independents, who backed the self-professed “seeker” Laurence Clarkson in 1646–7, with Hickman recruiting Clarkson to preach locally.50 Combe’s overt support for George Kendall strongly suggests that these parliamentarian leaders created a permissive ambience in west Hertfordshire, emboldening the likes of Kendall, Baldwin, and Erbery to operate with impunity. The aggressive militancy, both religious and political, of this dominant clique proved deeply divisive. None of these men came from the apex of county society. They had gained ascendancy not through wealth or lineage, but by virtue of the unabashed parliamentarianism they showed from the start of the war, when they stepped forward as the most enthusiastic supporters of the cause. This provoked disquiet among more established county families, many of which supported parliament, but without the same manic zeal.51 As local burdens grew, and as the new Militia Committee began to claw resources from the county in late 1643, discontent swelled, made worse when Essex’s army arrived. The eruption of religious radicalism, winked at, if not overtly encouraged by, leading committeemen such as Combe and Barber, added to these stewing grievances. Perhaps heartened by the peers’ investigation of Baldwin and Kendall, a cadre of leading county gentry now organized an attack on Barber and his allies. 48  For a detailed study, see Thomson, ed., Hertfordshire, 1642–1647, xxv–lxxxi. 49  Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, DE/HL/70556; BL, Whit., fol. 268r; Gangraena, 2:174, 3:147; E. Drapes, A Plain and Faithfull Discovery of a Beame in Master Edwards his Eye (1646), 11. Washington’s military role meant he rarely attended the committee. 50  L. Claxton, The Lost Sheep Found (1660), 23; Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, DE/HL/70556. 51  See Holmes, Eastern Association, 192, for the social dimensions of the conflict.

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On April 16, a group of Hertfordshire gentlemen arrived at the Commons’ door. They charged that some of their local committeemen “had no Estate in the County” and “did . . . Discountenance the proceedings of the Assembly of Divines, and would not take the Covenant.” A draft ordinance was supplied “for setling a new Committee of the Militia in Hartfordshire.” D’ewes recorded that “some men who weere of Anabaptisticall and independent opinions in the former Committee weere left out,” a decision justified because “some of them observed not the fast daies,” while others claimed they would “rather be under Episcopall Goverment then the Presbiterian.”52 The rancor evident in the microcosm of Hemel Hempstead— with the same charges of insubordinate disdain for parliament’s authority—now migrated to the county itself, and thence to parliament. This was without question a frontal attack on Barber, the chairman of the Militia Committee, but also on the whole establishment over which he presided.53 Although none of the petitioners were named, one leader was likely Sir John Wittewrong, a substantial knight and warm parliamentarian, who nevertheless had been marginalized in the county over the previous year.54 Interestingly, the local complaint against the Hertfordshire Militia Committee occasioned a more general debate in the Commons about religious conformity. Some MPs hoped to use the dispute as a hammer to dislodge those showing independent tendencies: “it was moved that some penalty might be Inflicted upon those who were trusted either in the Militia or in Civill Government, and would not take the Covenant.” In the end, however, “nothing was done in it.” Similarly, the ordinance to purge radical members of the Hertford committee was also abandoned, and instead the Commons extended the existing composition and power of the Militia Committee for another four months.55 Again, despite pressure from outside, and in the face of minority agitation from within, the house responded to attempts to politicize religious division with stubborn inaction. Nevertheless, the move against Barber and his allies marked an important shift in parliamentarian politics, one that would be duplicated across many localities in the next eighteen months. As is well known, most regions under parliamentary control experienced some strife and factionalism over the course of the war. The nature of those divisions varied from county to county, involving tussles between center and locality, town and countryside, military and civilian control, and between ambitious or self-protective grandees, eager to maintain status and power. In Hertfordshire, heavy taxation and other impositions, inflicted by a new and largely self-selected bureaucratic clique, provoked widespread unhappiness, which was then harnessed and exploited by a more established, but recently marginalized, county elite to stage a coup against the upstarts. But crucially, Hertfordshire was the first county in which emergent religious conflict was grafted onto preexisting factional divisions, and then carried to the center. This pattern would be repeated 52  BL, Whit., fol. 131v; BL, Hl. 166, fol. 49r. 53  Barber’s centrality was clarified when the conflict resumed in July, whereupon the house received a “petition concerning Mr. Barber.” CJ 3:572. 54  Wittewrong presented a follow-up petition in July. BL, Hl. 166, fol. 101r. 55  BL, Hl. 166, fol. 49r; BL, Whit., fols. 131v–132r; CJ 3:461; LJ 6:521–3.

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in other regions in ensuing months, as local faction fights—which often began as jurisdictional or personal conflicts—likewise merged with the incipient religious politics of the period, ensuring that by 1645 provincial power struggles were increasingly shaped by the spreading conflict between “independency” and “presbyterianism.”56 Often, as in Hertfordshire, these disputes then migrated to Westminster and London, where they were fought out in parliament, before vibrating back into the provinces again. In Hertfordshire, for instance, the failed bid of April 1644 was the first in a string of petitions organized in the county to topple Barber and his allies. As religious tensions increased, later in 1644, Wittewrong and his backers finally convinced parliament to force the Hertford committee to take the Covenant and to share power.57 While this may have satisfied some, evidence suggests that it merely solidified Barber and his group into an organized, hardened faction, with strong ties to London congregationalists and sectaries, and commitment to a settlement conducive to independency. Indeed, Barber’s faction appears to have outlived him, furnishing the core of the county’s republican establishment in the 1650s.58 The fate of the radical preachers—Baldwin, Kendall, Erbery—implicated in Hertfordshire likewise reveals the shifting religio-political situation, showing how the parallel threads traced in this chapter were becoming intertwined. Kendall and Baldwin remained in prison until April and August, respectively.59 Of the three, Baldwin’s fate is the most shadowy. It is possible, although not certain, that he was the Robert Baldwin who joined the New Model Army and reappeared as an army agitator in the tumults of 1647, signing one of the more extreme manifestos of that year.60 Kendall, meanwhile, fled to the Isle of Ely, where the governor Oliver Cromwell and his deputy Henry Ireton were busily establishing what enemies viewed as an independent colony in the fens. William Dodson, writing in late 1644, claimed that, with the connivance of Cromwell and Ireton, the Isle had “become a meere Amsterdam,” with the pulpits of the “cheefest churches” invaded by soldiers, efforts complemented by private sermons preached in houses “day and night.” Allegedly, “whole famalyes” of “Independents” arrived from London and elsewhere, and the practice of rebaptism was widespread. Of course, these claims were inseparable 56 For charges of separatism in the Derbyshire feud between Gell and Saunders, 1644–5, see Derbyshire Record Office, D1232/O/25; for Nottingham, 1644–5, see BL, Add. MS. 25901, fols. 60v–61r, 66v–67r, 75v–76r; L. Hutchinson, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson (London, 1973), 125, 131–2, 140–1; for Boston, mid-1644, see C. Holmes, “Colonel King and Lincolnshire Politics, 1642–1646,” HJ, 16 (1973), 463–7; for Leicestershire, see Chapter 12, below; for Westmorland and Cumberland, where religious conflict resulted in a surprising configuration, see D. Scott, “The Barwis Affair: Political Allegiance and the Scots during the British Civil Wars,” EHR, 115 (2000), 843–63. 57  Thomson, ed., Hertfordshire, lxv–lxvi, 147–51; SP 16/502/56, 56I, 56II, fols. 107r–108v; BL, Hl. 166, fol. 101r; CJ 3:581. 58 See, e.g., the county commissioners under Cromwell’s Major General, including Turner, Washington, Hickman, Coxe, and Combe’s son Richard. Bod. L., MS. Rawlinson A. 36, p. 117. 59  LJ 6:509, 681. 60  The Humble Address. Of the Agitators of the Army To His Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax (1647), 8; Worcester College, Oxford, Clarke MS. 114, fol. 83v, shows him in Constable’s regiment in 1648, when he again joined in radical petitioning.

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from the rising religious conflicts described here, and scholars have justly expressed skepticism about the depth of changes in Ely.61 Nevertheless, it is clear that Dodson was referring precisely to people like Kendall, who in mid-1644 received office as auditor to the establishment in the Isle, before becoming a captain in Cromwell’s own regiment.62 In 1646, Kendall was denounced as “a Captaine in Whitlesey the Isle of Ely, that Island of Errors and Sectaries, and a great Preacher.”63 There can be little doubt that Kendall was indeed protected and patronized by Cromwell and Ireton: after a high-profile imprisonment, he arrived in Ely and was given office and a military commission in their fenland enclave, obtaining access to a pulpit. Not accidentally, Erbery followed suit. He left the army, stopping briefly in London. But he soon migrated to Ely, where he began to vent his unorthodox opinions, maintaining that all church forms were corrupt and should be abandoned. Erbery and another former foot chaplain, William Sedgwick, became spiritual leaders of a “seeker” group in the area by early 1645.64 The migration of both Kendall and Erbery to Cromwell’s protected dominion of Ely suggests that while Dodson’s account may have been exaggerated, there was ample truth to his portrayal of the area as a spiritual sanctuary, cordoned off by Cromwell as conflicts in the Eastern Association army drove him to more extreme, partisan courses.

T H E C O R E O F T H E I N D E P E N D E N T C OA L I T I O N : T WO   E X A M P L E S The fraught political situation of early 1644 galvanized an increasingly coherent tactical and political coalition, drawing diverse elements—congregationalists, sectaries, radical anti-formalists, and convinced tolerationists—under a single umbrella. The intellectual underpinnings of this coalition will be elaborated below, but of critical importance was the alliance that emerged in 1644 between wellconnected and more orthodox proponents of the “New England Way” with their sectarian brethren. This section illustrates the coalescence of this alliance through two examples, both from May 1644, and drawn from the two critical nodes examined above—London and the Eastern Association army. The year 1644 saw severe upheaval within the famous Jacob–Jessey church in London, the mother church of English congregationalism. The conflict was sparked by Hanserd Knollys, a Lincolnshire minister who had fled to New England in the 1630s, only to face accusations of antinomianism before returning to London in 1641. Here, Knollys attached himself to the Jacob–Jessey church, but also resorted to the Eastern Association army, where he evidently acted as a chaplain, preaching his unusual doctrine. At the end of 1643 he was in London, and with the birth of a newborn, he questioned the practice of infant baptism, leading to a series of 61  Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 73–4; Holmes, “The Identity,” 1379–80. 62  SP 28/222, fol. 431r; SP 28/128, part 5, fol. 5v; TNA, E 121/2/10, item 49, p. 49, no. 561. 63  Gangraena, 3:79–80. 64  See Chapter 15.

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debates within Henry Jessey’s gathered congregation. Weeks of conference and mutual prayer followed, resulting in the rejection of infant baptism by some of the church, and “the Stagering of more,” a rupture that split the communion—it was reported that there “was little or no speach each with other.” In April 1644, the conflict spread, as letters were “writt from the Church” to “our friends that then lived in the Country.” By May, having “sought the Lord with fasting for those friends that left us . . . And haveing by conference not satisfyed them,” Jessey’s communion requested “the Advice of the Elders and Brethren of other Churches.” On May 27, 1644, an extraordinary convention met at the home of William Shambrooke, a church member and Lieutenant Colonel of the Tower Hamlets auxiliaries. In attendance were “Mr Barbone, Rozer, Dr Parker, Mr Erbury, Mr Cooke, Mr Tho: Goodwin, Mr Phillip Nye, Mr G. Sympson, Mr Burrows, Mr Staismore.”65 This meeting drew four of the dissenting brethren of the Westminster Assembly and Dr. William Parker, a founder of William Greenhill’s Stepney gathered church.66 Beside them appeared a less reputable cast of characters from sectarian circles. Praisegod Barbone was a leatherseller who led a fragment of the Jacob–Jessey church that split off from the main body around 1640. As we have seen, the clothworker Edmund Rozer oversaw the strict separatist congregation that counted John Lilburne as a member. Sabine Staresmore was a leader of a separatist splinter church, including Rice Boye and Katherine Chidley, which left the Jacob–Jessey group because of its insufficient rigor around 1630. Perhaps the most interesting attendee was William Erbery, in London following his departure from the army and before his removal to Ely. Erbery’s alleged antinomianism and attack on ordinances made him an outlier, but he was an elder statesman, who had founded one of Britain’s first gathered churches, no doubt helping to explain his presence. This conclave, far from censuring the baptist “absenters,” judged that their motivation was not “obstinacy but tender Conscience” and therefore urged Jessey’s group to “count them still of our Church; and pray, and love them.”67 This remarkable meeting reveals the dissenting divines not only recognizing an overarching commonality of interest with their separatist and even anabaptist counterparts, but also counseling the same kind of forbearance that characterized their approach to sectarianism in the Westminster Assembly. While publicly, in general terms, they might occasionally disassociate themselves from “Brownism,” anabaptism, or antinomianism, at a practical level even the magisterial dissenting divines of the Westminster Assembly felt the need to make concessions to their more extreme brethren. Indeed, the position hammered out at Shambrooke’s house appears to have become a touchstone for congregationalist approaches to the problem of infant baptism. Recognizing that an increasing number of godly people were questioning the practice, many congregationalists adopted the tack recommended at this meeting; incipient baptists were not to be cast out, but tolerated. As a result, many (perhaps 65 W. T. Whitley, ed., “Debate on Infant Baptism, 1643,” Transactions of the Baptist Historical Society, 1 (1908–10), 237–45. “G. Simpson” was likely Sidrach; John Simpson remained imprisoned. 66  Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, W/SMH/A/1/1. 67  Whitley, “Debate,” 243–4.

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most) of the early congregationalist churches of the civil war adopted a policy usually dubbed “open communion,” whereby scrupling, godly baptists, who agreed on other fundamental points, were allowed to remain as covenanted members.68 Jessey’s church became a model for this mixed practice. In this way, attempts were made to argue the point of infant baptism into relative insignificance. As Philip Nye put it in the Westminster Assembly later that year, although he was “clear in his judgment for the baptism of children, yet he would be loath to call a conscientious abstaining from the baptism of children, schism.” A few months after, Thomas Goodwin confessed, in a similarly candid moment before the synod, that he could not “refuse to be members, nor censure when members, any for Anabaptisme, Lutheranisme, or any errors . . . not fundamentall.”69 This position had several advantages: first, it meant that emergent gathered congregations could withstand the waves of baptist sentiment sweeping the godly community, which threatened to suck members from their churches. Other theological deviances could likewise be soft-pedaled or argued into “non-fundamental” status, a posture that in the 1650s allowed Goodwin to retain within his church even those who were questioning the Trinity.70 But it also strengthened ties of “independent” solidarity at a moment of heightening external pressure: the meeting at Shambrooke’s house saw intimate collaboration between separatist and congregationalist churches, and effectively extended Christian fellowship to “conscientious” anabaptists; it even incorporated the voice of the increasingly unhinged antinomian Erbery. This is not to say that this emerging coalition was without tension—just a few weeks after the meeting, for instance, Thomas Goodwin announced that he would preach against anabaptist error (although the result, in Robert Baillie’s view, was utterly counterproductive, for “under pretense of refuting them, he betrayed our cause to them”).71 Nor did the alliance totally sever congregationalists from attempts at fraternal mediation with presbyterians; when Jessey himself began to reject infant baptism, he consulted an array of “dissenting” clergy—Goodwin, Nye, Greenhill, and Cradock—but also conferred with Arthur Jackson and Stephen Bolton, leading city presbyterians.72 But the meeting at Shambrooke’s revealed the core of an emerging independent alliance. It was this alliance, and the solidarity it entailed, that in 1645 led Nye, Goodwin, and other congregationalists to write a plaintive letter to New England, defending recently persecuted anabaptists there as “men fearing god and in other things walking answering to their profession,” and begging the Bay authorities “to suspend all Corporall punishment or restraint on persons that Doe Dissent from you . . . without Danger or Disturbance

68  J. Halcomb, “A Social History of Congregational Religious Practice in the Puritan Revolution” (PhD diss., Cambridge University, 2010), 144–50. 69 Gillespie, Notes, 68; Baillie, 2:343–4. 70  P. Lim, Mystery Unveiled: The Crisis of the Trinity in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2012), 118–19. 71  Baillie, 2:218. 72  Whitley, ed., “Debate,” 245; for common ground between the dissenting brethren and (some) presbyterians, see Powell, British Protestantism, 148–236.

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to the Civill peace.”73 Despite occasional private bickering, this core alliance cohered as a formidable political force throughout the civil war.74 The potency of this coalition—and the centrality of the Eastern Association army to its constitution—can be seen in another series of events apparently dating to late May 1644. By this time, the campaigning season had begun in earnest. Essex’s army finally took the field, beginning its long march west towards folly and catastrophe. After the disaster at Newark, the Eastern Association army meanwhile embarked on the main business of the summer, the siege of York. Combining the forces of Fairfax’s northern army, the Scots, and Manchester, the siege sought to crush Newcastle’s royalist army once and for all. The first Eastern Association forces sent to York, in early May 1644, were Cromwell’s cavalry. Major General Crawford claimed that at this time, prior to Manchester’s arrival at the siege in early June, Cromwell’s “sinister endes” first appeared. Here, in the shadow of York, “Cromwell and his creatures did nothing but foment sedition and dissention” in the cavalry, chiefly by framing a petition, perhaps building on the earlier petition of winter 1644 described by Dodson. This new petition was “highly mutinous” in nature, and allegedly sought to “putt out all men out of the armie that were not Brownists, or of such like sects, much diminishing my Lord’s honor and the rest of the gentlemen in the army.”75 It is difficult to believe this was the avowed intent of the document, but there is no reason to doubt that a petition of some sort existed. Interestingly, the circulation of the petition was “managed by LieftenantCollonell Whaley and Leiftenant-Coll. Lilburne.” Whalley was Cromwell’s first cousin, but he was not a separatist, anabaptist, or sectary; Richard Baxter, who served as Whalley’s chaplain in the New Model, regarded him as one of the more sound, orthodox regimental commanders.76 Despite this, Whalley was open to congregationalism, albeit of a restrained kind: in the 1650s, it was alleged that he was a member of Thomas Goodwin’s gathered church.77 Lilburne, of course, was a man of different mettle, and the apparent sight of the two officers working together offers a snapshot of the crystallization of the independent coalition as a political force. Crawford claimed that the two men tried to bully all the officers into signing the petition, and when some balked, “uppon there refusal they were threatened” to “Take heede what they did, for it was to goe through the army.” Allegedly, Lilburne 73  A. B. Forbes, ed., The Winthrop Papers, 6 vols. (Boston, 1929–), 5:23–5 (undated, but assigned by the editors to June 1645). 74  Private disputes typically only became public much later or when enemies tried to exploit them. D. Brown, Two Conferences Between Some of those that are called Separatists & Independents (1650); Gangraena, 1:49, 2:54. 75  Some have argued that the petitions described by Dodson (see above) and Crawford were the same. But Dodson put the first petition before the siege of Newark (March), while Crawford put the second after Lincoln’s capture and while the Association cavalry were “Before York, our horse being absent from my Lord of Manchester”—that is, after Cromwell came to York in May 1644 and before Manchester came with his foot in early June; Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 59–60; The Continuation of True Intelligence (June 1, 1644/E.50[33]), 3–6; Perfect Occurrences (May 17, 1644/E.47[30]), sig. A3r; The True Informer (May 18, 1644/E.49[1]), 232. 76 Baxter, Reliquiae, 1:51–6. 77  A Second Narrative of the Late Parliament (So Called) (1658), 25. Wing, W1557.

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and Whalley passed the names of the recalcitrant to their commanding officer: “Cromwell did take an accounte who had not underwrytten it, mutche wilifieing them that did not.” Having been used as a litmus test to identify undesirables, the petition was apparently deemed too controversial for presentation; there is no record that it was ever submitted and, on Crawford’s account, the signed original was “still extant in Cromwell’s hands” the following winter.78 It thus became the third in a series of abortive “independent” petitions, which, although never formally presented, consolidated the organizational ligatures of a rising political alliance, with roots stretching between London’s gathered churches and the army of the Eastern Association. Perversely, military triumph only widened cracks forming in parliament’s coalition. In early July, Prince Rupert arrived with a royalist army to lift the siege of York, resulting in the largest battle of the civil war, Marston Moor. This stunning parliamentarian victory, which broke Newcastle’s northern army, and quickly led to the surrender of York, might have been seen as a sign of harmonious cooperation of the various camps: the Scots, together with the northern forces of the Fairfaxes and Manchester’s Eastern Association army, had joined to deliver parliament its greatest success. Yet the result of Marston Moor was not concord, but an escalation of religious tension. As the Scottish minister Baillie complained to a compatriot attached to the siege, “We were . . . angry, that your Independents there should have sent up Major Harrison to trumpett over all the city their own praises, to our prejudice, making all believe, that Cromwell alone, with his unspeakablie valorous regiments, had done all that service; that the most of us fled; and who stayed, they fought so and so.” The Scots thought Cromwell’s allies waged a campaign to amplify their own heroism and hint at Scottish cowardice.79 The concern over glossing and interpreting the battle provides evidence of the way emerging religious disputes were now deeply bound up with the conduct of the war. The stakes were high: perceived military success was certain to bring political credit and influence. The biggest winner, of course, was Cromwell. His reputation had been rising for months, but skillful management of the news of Marston Moor ensured that he was now three things rolled into one: parliament’s greatest war hero, a political operator with strong influence among fellow MPs, and (as Baillie’s words suggest) a perceived standardbearer for an emerging party of congregationalists and sectarian puritans. Cromwell’s actions in the ensuing months suggested that he was happy enough to inhabit all of these roles. He was able to do so, moreover, because he stood at the center of an increasingly elaborate, interconnected web of political and religious association, formed partly by parliament’s new military and bureaucratic structures, and partly by private networks of enthusiasts, activists, and propagandists.

78  Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 60. 79 Baillie, 2:203, 208–9, 211; see J. Macadam, “Soldiers, Statesmen and Scribblers: London Newsbook Reporting of the Marston Moor Campaign, 1644,” Historical Research, 82 (2009), 93–113, which largely confirms Baillie’s view.

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10 The House of Stuart, the House of Lords, and the Politics of “Independency” Ideological Escalation in 1644 Chapters  8 and  9 outlined rising religious tensions within the parliamentarian camp. During the early months of 1644, there were also important ideological developments in the realm of politics and political assumption. These changes may be charted in three separate spheres. First, attitudes towards the king, and to a lesser extent, monarchy itself, continued to evolve. Second, the period witnessed the continuing articulation of robust visions of parliamentary power, which were now, increasingly, linked to aspirations for political change in other realms of law and governance. To explore these shifts, we need to return to the world of printed propaganda. Yet there was also a third field of politico-ideological change, which barely registered in the public press: early 1644 witnessed important shifts in how more radical members of parliament’s coalition saw the relationship between the two houses of parliament, leading to a quiet collapse in the standing of the House of Lords. This crucial constitutional shift can only be excavated through manuscript evidence—chiefly, debates in the Commons. In some cases, these shifts in political rhetoric and temperature emerged without reference to rising conflicts between independency and presbyterianism described in previous chapters; they unfolded as a consequence of the ongoing struggle with the king, combined with intra-parliamentarian debates about how aggressively to pursue the war. In other cases, however, there was a more direct link, as religious conflicts of the period bled together with overtly political and legal realms of thought, to produce more totalizing visions of religio-political change across all fields. This was a harbinger of the future. As this chapter reveals, one of the peculiar effects of the political realignment of 1644 was to push proponents of more ­militant political solutions into the arms of the emerging “independent coalition” outlined in previous pages, for it was increasingly such “independents” who became the noisiest and most insistent advocates for such militant courses. This, in turn, offers an important key to understanding the nature of that coalition. While devoted congregationalists and sectaries formed the core of that alliance, they were by no means its only members. Without backing from many people who had no personal attachment to independent ecclesiology, a small alliance of hard-line congregationalists and separatists could never have emerged as a weighty political force. And many of those who joined with them did so in large part because they

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saw the independents as the most devoted, selfless backers of the cause of the total defeat of the king, and the most uncompromising advocates of favored militant political solutions. In other words, many who attached themselves to the emergent independent coalition did so not out of love for congregational government, but in support of sharpening political visions, outlined below, which increasingly found their most full-throated advocacy among overt independents. A K I N G D E T H RO N E D : C H A R L E S I AND THE SUBJECTS’ BLOOD Previous chapters have charted the way the outbreak of the war hardened attitudes against the king, sometimes prompting reconceptualization of the institution of monarchy itself. The General Rising petition marked a watershed in this process, but as Henry Marten’s fate suggested, in mid-1643 it remained dangerous to buck the official line. From late 1643, this orthodoxy began to loosen. The press revealed increasingly open denunciations of the king, which heaped blame on the monarch himself and began to conjure the prospect of Charles losing his crown. In November 1643, the recently launched newsbook, The Scotish Dove, evoked “Nero that Tyrant,” who “burnt Rome, to avenge himself of the Christians,” before asking “can christian Princes burne their owne Kingdoms, spoil their Subjects, yea . . . Christs own members?” In answering his own question, the author pointed to recent royalist atrocities and asked, “how . . . came Ockingham to be . . . barbarously burnt to the ground? Why did the cruell Actors say they had Commission to do what they did, and speciall command: Who gave that Commission? (I say nothing) let Ockingham speak.” Crucially, the pamphlet also parroted the standard line that the war aimed “to rescue the King . . . to suppresse his Captivators, and to bring wicked Counsellors to . . . tryall.”1 But what were readers to think when Charles was in the same breath compared to Nero, torching the homes of his people and persecuting the godly? This suspension between two essentially incompatible theories—one emphasizing the king’s guilt, the other cleaving to the orthodoxy of “evil counsel”—characterized the halting evolution of attitudes towards the king. Thus, in December 1643, Henry Overton, a member of John Goodwin’s church and an emerging pro-independent publisher, issued Powers to be Resisted: Or a Dialogue Arguing The Parliaments lawfull Resistance of the Powers now in Armes against them. This tract, likely one of the last items printed by Gregory Dexter, repeated the party line that the king had been “seduced to a subversion of Religion and lawes.” But its author then ushered readers to the conclusion that Charles himself had led a rebellion “to dethrone the Lord Christ.” While the bishops had furnished anti-Christian advice, “as the King was counselled, so hee did more presumptuously then any heathen King before him.” There was no doubt here about ultimate responsibility: “the King is chiefe in Rebellion against God.” Moreover, in rebelling against God, Charles had effectively already dethroned himself: “he has 1  Scotish Dove (Nov. 3, 1643/E.74[16]), 18–20.

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hearkened to evill Counsellors, and now he has wrested the Scepter out of his owne hand; he has strucke the Crowne from off his owne head, he has throwne downe his owne throne.”2 On this view (reminiscent of King James his Judgement of a King), Charles had already in effect deposed himself. The practical upshot of this was left to the reader’s imagination. The pamphlet approvingly noted that the same natural-law principles which justified parliament’s war had been “the very Warrant that whole States have had in severall quarters of the world, to wrest themselves from-out the hand of violence, and are now Free States at this day, proclaimed free by the Law of  Armes”—presumably an allusion to the Dutch and Swiss.3 But this tribute to republican Europe was not held up as an overt prescription for England. The ultimate implications of the author’s diatribe against Charles I’s “rebellion” were left vague, apart from the obvious lesson that the war needed to be waged with the utmost conviction. While Powers to be Resisted offered an unusually scathing analysis, its general assumption that Charles was directly culpable for the nation’s woes was becoming increasingly common. Soon after, Mercurius Britanicus, compiled by the newsman Thomas Audley, brusquely asked whether “King or Parliament” had started the war, and answered unequivocally that it was “the King, for it appeares he had it first in designe, both by his war upon Scotland, and his dissolving the former Parliament, and his variety of designes upon this.” In fighting the king, moreover, “we resist not authority, but Tyranny.” In the next months, under the influence of the rising polemical star, Marchamont Nedham, Audley’s Britanicus grew bolder in open criticism of Charles, a posture well established by summer 1644, and which would become a scandal by mid-1645. Yet even Britanicus tempered these words by veering back to the rhetoric of evil counsel, suggesting that the king’s more dishonest violations of his own word were prompted by shadowy figures operating “in his name.”4 By mid-1644, the space was clear for more pointed attacks on Charles and increasingly unpleasant prognostication about his fate. A New Invention; Or, A paire of Cristall Spectacles, which appeared in June 1644, offered an ironic exhortation to “shew our selves as good Subjects as [the Cavaliers], and fight for our King as well as they, kill one another couragiously . . . that his Majestie may have the Reformation he seekes for, and a few slaves left to honour him; This since it is his Will (and that his Will must be his Law).” “Tis true,” the author opined, that the resulting servitude might become “teadious . . . and the remembrance of our forefathers freedomes make our bondage bitter,” but “we shall in a few yeares be as well content with our fetters as we are now with our freedomes.” It was also true, the writer observed, that 2  Powers to be Resisted (1643), 21, 31–4. Dexter’s name was absent, but page 1 used a headpiece and broken “R” that belonged to him: cf. D. Como, “Print, Censorship, and Ideological Escalation in the English Civil War,” JBS, 51 (2012), 853–4. 3  Powers to be Resisted, 12. 4  Mercurius Britanicus (Jan. 4, 1644/E.80[9]), 152; J. Macadam, “Soldiers, Statesmen and Scribblers: London Newsbook Reporting of the Marston Moor Campaign, 1644,” Historical Research, 82 (2009), 104, 110–12; J. Peacey, “The Struggle for Mercurius Britanicus: Factional Politics and the Parliamentarian Press, 1643–1646,” HL Quarterly, 68 (2005), 517–43, for the trajectory, despite periodic bids by Essex to hijack the title.

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in so doing, “we undoe him [the king] by it,” but this was not to give pause: “if he be dishonoured and disinthron’d ’twill be his owne fault, his owne will, his owne worke, for we have venter’d hard to save him and his Kingdomes, it has cost many thousands of lives.” Because this passage was proffered as hypothetical counsel, the absurdity of which was intended to be obvious, the author was to a degree insulated from his own statements. The writer was not suggesting that Charles should be “disinthron’d”; merely that by their reckless ways, royalists were hurtling headlong towards just such an end. But that the author was willing publicly to conjure deposition—and to lay responsibility at the king’s feet—is itself significant.5 A New Invention was published by George Bishop, a printer involved in war-party propaganda from 1642 onward, and until recently one of the stationers behind Britanicus. Shortly after Marston Moor, Bishop printed an even more incendiary tract, The Great Eclipse of the Sun, or, Charles his Waine. This work was at one level a full-blown meditation upon the problem of evil counsel. It denounced the ­corrupting influence of Digby, Cottington, the bishops, and the queen. Yet, in the process, it subverted its own controlling argument. For even if Charles had been seduced by these advisors, it was the king who had “lost the light of Reason, the light of Religion, and Morall humanity.” The king’s conscience would, like “Hamlets Ghost,” dog him everywhere: “O King expect revenge for the blood of thy subjects. Who hath wasted, undone, and ruinated the most famous Kingdom of England? who hath fir’d the Towns, plunder’d, kill’d, and destroy’d his own subjects? who hath given Commission for it? who hath broke his word and his promises made in so many Declarations? who sent for the Irish rebells . . . who in all this war hath endeavour’d nothing but the maintaining of Popery and his own Prerogative, I fear Conscience doth tell his Majesty it was King Charles; who hath for three yeers together . . . maintain’d an unnaturall war against his Parliament and people?” The king was frankly accused of “butchering his Subjects.” Moreover, Charles was warned, “in this war nothing was certain to his Majestie but losse, losse of his credit, and perhaps the losse of his Kingdoms.”6 Again, the specter of dethronement was laid before the reader. But perhaps the most striking aspect of this pamphlet was its title page. Although the tract’s subtitle rehearsed an attack on “Cabbinet Counsell” and the “Popish Faction,” this theme was immediately undercut by a woodcut of Charles I presiding over the slaughter of his own subjects. As the caption read, “The Subjects blood! with fire and sword, Cries Vengeance Lord ” (Figure 10.1). The fiction of evil counsel, buckling since the petition for the General Rising, had now reached its breaking point. As Gardiner and others have shown, rumors took flight in mid-1644 about the prospect of replacing Charles I with his nephew, Prince Elector Charles Ludovic, who had decamped to London, hungry for whatever parliament might offer to raise his lowly fortunes. The most specific of these rumors—that Vane Jr. had gone 5  A New Invention; Or, A paire of Cristall Spectacles (1643), 2. This work, with related tracts, is ­further analyzed in S. Achinstein, Milton and the Revolutionary Reader (Princeton, 1994), 155–62. 6  J. Peacey, “‘Fiery Spirits’ and Political Propaganda: Uncovering a Radical Press Campaign of 1642,” Publishing History, 55 (2004), 5–36; for the split between White and Bishop, see Peacey, “Britanicus,” 523; The Great Eclipse of the Sun, or, Charles his Waine (1643), t.p., 2, 5–6, 8.

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Figure 10.1.  The Great Eclipse of the Sun, or, Charles his Waine (1644), t.p. Courtesy of the Sutro Library, California State Library, PE 108:129.

to Scotland to float deposition with parliament’s Scottish allies—was plainly bogus, spoon-fed to Catholic diplomats in London by Vane’s enemy, the Earl of Holland.7 Nevertheless, it is likely that some of the grim prognostication leaking into the pamphlet press reflected rising private gossip that it might now be time to divest Charles of his throne. As Bellany and Cogswell have revealed, Bishop in 1644 also aggressively revived the old tale that Buckingham had murdered James I, a conspiracy theory that, if only indirectly, cast Charles in a sinister light.8 Speculatively, the pamphlets of Bishop—a stationer who had worked closely with grandees in managed propaganda campaigns—might even have been launched as trial balloons, to feel out the public as a step towards possible deposition. This would of course have been a dramatic solution, but hardly unprecedented. T H E C O M PA S S I O N AT E S A M A R I TA N E : I M A G I N I N G T H E I N D E P E N D E N T S TAT E Perhaps the most interesting political meditations from the period around Marston Moor are found in a book usually treated as an exercise in religious thought. In July 1644, William Walwyn anonymously published The Compassionate Samaritane.9 7 Gardiner, GCW, 1:368–70, 2:27–9; L. Kaplan, “The ‘Plot’ to Depose Charles I in 1644,” Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 44 (1971), 216–23; Holmes, Eastern Association, 203. 8  A. Bellany and T. Cogswell, The Murder of King James I (New Haven, 2015), 404–11. 9 Thomason received The Compassionate Samaritane’s continuously paginated appendix (Good counsell to all those that heartily desire the glory to God) on July 29, 1644. The body of the book was

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This was the latest in a series of extreme defenses of toleration that appeared in the  months after Dexter’s business was destroyed. Not surprisingly, these tracts, including Henry Robinson’s Liberty of Conscience and Roger Williams’s Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, were produced surreptitiously, without distinctive ornaments, in anonymized editions that thwarted the authorities as surely as they have stymied attempts by modern scholars to identify the printers involved. Walwyn’s work has received much attention, typically as an important early plea for liberty of conscience. This it surely was. But the tract was a deft piece of propaganda, operating at several levels as a powerful political statement. It essentially drew a blueprint for what an “independent” political coalition might look like, particularly by appealing to those beyond the charmed circle of the sects and gathered churches. Walwyn’s tract stressed that it was written by one who was “neither Anabaptist, Antinomian, Brownist, Separatist or Independent,” but who instead had “fellowship and communion with the Parochiall congregations.”10 There was, of course, a disingenuous aspect to this. While Walwyn was likely sincere that he was not a church member, in later years he confessed that “long before” 1643, he “had been established in that part of doctrine (called then, Antinomian) of free justification by Christ alone.” In other words, he was an aficionado of precisely the kind of heterodox divinity which others “called . . . Antinomian,” but which he believed to be anything but. He was also flirting with other controversial doctrines, including mortalism.11 As he confessed, while he never repudiated entirely parish churches as sites of spiritual insight, he had spent ample time with sectaries, attending their meetings, an admission confirmed by his demonstrable ties to the likes of Clement Writer and Lawrence Sanders.12 His chosen pose, as an ordinary member of the existing church, was in many ways dubious, but it held great rhetorical weight, for it let him appear as a dispassionate arbiter, with no partisan agenda, merely relaying the dictates of observation and reason. Like Roger Williams, Walwyn began by expressing disappointment over An Apologeticall Narration, which emphasized ties between the dissenting brethren and presbyterians while disparaging separatism. Walwyn thus presented his tract as a disinterested defense of separatists, anabaptists, and “some of the Independents” (the qualifier a rap on the knuckles for the dissenting divines), who had been unfairly maligned and harried in recent months.13 However, Walwyn’s approach was different from Williams or any other recent tolerationist writer. Where Williams, Robinson, and Edward Barber had written turgid works, larded with scriptural passages to prove that persecution was unwarranted, The Compassionate Samaritane clearly issued at or around the same time (MPWA, 3:255). The two parts are here cited as one continuous title. For Walwyn’s authorship, in this case indisputable, see J. R. McMichael and B. Taft, eds., The Writings of William Walwyn (Athens, GA, 1989), 97–9. 10  [W. Walwyn,] The Compassionate Samaritane: Unbinding The Conscience (1644), 4, 91–2. 11  See Chapter 7, above; see Samaritane, 81–2, for the “grossely false” charges against those labeled “Antinomians.” 12  W. Walwyn, A Whisper in the Eare of Mr. Thomas Edwards Minister (1646), sigs. Bv–B2r. 13  Samaritane, 12, 45, 73, 80. “Independents” were lumped with separatists and baptists as unjustly persecuted, although, in another shot at the dissenting brethren, Walwyn mused that some “Independents fled to places where they might live at ease and enjoy their hundred pounds a yeare.”

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avoided direct biblical citation. Rather, Walwyn portrayed his arguments as merely ineluctable conclusions of reason (and in his attachment to the power of reason, Walwyn reflected a rising trend visible among Lawrence Sanders and other sectaries in these months). The first part of the book thus made the case for liberty of conscience based on three underlying axioms, or “reasons,” which appeared habitually in Walwyn’s later works. Although grounded in (highly tendentious) readings of scripture, these three principles were confidently presented as unimpeachable maxims, almost self-evident in their simplicity and truth. First, Walwyn argued that “what judgement soever a man is, he cannot chuse but bee of that judgement,” for “whatsoever a mans reason doth conclude to be true or false, to be agreeable or disagreeable to Gods word,” that “man is by his own reason necessitated to be of that minde he is.” Belief was thus not a matter of choice, but “necessity,” and in such cases “there ought to be no punishment, for punishment is the recompence of voluntary actions.”14 The second maxim flowed from the “uncertainty of knowledge in this life,” by which “no sort of men can presume of an unerring spirit.” Reflecting a strain of Renaissance skepticism, inspired by Montaigne, Walwyn held that all spiritual knowledge was provisional and incomplete, subject to error. Unlike other skeptics, Walwyn took this not as an invitation for resignation, still less a state of flux demanding submission to the spiritual regulation of the mother church, but rather as an invitation towards “examining all things” in a ceaseless search for truth, wherever it was found, in defiance of all clerical orthodoxies. But it did mean that, given the “possibility of error,” “one sort of men are not to compell another.”15 The third and final “Reason for Liberty of Conscience” was Walwyn’s claim, based implicitly on a controversial reading of Romans 14, that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin, and that every man ought to be fully perswaded of the trueness of that way wherein he serveth the Lord.” Any attempt to “compell mee against my conscience, is to compel me against what I believe to be true, and so against my faith,” and since “whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” “to compell me therefore against my conscience, is to compell me to doe that which is sinfull.”16 On this view, the content of one’s beliefs did not matter—if one was “fully persuaded” in reason that a religious proposition was true, it was sinful to act or express otherwise, and equally sinful to force a person to such a betrayal. While this implied an almost relativistic view of religious truth, it was an idea of critical importance to Walwyn, and would ultimately prove influential in shaping the ideological superstructures at the most radical end of the parliamentarian spectrum. Although the case for liberty of conscience was central to the tract, it was not the sole, or even primary, message of the book. For Walwyn wove into this exposition a blistering attack on those he called “our divines.” The reason, he argued, for the invective against sectaries was because they were the most insistent critics of the “interest” of the clergy.17 He thus framed a withering polemic, blasting the guile by which the clerical caste over time had engrossed wealth to themselves, establishing authority by falsely perpetuating a spurious distinction between laymen and clergy, 14  Samaritane, 6–7. 16  Samaritane, 42–3.

15  Samaritane, 11, 25–6. 17  Samaritane, 47–8.

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a deceit made good through their monopoly of the “mysterie of Arts and Learning,” their command of biblical languages, and the “politique glosses” by which they polluted scripture. Indeed, so total was their hold that “the Priests and Ministers of Christendome (though others have the name) yet they are indeed the Lords and leaders thereof.”18 This juggling conspiracy had of course been the sport of prelates, but it was now perpetuated by ascendant nonconformists, creating the prospect that England would soon have “in stead of a Lord Bishop, a ruling Presbyter,” who would “bring in more rigidnesse and austerity” but “no lesse ambition and domination than the former.”19 As these remarks suggest, Walwyn offered a vision that was in many ways ­profoundly laicizing, even secular. The divines’ chief pillar in upholding their power was “the distinction concerning government of Ecclesiastical and Civill,” which was wholly specious, since “two governments in one Commonwealth hath ever beene, and will ever prove inconsistent with the peoples safety.” Properly speaking, then, there was no such thing as ecclesiastical government, the “government which we call the Civill” being “sufficient, or by the wisedome of the Parliament, may bee made sufficient,” for all proper ends of human governance.20 The Compassionate Samaritane was thus a bald appeal to the anticlerical, laicizing, and “erastian” instincts of its audience, hinting at a view of the polity in which the clergy—itself a spurious, artificial category—would have no institutional authority and would be utterly subordinate to the civil state. There was, of course, a hint of legerdemain here—Walwyn was with one hand holding up the omnicompetence of civil government against all clerical pretensions, while with the other he snatched religion and religious enforcement out of the state’s purview. And this was not the only way his view of parliament’s supreme power was offset by robust, indeed novel, claims for the liberty of the subject against the state.21 Walwyn insisted, for instance, that a key tactic the clergy used to secure their dominance was control of the press. His epistle to parliament pointed out that “In the beginning of Your Session, when our Divines . . . wrote freely against the Bishops, and the Bishops made complaint to You for redresse; some of You made answer that there was no remedy, forasmuch as the Presse was to be open and free for all in time of Parliament,” and Walwyn presented his tract as “lay[ing] claime to that priviledge.” Here, Walwyn asserted a right to liberty of printing in parliament-time, explicitly articulated by Gregory Dexter in 1641, and clearly embraced as an existing privilege by some members of parliament’s coalition. The alleged exchange in which “some” MPs had confirmed this privilege to the bishops’ faces cannot be identified, but a rumor that such an exchange had taken place certainly took root in militant circles, for the anecdote would be repeated afresh in coming months. This happy state of freedom had been disrupted, however, by the Licensing Ordinance. Although parliament’s measure “was purposed . . . to restraine the venting . . . of the Kings writings and his Agents, yet it hath by reason 18  Samaritane, 21–41, 34–5. 19  Samaritane, 19–20. 20  Samaritane, 21–2. 21  [H. Robinson,] Liberty of Conscience, or the Sole means to obtaine Peace and Truth (1643), 27, hinted in this direction four months earlier.

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of the qualifications of the Licensers . . . stopt the mouthes of good men.” This was part of the crafty design by which ministers aimed at “making themselves masters of the people.” Through the “Licensers (who are Divines and intend their interest) . . . nothing may come to the Worlds view but what they please, unlesse men will runne the hazard of imprisonment (as I now doe)”; meanwhile, “scandalous books” were “still disperst” with impunity.22 Walwyn was, no doubt, thinking about his friend Lawrence Sanders, and perhaps also pondering the tribulations of Sanders’s printer, Gregory Dexter. For Walwyn, none of this was acceptable: the press must be open, and those confident of their opinions “should desire that all mens mouthes should bee open, that so errour may discover its foulnesse, and truth become more glorious by a victorious conquest.” This was by far the most capacious statement of the principle of press freedom that had yet been made in English. As in the religious sphere, Walwyn insisted that there was a wide domain of public discourse that parliament should not touch.23 Yet, importantly, neither in the realm of religion, nor in the realm of press ­freedom, did Walwyn propose absolute liberty. Parliament clearly had the right to censor books that were “scandalous or dangerous to the State.”24 Walwyn put a parallel caveat on claims for liberty of conscience: no one should be “punished . . . by authority for his opinion, unlesse it be dangerous to the State.”25 This, then, was an essential line in the sand: no opinion, religious practice, or published utterance should be suppressed or punished until it endangered the civil authorities or the commonwealth. Royalist pamphlets were thus illegitimate and deserved suppression. But this of course left enormous ambiguity—what was a threat to the state? On this view, for instance, Catholicism, long seen as inimical to secular power because of papal primacy and deposing power, might well be excluded from the circle of toleration. This ambiguity was arguably crucial to the tract’s polemical architecture: not only did Walwyn’s caveats emphasize the total preeminence of civil, temporal power, but they also left just enough wiggle room to appeal to parliamentarians uncomfortable with toleration for papists (an ambiguity that contrasted sharply against, for instance, Williams’s Bloudy Tenent, which two weeks earlier suggested toleration not only for Catholics, but for Jews, Muslims, and even atheists). Indeed, Walwyn’s principle that all opinions not “dangerous to the state” should be tolerated likewise points at the ultimate design of his pamphlet. For one grouping was certainly not a threat to the state: “though the . . . incitements against the Brownists and Anabaptists, and some of the Independents have beene many, yet their affections to the Publike weale are so hearty . . . and grounded upon such sound principalls of reason,” that the clergy could do nothing to make them “cease to love and assist their Country.”26 Walwyn helpfully enumerated these “principalls of reason.” In refuting the incessant claims of “the divines” that baptists were Münster-like enemies of order, Walwyn offered a kind of political catechism, summarizing the right principles of government and the true nature of the struggle against the king. Baptists had been the “most zealous and rationall defenders of our 22  Samaritane, sig. A4r–v, 38–9, 59–60. 23  Samaritane, 58–9, 76. 24  Samaritane, sig. A4r, 38–9, 76. 25  Samaritane, 5. 26  Samaritane, 45.

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government,” and the most earnest foes of “those that would disolve our free ­government, and bring in tyranny.” But the government Walwyn had in mind was not one that Charles I would have recognized. “The Anabaptists opinion concerning government is,” he wrote, “that the world being grown so vitious, and corrupt as it is, there can possibly be no living for honest men without government.” The “end of making government” was the “Peoples quiet and safety,” and “whatsoever doth not conduce thereto is tyranny or oppression, and not government.” England’s political system was, Walwyn argued, “the most excellent” in the world. But it was so because “the people by their chosen men, being the makers and reformers thereof ” possessed ultimate control over the state. Because of this principle of ­representation, “the Parliament is the supreme power, and that the King is accountable to them for the not performance of his office, as all other officers of the Commonwealth are.” Having reduced the monarch to the status of mere “officer,” Walwyn explained that “the Parliament only are the makers and alterers of Lawes for the regulation and ordering of the people,” which meant that “it is not at the Kings will or pleasure to sign or refuse those Bills the Parliament shall passe, but that he is of duty to signe them,” thereby denying the king’s veto power and cutting him out of legislation. Moreover, “to Parliaments alone” belonged appointment of military commanders, as well as “The making of Peace and Warre, the pressing of Souldiers, the raising of monies for the preserving or regaining the safety or freedome of the People, which for any other person to doe, is treasonable.”27 This last statement in fact hinted that Charles I was a traitor. Moreover, the ­passage reprised perfectly the demands of the Remonstrance of March 30, 1643, which Walwyn and his allies had sought to ram through the Common Council fifteen months earlier. In almost identical language and sequence, The Compassionate Samaritane duplicated the ten propositions of the Remonstrance.28 Walwyn left no  doubt that these axioms provided the foundation of parliament’s cause and the grounds of the anabaptists’ support: “These . . . principles they knowing could not but see the exorbitances of the King, and whereto all his lawlesse courses and designes tended, and therefore have not ignorantly (as perhaps others) but upon these grounds assisted the Parliament, and will doe till the last.”29 This was a vision of the English state essentially crypto-republican in character: parliament was wholly supreme, the sole legislative power of the commonwealth; the monarch was a mere officer, accountable to the people’s chosen men; England’s own “lawlesse” king had engaged in practices flatly described as treasonable. Yet as the rest of the tract made clear, this program was mutating in ways that transcended the Remonstrance of March 30. Arguments for the radical supremacy of parliament were, under pressure of increasing religious polarization and debate, bleeding together with novel demands for religious toleration and discursive liberty. 27  Samaritane, 64–8. 28  See Chapter 6; Remonstrans Redivivus: Or An Accompt of the Remonstrance and Petition, Formerly presented by divers Citizens of London (1643), 4–6, which claimed that parliament controlled “disposing of our persons, propriety of our estates . . . the great affaires of peace and warre,” which “for any person . . . to assume” was “arbitrary, and tyrannical.” The shift to “treasonable” was significant. 29  Samaritane, 68.

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For Walwyn, and for like-minded people, freedom of conscience and its corollary, freedom of the press, had by this point become tightly linked to “free government,” exercised through a supreme parliament. Moreover, as Walwyn’s analysis suggested, some partisans were coming to believe that these were the underlying objectives of the civil war. Of course, many devoted parliamentarians disagreed. This was a vision far removed from the objectives of “mixed monarchy” and reduced episcopacy publicly espoused by the parliamentarian leadership in 1641. However, the genius of The Compassionate Samaritane was its appeal precisely to those parliamentarians who were not separatists, baptists, or independents, but who shared (or at least might warm to) the basic political principles outlined in the tract. Indeed, the marrow of the book’s argument was that religious opinions and differences, while precious and inviolable to those who held them, needed to be overlooked in the pursuit of parliament’s cause and the common good. It was politics, and a political order organized against tyranny and in support of “the Publike weale,” which held the cause together, and which should be the chief concern of those joined in the struggle. Walwyn even gestured at a label for this coalition, the “honest party,” which must remain united in the face of the Machiavellian subterfuges of “divines” and royalist “malignants” alike.30 In a language of reason, moderation, and sturdy erastian distaste for clerical hubris, the tract implored readers to look beyond religion and to rally around the robust vision of parliamentary power and capacious liberties it presented as the core of parliament’s cause. P O L I T I C A L C O N F L I C T, T H E H O U S E O F L O R D S , A N D T H E S H A P E O F T H E “ I N D E P E N D E N T ” C OA L I T I O N Despite rising battles over church government, the most explosive political debates of early 1644 had little to do with religion in any direct way. Rather, the most pressing conflicts in the two houses continued to center on longstanding questions of how aggressively, and in what form, to pursue the war against the king. Parliament’s debates of early 1644 have been treated by historians elsewhere, and although there remains much to be said, the present account limits itself to two important developments that have largely been overlooked. First, a series of heated debates over the reorganization of parliament’s war effort led, in early 1644, to significant inter-cameral conflict between the two houses. This in turn pushed some in the coalition to question the constitutional standing of the House of Lords. We have seen that this had happened, dramatically, during battles over the militia in early 1642; concerns about the probity of those in the upper house arose again later that year as a result of conflicts over negotiation with the king. But these challenges to the lords’ status remained largely the preserve of radical enthusiasts in London; only in early 1644 did they migrate to MPs in the 30  Samaritane, 88–91. The phrase “honest party” had been used before, but not in this way. It would become a badge of self-description for militants in coming years.

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lower house. Although these disputes were not advertised in print—London presses remained reluctant to air disputes in Westminster—word seeped out through rumor and newsletters, and, among some Roundheads, solidified a sense of grievance against the power of the peers. The second development that can be charted during these months is that the “war party” program, including a newly uncompromising stand towards the upper house and a more aggressive posture towards the king, came in 1644 increasingly to be intermingled with religion and religious divisions in parliament, growing more firmly associated with “independency” and the politics of religious toleration. The militant program of parliamentary supremacy and total victory over the royalists gradually came to be tied to the emerging “independent” wing of the coalition. This was partly because, as Walwyn’s account suggested, and as earlier chapters have shown, sectaries and independents from the start gravitated towards the most extreme ideological solutions on offer. To an extent, this was the result of ideological affinity: there were several aspects of sectarian piety, and to a lesser extent congregationalism, that rendered followers amenable to bottom-up, ascending understandings of the polity. Yet support for militant counsels was also a product of political expediency and contingency: these people had no illusions about the consequences of a royalist victory and an episcopal resurgence, and hence they were naturally among parliament’s most vehement supporters, making them willing to endorse revisions to the political order that would secure them against such a reaction. Yet as noted above, radical political solutions were by no means an exclusive monopoly of sectaries and independents. This continued to be so through 1644 and beyond. But from 1644, and accelerating thereafter, the leadership of the militant wing of the coalition fell gradually into the hands of those either overtly committed to independency or to a measure of toleration for scrupling sectaries and congregationalists. Those inclined to uncompromising political solutions were thus compelled to fall behind this leadership. Moreover, as Walwyn’s tract reveals, the evolving political ideologies on offer at this leading edge were growing more multifaceted, more far-reaching in departure from prewar norms, and more tightly interwoven with novel theories of religious toleration. Although these shifts were only beginning in early 1644, they can be chronicled in their infancy by looking at inter-cameral disputes in parliament. Without rehearsing the political minutiae of these months, tensions between the Lords and Commons erupted when the upper house launched stubborn resistance to measures seen as escalating the war effort, reducing the power of the Earl of Essex, or both. The struggles began with an attempt to impose an oath of secrecy on the new Committee of Both Kingdoms, created in February 1644 to bring the Scots into a standing council to manage the war effort. This body had been approved only with great difficulty, in large part because its creation came to be seen as a tool of the war-party interest in the lower house and an assault on Essex’s authority. The Lords viewed the newly minted oath of secrecy, along with the ­concomitant assumption that only enumerated members of the committee could attend its closed meetings, as a violation of their privileges, and they strongly resisted. This forced the Commons to deliver a warning to the peers, widely interpreted to

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mean “that yf they retarded their concurrence, they wowld take suche a cowrse as was answerable to the trust committed to them,” suggesting that if the Lords refused to approve the oath, the Commons would be forced to implement it on their own.31 In the coming weeks, as conflicts emerged over new measures, some MPs made these threats more explicit. A fresh clash broke out over whether to give the Committee of Both Kingdoms power to manage peace negotiations with the king, a move again viewed by peers as investing overweening power in a distastefully militant body, while cutting most nobles out of important talks. Militant members of the lower house now explicitly threatened to override the peers, with John Gurdon declaring that the Commons should “doe it without the Lords if not joine with us.”32 The peers backed down, but conflict sprouted again in May over a draft ordinance to renew funding for the Eastern Association army; this army, with its puritanical air, and its ample commission to the Earl of Manchester, was seen as a threat to Essex’s authority, and the peers delayed and meddled with the measure to try to restrict Manchester’s power and subordinate him to the Lord General. As Clive Holmes has noted, this resistance was greeted with intense hostility in the lower house, where “some moved that we goe on by our selves and passe the ordinance without them.”33 Some MPs thus argued that, given the exigency of the situation, the Lords’ concurrence could be dispensed with, effectively cutting the upper house out of legislation. The Lords eventually capitulated, but only after weeks of conflict. Even before this controversy was settled, still another dramatic contest began. When the initial three-month term of the Committee of Both Kingdoms was set to expire, the upper house refused to extend its life, instead seeking to reshape the body to include a broad range of peace-party lords and MPs. A bitter battle ensued, and on May 9 the Committee was allowed to lapse; for two weeks, no executive body existed to manage the war. Again, at least some MPs continued to push to override the peers’ authority: reflecting on the debates over the measure, D’ewes claimed that it was “often moved” “to doe it without L[or]ds.”34 In the end, this extreme scenario was averted: war-party stalwarts in the lower house used a clever bit of parliamentary sleight of hand to push through an older, previously discarded version of the ordinance, which had been approved by the Lords before the hot contentions began.35 But the fact that members of the Commons repeatedly, openly threatened to bypass the Lords, implying that their concurrence was unnecessary in passing ordinances, suggested that these struggles, dating back to early 1642 and now sharpened by new conflicts, drove some MPs to revise their understanding of the constitutional status of the Lords.

31  Culpeper, 210; LJ 6:477–9; BL, Whit., fol. 121r. 32  BL, Hl. 166, fols. 33r, 40r (wherein D’ewes claims that he answered the speeches of “both” Vane and Gurdon); CJ 3:428–9, 439; LJ 6:477, 483–4, 519. 33  BL, Yonge 3, fol. 100a; C. Holmes, “Colonel King and Lincolnshire Politics, 1642–1646,” HJ, 16 (1973), 461. 34  CJ 3:490; BL, Whit., fols. 136r–137r; BL, Hl. 166, fols. 57v, 64v. 35 Gardiner, GCW, 1:343; LJ 6:405; CJ 3:504.

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Whether these were chiefly bullying tactics to shove the peers into compliance is difficult to say. But they set a precedent: almost identical threats would be employed by war-party firebrands in 1646 as conflict between the two houses escalated again.36 Moreover, the battles of 1644 exacted a toll on the standing of the upper house beyond Westminster. Details were carefully whitewashed in the press, and talk of overriding the Lords is only found buried in manuscript parliamentary diaries. Nevertheless, the outlines of these conflicts were widely known. In London, the peers’ refusal to renew the Committee of Both Kingdoms spurred a petitioning drive, which in the words of one MP “was not well taken by the Lords.”37 The damage to the peers’ reputation can be charted in the private writings of the Kentish man Sir Cheney Culpeper and the Londoner Thomas Juxon. Both were parliamentarian hard-liners, and both clearly received copious information about deadlock between the houses. As Chapter 14 shows, in these months, and in direct reference to the conflicts described here, both expressed highly negative views of the lords and their chamber, and Culpeper in particular took the logic of war-party MPs to its ultimate conclusion, explicitly denying the upper house’s role in legislation. Yet, crucially, those who pressed these immoderate war-party measures, even to the point of bulldozing the lords’ constitutional position, appear overwhelmingly to have been gravitating towards support for the emerging “independent” interest. In the Commons, this interest was championed above all by Vane and Oliver St. John, now seen as leaders of the militant, anti-Essex faction in the lower house, but who also came to champion a degree of toleration for independents. This “independent” interest also had allies in the Lords, most obviously Saye and Wharton, both congregationalist sympathizers. But, strikingly, those who supported the militant, war-party politics endorsed by this grouping appear during 1644 to have been pulled along into alliance with these independent leaders, coming to back, or at least to swallow, varying degrees of toleration, even if they had no attachment to the exoticisms of independent church government or sectarian piety. As we will see, this was true of both Culpeper and Juxon; in different ways, both in ensuing months showed not only the kind of increasingly stern political views outlined in this chapter—including disdain for the king and House of Lords—but support for the “independent” political leadership and willingness to countenance at least limited toleration. Neither appears to have been attached to any gathered or sectarian ­congregation, but both revealed godly pietistic tendencies and great suspicion of clerical power. As Juxon observed in 1645, in words that would have thrilled Walwyn, “the Independents have done too good service to be so ill rewarded as not to have their liberty.”38 A further example can be seen in the case of John Gurdon, the one MP actually named as threatening to bypass the Lords in 1644. Gurdon was among the more extreme MPs early in the war, and was named by the General Rising petitioners to 36  M. Kishlansky, The Rise of the New Model Army (Cambridge, 1979), 128–30. 37  LMA, COL/CC/01/01/041, fols. 96r–97r; LJ 6:550; Whitelocke, Memorials, 83. 38  Juxon, 86.

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their radical committee in 1643. Predictably, by 1645, he was aligned with the group now labeled by contemporaries as the “independents” in parliament. However, as one ally later described him, he was “an honest religious Gentleman, but a Presbyterian throughout.” In other words he was a puritan, and personally inclined to presbyterian church government. However, he was not of such “fiery Zeale, that cannot endure Godly men if they differ in judgment from him, his religion is more pure and agreable to the commands of our Saviour, loving the members of Christ where he seeth them . . . though in this particular they differ from him in judgement.”39 This willingness to stomach differences in precise doctrinal or liturgical practice— a species of “anti-formalism” that receives elaboration in Chapter 15—allowed Gurdon to embrace a degree of godly toleration, but likewise enabled him to move into alliance with Vane, St. John, and their allies, whose political priorities and commitment to the total defeat of the king he shared. It was a commitment that carried him through the turbulence of the late 1640s and survived Charles’s execution, following which Gurdon was appointed to the Rump Council of State.40 A similar case can be made for the southwesterner Edmund Prideaux, another of the more militant MPs in the early part of the war, but, as several sources attest, a ­supporter of a robust presbyterian church in 1644–5. Prideaux’s presbyterianism appears to have been tempered, however, by an irenic godly fraternalism similar to Gurdon’s; his commonplace book reveals, for instance, copious notes on the sermons of the congregationalist Jeremiah Burroughs.41 As with Gurdon, willingness to wink at diversity, at least within a respectably godly orbit, allowed Prideaux to remain firmly allied to the emerging “independent” leadership in parliament and army, and, like Gurdon, he became a pillar of the republic, receiving appointment as the Commonwealth’s attorney general in 1649.42 Again, it was Prideaux’s political orientation that evidently overrode his personal religious preferences, and kept him cooperating with the congregationalists and sectaries at the core of the emerging independent coalition. All of this helps to grapple with a problem that has vexed scholarship for more than half a century. It has long been known that many lumped by friends and enemies under the umbrella of the “independent party” beginning in late 1644 were not actually committed “independents” at all. Acrid scholarly debates over so-called “presbyterian independents,” and the coherence and applicability of these labels to the period, have to an extent clouded our understanding of the complex religious politics of the civil war.43 For the most part, historians have tried to gloss over these problems by using distinctions between “political independents” and 39  Vindiciae Veritatis. Or An Answer to A Discourse intituled, Truth it’s Manifest (1654), 138. 40  However, see S. Roberts, “Propagating the Gospel in Wales: The Making of the 1650 Act,” Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 10 (2004), 70–1; B. Worden, The Rump Parliament, 1648–1653 (Cambridge, 1974), 34–5, 126. 41  Baillie, 2:236–7; BL, Hl. 166, fol. 204v; Dorset History Centre, D-LRM/F/1, unfol. The notes, from Burroughs’s Gospel-Worship (first published in 1647), date from the 1650s. 42  D. Underdown, “Party Management in the Recruiter Elections, 1645–1648,” EHR, 83 (1968), 235–64; “Edmond Prideaux,” ODNB. 43  J. H. Hexter, “The Problem of the Presbyterian Independents,” American Historical Review, 44 (1938), 29–49; Hexter’s article sparked sporadic debate into the 1970s.

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“religious independents” on the one hand, and “political presbyterians” and “religious presbyterians” on the other. These cumbersome categories, alien to seventeenthcentury contemporaries, are perhaps unavoidable for describing the politics of the period. But it has generally been unclear what motivated people to align themselves in this way: what exactly might compel someone to become a “political independent,” and just what did this entail? The analysis offered here has sought to provide a clearer picture of what enabled the growth of an “independent” party that was not, in reality, composed of doctrinaire “independents” at all. On this view, the loose political coalition, soon dubbed by its enemies the “independent party,” was an alliance held together by a series of preferences: first, an increasingly radical political vision, centering on the total defeat of the king and parliamentary supremacy ­(frequently now focused on the centrality of the Commons), and often buttressed by a robust, expanding vision of the rightful liberties of the subject; second, a ­commitment to some unspecified measure of toleration, underwritten by a vision of religious unity in which the precise boundaries of orthodoxy and practice were less important than sincere godly piety; and third, a powerful aversion to the threat of tyrannical priestly power (a threat, as 1644 progressed, linked to fear of foreign Scottish domination). These tendencies, sometimes working in isolation, more often in combination, convinced many who had no attachment to congregationalist ecclesiology to support the leadership and political program pushed by the likes of Vane and Cromwell.

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PA RT I V F R A G M E N TAT I O N A N D V I C TO RY, 1 6 4 4 – 1 6 4 5

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11 Rumor Wars Underground Print and the Coming of the New Model Army On September 2, 1644, pinned near Fowey on the Cornish coast, and with the king’s army closing in, the Earl of Essex sailed for safety, leaving his straitened soldiers to their fate. For months, in defiance of parliament, Essex had been plowing deeper into the southwest, cutting himself off from reinforcement. The final disaster at Lostwithiel erased parliament’s gains of the summer. Essex’s foot commanders were forced to negotiate articles of surrender, but his broken infantrymen, including thousands of Londoners, were abused and plundered in violation of the terms as they straggled home. The debacle left a bitter legacy and added to rising mistrust among the Roundhead rank and file. As a libel put it shortly thereafter, royalists had been making merry “since our Excellence / lay in a Wherrie.” If Essex’s battered reputation reached a new low, the king’s suffered still more: “His word’s a Toy for at Foy / After faire Quarter / In’s gracious Sight I was quite / Stripped soone after / Let no man believe him what ever he sweares / Hee’s so many Jesuits hangs at his Eares.”1 As parliament’s Lord General rested supine in a boat, his young soldiers endured cannon shot and humiliation; the king, meanwhile, was a forsworn liar, who winked at the spoil of his people. More broadly, Essex’s defeat unleashed waves of recrimination, as competing narratives emerged to explain the disaster. Essex’s partisans laid blame on his enemies, especially his rival Waller, whom they believed had purposefully failed to defend the earl’s rear. Essex’s critics, by contrast, blamed the fecklessness, even treachery, of the earl and his leading officers, who had long been suspected and who were dogged by rumors of correspondence with the royalists during their mutinous journey west.2 The inquiries and maneuvers that ensued set the stage for the decisive reorganization of parliament’s war machine—the creation of the New Model Army. But the upheavals that conjured the New Model were also fueled by the religious controversy examined in Part III. Only after Lostwithiel did rising religious tensions, 1  BL, E.276[2], MS., April 1, 1645; the king in fact tried to stop the plundering, but failed: B. Donagan, War in England, 1642–1649 (Oxford, 2008), 202–3. 2  Baillie, 2:217, 222, 229; H. W. Meikle, ed., Correspondence of the Scots Commissioners in London, 1644–1646 (Edinburgh, 1917), 43; Scotish Dove (Sept. 27, 1644/E.10[16]), 381; HMC, The Manuscripts of His Grace The Duke of Portland . . . Vol. III (1894), 127; Whitelocke, Memorials, 98–9; BL, Hl. 166, fol. 112v.

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long rumbling at the edges of the coalition, crash into the center of parliamentary politics. Older disputes, which pitted Essex and more moderate grandees against war-party militants, now merged with religious conflicts between “independents” and their critics. This process of realignment was well underway by the end of 1644. This chapter seeks to explore that reconfiguration through printed polemic, carefully contextualized against both the high politics of parliamentary maneuver and the “low” politics of libel, rumor, and street action. This shifting terrain of intra-parliamentarian contestation began to force subtle but dramatic ideological changes, as longtime supporters of militant, war-party measures began to craft new and competing understandings of how the spiritual and temporal polities should function. For some, the threat of “independency” resulted in a retrenchment and qualification of more radical political commitments staked early in the war. But, for those opposed to presbyterianism, the contests of late 1644 and early 1645 led to the articulation of new statements and theoretical constructs, some hinting at “democratization” of the body politic, others at crucial reforms to constitutional and legal structures. Part IV analyzes these novel formulations, and in particular reconstructs the emergence of a “propaganda collective,” at the farthest reaches of the independent coalition, which to an extent presaged the “Leveller” movement that exploded into view in 1647. However, as we will see, this “propaganda collective” was merely a vocal and influential subsection of a broader independent coalition, which generated a range of notable ideological ruptures beginning in late 1644. Moreover, by early 1645 the loose presbyterian and independent groupings that had formed in the previous year began to assume more concrete form, ensuring that there were increasingly formidable organizational ligatures allowing for the public promotion of these competing programs. This chapter, and the rest of Part IV, chronicles the striking ideological shifts that unfolded as the war party fragmented into competing political fronts, threatening to tear parliament’s coalition apart. In the process, by analyzing the overlapping forms, practices, and organizational sinews through which activists conducted these partisan battles, Part IV hints at deep and abiding shifts in the underlying, structural conditions of political conduct. T H E R I S E O F O RG A N I Z E D P R E S B Y T E R I A N I S M Even as Essex’s friends and enemies quarreled over personal blame for the Cornish disaster, there emerged a more cosmic dispute over the root, providential causes of the setback. Presbyterians ascribed the defeat to parliament’s failure to suppress heresy and establish a reformed church.3 But this narrative was soon challenged; within days of Lostwithiel, backers of “independency” in London spread rumors 3  MPWA, 3:279–83; G. Gillespie, Notes of the Debates and Proceedings of the Assembly of Divines and other Commissioners at Westminster, ed. D. Meek (Edinburgh, 1846), 67; Scotish Dove (Sept. 27, 1644/E.10[16]), 378–81; To the Honourable the Commons House of Parliament: The humble Petition of the Ministers of the City of London (1644).

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that the disaster was divine punishment for a rising persecutory spirit in parliament’s camp.4 This sentiment was forcefully voiced on September 12, when John Goodwin preached on the day of humiliation for the loss. Goodwin declared that to “attempt the . . . suppression of any Doctrine, or way, which is from God” was the great sin that “ever and anon thus separates . . . God and us, which still troubles our proceedings.” Parliament’s defeat flowed from a rising tide of religious oppression; when Goodwin published his sermons four weeks later, he was called before parliament’s Committee for Plundered Ministers.5 What lent Goodwin’s argument substance were events of August 1644. Religious conflict had been rising for months. But after Marston Moor in July, a hardening of positions took place. In London, a phalanx of godly ministers, working closely with the Westminster divines and Scots, and in direct contact with the Scottish General Assembly, came together in what can only be described as a new clerical presbyterian movement.6 In one of its first organized acts, this clerical front agreed to “to erect a weeklie lecture” for Thomas Edwards at Christ Church Newgate, paid for by “the ministers of London, at least more than a hundred of them.” Edwards’s brief was to preach on church government, anabaptism, antinomianism, “and nothing else.” The lectureship was a reward for Edwards’s recent book, Antapologia: Or, a Full Answer to the Apologeticall Narration. As we have seen, Edwards was an early opponent of congregationalism, having fought it in the 1630s in the Hertford of Gabriel Barber and John Archer. Edwards’s opposition led him, in 1641, to write the first major attack on the “independants” and, although his crusade was quieted by the “Aldermanbury Accord,” he saw An Apologeticall Narration of January 1644 as a sign of the congregationalists’ violation of that truce. Edwards composed a massive tome, exposing the errors of the dissenting divines; his much-anticipated Antapologia appeared in July, and within days his clerical brethren set him up at Christ Church to scourge the independents.7 But this web of organization was not limited to London. An important feature of the new presbyterianism was the mobilization of parallel cohorts of ministers in the provinces. Not surprisingly, the forerunner here was Hertfordshire, scene of Edwards’s struggles with his foes and, more recently, a cockpit of religious factionalism, as chronicled in Chapter 9. The struggles against Kendall, Baldwin, and Erbery had united the county’s more mainstream godly ministers, and it was likely in these same clerical networks that sustained organization now unfolded. On August 31, the Commons received a petition from Hertfordshire clergymen, lamenting the failure to establish a “setled government in the Church,” resulting in 4 Gillespie, Notes, 67; see also [R. Overton,] Martin’s Eccho (1645), 11–12. 5  J. Goodwin, Theomachia; Or the Grand Imprudence of men running hazard of Fighting Against God (1644), 4–6, 15–21; J. Coffey, John Goodwin and the Puritan Revolution (Woodbridge, 2006), 113–16; W. Prynne, Truth Triumphing over Falshood (1645), sigs. Pv–P2r; J. Goodwin, Calumny Arraign’d and Cast (1645), 6. 6  His Majesties Declaration Directed to all Persons of what degree and qualitie soever (1644), sigs. A2r–A3r. 7 Baillie, 2:201–2, 215–16; A. Hughes, Gangraena and the Struggle for the English Revolution (Oxford, 2004), 42–51.

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“universall distractions” which were “multiplying dayly” and sowing “confusion.”8 This was the first clerical petition to parliament for the speedy establishment of church government; interestingly, it flowed not from London, but from the city’s hinterland. The Hertfordshire petition set an influential precedent. A string of similar petitions soon reached parliament, first (in September) from London’s clergy, then from ministers and magistrates throughout the southeast.9 This leads, however, to another feature of this formidable clerical alliance, stretching across county boundaries: it was devoted not only to hastening the foundation of a classical church, but also to the suppression of the sects. In the weeks before Lostwithiel, the Westminster divines, working with city clergy, pushed sectarianism back into parliament’s view. Faced with coordinated clerical reports of sectarian excesses, channeled through the Assembly, the Commons moved to discipline a series of London preachers, who were cited before the house’s Committee for Plundered Ministers, backed by Assembly divines.10 On receipt of the Hertfordshire petition on August 31, the house expanded this arrangement, giving its committee and clerical assistants power “to proceed with all such as shall publish the Opinions of Anabaptism or Antinomianism,” in effect creating an engine for disciplining all proponents of these errors.11 Partly through the Committee for Plundered Ministers, and partly through increasing vigilance of magistrates beyond London, several noted radical puritans, who have been mentioned in these pages, were summoned or imprisoned starting in August 1644–including Hanserd Knollys, John Simpson, Giles Randall, John Goodwin, John Turner, and Henry Denne, as well as newcomers such as the Londoner Thomas Webbe and the Kentish baptist Francis Cornwell.12 Indeed, when word of Lostwithiel arrived on September 6, the Westminster divines had just finalized a comprehensive blueprint for eradicating sectarianism (considered in greater detail below). That blueprint was handed to the Committee for Plundered Ministers on September 5, whence it was to be passed to the Commons for approval. This, then, was the context in which London independents interpreted Lostwithiel: a new spirit of persecution had invited God’s wrath. The defeat in Cornwall, however, suspended plans for crushing the sects. MPs knew that, given Essex’s defeat, they could ill afford to snub either the Scots or Cromwell’s independent network in the Eastern Association. The result, for now, was an ambivalent approach that sought to appease both sides. This was becoming 8  CJ 3:614; To the Honourable House of Commons Assembled in Parliament, The Humble Petition of the Ministers of the County of Hertford (1644). 9  To the Honourable the Commons House of Parliament: The humble Petition of the Ministers of the City of London; University of Chicago, Regenstein Library MS. 4552 (Suffolk); CJ 3:692–3 (Norfolk and Suffolk, Nov. 11); CJ 4:27; BL, Add. MS. 70109, misc. 62 (Suffolk). 10  MPWA, 3:215, 220–3; CJ 3:584–5; BL, Hl. 166, fol. 105v; BL, Add. MS. 15669, fol. 2v. 11  CJ 3:614. 12  BL, Add. MS. 15669, fol. 2v; H. Knowles, The Life and Death of That Old Disciple of Christ, and Eminent Minister of the Gospel, Mr. Hanserd Knollys (1692), 20–1; J. Goodwin, Calumny Arraign’d and Cast (1644), 4–7; J. Turner, No Age like unto this age (1653), 1; J. Lilburne, The Copy of a Letter, from Lieutenant Colonell John Lilburne (1645), 15; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/176 (Nov. 22, 1644, Dec. 2, 1644); LJ 7:71, 80–1; SP 28/21, fol. 84r; Gangraena, 1:76; H. Denne, Antichrist Unmasked in two Treatises (1645), sig. A2r–v; for Cornwell, see below.

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more difficult. After Marston Moor, Cromwell’s feud with Major General Crawford intensified, entangling Manchester himself, who was increasingly seen by Cromwell’s supporters as timid to the point of obstructionism, and who was now showing overt presbyterian preferences. As soon as news of Lostwithiel arrived, Cromwell repaired to London and tried to oust Crawford; eager to avoid offense to the northern ally, parliament’s leadership bowed to Scottish pressure, and the move failed.13 Yet at the same time, on September 13, when Cromwell returned to the Commons to a hero’s welcome, he, Vane, and St. John pushed through an order empowering a standing bicameral committee to consider “the Differences in Opinion of the Members of the Assembly in point of Church Government” and “to endeavour a Union if it be possible; and, in case that cannot be done, to endeavour the finding out some ways how far tender Consciences . . . may be borne with.” This “accommodation order,” a bald attempt to preempt the work of the Westminster Assembly, marked a critical turning point, angering the Scots, who now realized they could no longer trust their erstwhile allies, Vane and St. John. Yet it also showed that, given the frailty of parliament’s war effort, MPs could not alienate Cromwell and his friends. For six weeks “the grand committee” of lords, MPs, Scots, and divines engaged in debate, as independent backers sought to comprehend congregationalists within the new order, against Scottish resistance.14 Cromwell’s rising star, and his brash attempt to undo Crawford, meant that he now became the target of a whispering campaign, marking a less formal, darker political edge to the rise of presbyterianism. On September 19, 1644, The Parliament Scout, edited by John Dillingham, Oliver’s supporter and sometime host in London, was forced to confute reports swirling about Cromwell that it was “better we had not had a Victory, then that he and his party should have the glory of it.” Over the next five weeks, Dillingham countered a series of such rumors, including reports that Cromwell and his officers would resign if they could not obtain “a tolleration for independency,” and the even more disturbing story that they intended to join forces with the king to obtain liberty of conscience.15 In many ways, then, Cromwell was mutating into a figure analogous to Essex, combining a charismatic popular reputation, a strong parliamentary power base, and an alarmingly potent military following, the loyalty of which was seen by some as dubious. In Cromwell’s case, anxieties about budding factionalism and armed force were amplified because of the allegedly extreme ideological commitment that he, his officers, and supporters embraced. A war of words was intensifying, in which Cromwell was imagined as the head of a distinct “party,” organized around principled promotion of “independency.”

13  S. R. Gardiner, ed., “A Letter from the Earl of Manchester to the House of Lords, giving an Opinion on the Conduct of Oliver Cromwell,” Camden Miscellany, VIII, Camden Society, N.S., 31 (1883), 1; Baillie, 2:229–30. 14 CJ 3:626. Baillie, 2:230, 235–7; see Y. Chung, “Parliament and the Committee for Accommodation,” Parliamentary History, 30 (2011), 289–308. 15  A. Cotton, “Cromwell and the Self-Denying Ordinance,” History, 62 (1977), 218–19.

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T WO R E S P O N S E S : A R E O PAG I T I C A A N D T H E S E C R E T P R E S S O F OV E RTO N A N D T E W With counter-rumors buzzing and with the politico-military situation finely balanced, Richard Overton undertook a dramatic return to secret printing operations. At some point in September, Overton acquired a new press and letter. This press was erected in the house of Nicholas Tew in Coleman Street. Tew had been a separatist since 1639 and, after a stint in parliament’s army, became an anchor of the city’s sectarian underground.16 Although he made his living as a girdler, he was free of the Stationers’ Company, which perhaps lent trade expertise and a veneer of legal cover.17 Tew later admitted that he sold some of the books printed by the press, suggesting he helped to distribute its output. That output has been masterfully reconstructed through the typographical research of David Adams.18 Our knowledge of the books produced by the press, set against the context outlined here, permits a clear glimpse of the objectives driving this new enterprise forward. First, the secret press was a response to the tightening noose of the Licensing Ordinance. The seizure of Gregory Dexter’s press in February, followed by his permanent exit from the trade, eliminated a chief outlet for radical puritan and tolerationist materials. Into 1644, Overton had remained linked to Peter Cole’s print house, which produced the first edition of Overton’s Mans Mortallitie in January. But, as shown above, Cole was recoiling from the Brownist community that attracted him in the early 1640s, and in December 1644 he privately confessed he was “against a generall Liberty of Conscience.”19 He and Overton thus appear to have parted ways in 1644. As unlicensed print came under pressure, sectarian interests in London were left without reliable outlets. Thomas Paine and Matthew Simmons, who dissolved their partnership in early 1644, remained plausible options, and each indeed printed controversial material in the next two years. There may have been a handful of other stationers willing to handle illicit work—The Bloudy Tenent, The Compassionate Samaritane, and other controversial texts made it into print in mid-1644, utilizing heavily anonymized formats, stripped of identifiable ornaments, a technique that has defied bibliographers down to the present day. But as the Licensing Ordinance was enforced with increasingly politicized stringency, available outlets for producing radical puritan work dwindled. Moreover, signs appeared that the situation was about to worsen. On August 26, 1644, the Stationers’ Company petitioned parliament to restrain the “importing and selling here of all English Bibles printed in forraigne parts.” The petition likewise complained that the Stationers “dayly undergoe great paines” and costs “searching for, and seizing scandalous and offensive Bookes and bringing offendors to punishment.” 16  J. Fielding, ed., The Diary of Robert Woodford, 1637–1641, Camden Society, 5th Ser., 42 (2012), 313; SP 28/267, fols. 203–4; XIV Articles of Treason and Other Misdemeanors (Oxford, 1643), 3; LMA, CLC/W/HF/001/MS04069/001, fol. 228v. 17 McKenzie, SCA, 43; his one foray into the trade was to register a plate, Seamans Guide, in April 1644: SR, 1:111. 18  Adams, “Secret Printing,” 3–88. 19  Gangraena, 1:111.

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Taking this cue, someone in the house turned attention to the ongoing production of contraband tracts. The Commons thus called for an ordinance against importing foreign Bibles, but a committee was also enjoined “diligently to inquire out the Authors, Printers, and Publishers, of the Pamphlet against the Immortality of the Soul, and concerning Divorce.”20 Although no direct action seems to have resulted, this denunciation in the house deeply affected its targets, Richard Overton and John Milton. For Milton, this was the latest in a string of indignities. Between February and June, his printer Gregory Dexter had been driven from the trade for unlicensed printing. In early August, Milton’s The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce was denounced in a parliamentary fast sermon as “a wicked booke . . . deserving to be burnt.”21 The personal attack in the Commons was perhaps the crowning insult, and he now prepared for publication Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr. John Milton For the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, To the Parliament of England, which appeared in November. Milton’s tract argued against all forms of prepublication licensing. While retrospective punishment for printed libel, blasphemy, and other gross offences was appropriate, prior restraint on publication through censorship was unwarranted and damaging to the commonweal. Areopagitica has been subjected to intensive analysis by generations of readers interested in the history of press freedom, resulting in a rich scholarly literature. What has not been recognized, however, is that Milton acknowledged and subsumed the argument canvassed in select circles since the 1620s, but which had been honed with increasing sharpness by a succession of radical publishers and authors since 1640. Borrowing the structure of Walwyn’s case in The Compassionate Samaritane, Milton warned against a coming “second tyranny over learning,” which would “soon put it out of controversie that Bishops and Presbyters are the same to us both name and thing.” There was thus a creeping presbyterian conspiracy, embodied by the implementation of the Licensing Ordinance: “Who cannot but discern the finenes of this politic drift . . . that while Bishops were to be baited down, then all Presses might be open; it was the peoples birthright and priviledge in time of Parliament, it was the breaking forth of light. But now the Bishops abrogated and voided out of the Church . . .  liberty of Printing must be enthrall’d again under a Prelaticall commission of twenty, the privilege of the people nullify’d, and which is wors, the freedom of learning must groan again, and to her old fetters; all this the Parlament yet sitting.”22 This was only one of a barrage of arguments that Milton launched at his readers, but it showed that he had absorbed the now standard rallying cry that the press should be open in time of parliament. While he evidently agreed that this was “the peoples birthright,” and lamented the “politic” stratagem that threatened “liberty of Printing” in parliament-time, he also transcended this argument, and asserted that in all seasons (in parliamentary sessions and out), prior restraint through licensing was 20  Stat. Co., Liber A, fols. 149–50; BL, Whit., fol. 156v; CJ 3:606. 21  H. Palmer, The Glasse of Gods Providence (1644), 57. 22  J. Milton, Areopagitica; A Speech of Mr. John Milton For the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing (1644), 25–6.

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inimical to the public good, the advancement of learning, and God’s cause. Milton’s was the most thoroughgoing case for limits on censorship that had ever been published in English. There is evidence that its remarkable subject matter translated into heavy demand: one consumer in January 1645 paid 8 pence for the book, a price roughly one-third greater than the standard market rate for licensed books of the same length.23 Richard Overton, who was also no doubt affronted by the assault in the Commons, was further provoked when, in the first week of September, the Westminster Assembly submitted to parliament its “Advice” on sectarianism. This recommendation requested that unordained preachers be silenced; it called for the suppression of ministers preaching or publishing anabaptist, antinomian, or separatist opinions, as well as those defending the claim that “liberty is to bee given to all opinions and sorts of Worship.” But the “Advice” also asked that “some severe course may be taken with those who divulge, The Mortality of the Soule; and that the book lately printed, maintaining this opinion, may be burnt.” The move against Overton’s book in the house was thus followed by calls from the Assembly to burn his tract.24 Overton learned of the divines’ “Advice,” at least by vague report, and he thus knew by mid-September that his book was under heavy scrutiny and that there were moves afoot in parliament towards a more intense crackdown on sectarian preaching and publishing.25 A combination of the delicate political situation, new constrictions on the print trade, and an increasingly personal sense of oppression drove Overton and his friends to return to clandestine print practices he had pioneered in 1640 with the Margery Mar-Prelate Press. For almost two years, he would maintain this secret operation, printing works that embodied the ethos outlined in Chapter 7: although highly divergent in precise theological perspective, all his books arose out of the dynamic, hybrid “slurry” of sectarian disputation and speculation. He produced works by separatists, baptists (Calvinistic and “general”), antinomians, and antiformalists who defied all of these labels. Most were explicit in their endorsement of a wide degree of toleration.26 On September 27, there appeared the first known product of the press, A Vindication of the Commission of King Jesus by Francis Cornwell.27 Cornwell was a Cambridge-trained minister who in 1643 adopted anabaptist views and, after a period in the army, returned to Kent, where he began to win followers near Maidstone.28 His reputation grew, and he was among those decried in the August 23 Library of Congress, Z657.M66 1644 (Office), t.p.; Folger Shakespeare Library, R1278 Bd. w. R1222 Copy 2, a work of six sheets, sold for 6 pence a year later (Areopagitica was five and a half sheets). 24  MPWA, 5:87–8. 25  Overton’s mention of an order “to suppresse” sectaries “in the Armies and elsewhere,” shelved upon word of Lostwithiel, is likely a garbled allusion to the “Advice.” Martin’s Eccho, 11–12. 26  For a list and analysis of the output, see Adams, “Secret Printing,” 12–14, 56–64. Three likely additions to this corpus are identified or confirmed in the present book. 27  Adams, “Secret Printing,” 12, 32, 78, 87. 28  S. Wright, The Early English Baptists, 1603–1649 (Woodbridge, 2006), 245–7; for his service and date of his embrace of anabaptism (mid-1643), see F. Cornwell, A Vindication of the Royall Commission of King Jesus (1644), sig. A3r–v.

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attack on sectaries in the synod.29 A Vindication was thus a first foray into print for a new, learned baptist leader. Dedicated to parliament, Cornwell’s book aped Henry Burton’s tactic in The Protestation Protested; where Burton claimed that the Protestation demanded repudiation of the Church of England and toleration for gathered churches, Cornwell argued that the Protestation and the Solemn League and Covenant demanded rejection of infant baptism and acceptance of believers’ immersion, which was the true means by which Christians “entered into . . . Church fellowship.” Rehearsing scriptural arguments against infant baptism, the work sought not only to promote this central doctrinal crux, but also to reclaim the Covenant from presbyterians, who now incessantly argued that parliamentarians’ vow obliged them to support not merely a national church, but a church built on presbyterian lines.30 Cornwell’s tract thus sought to bear witness to truth, while slowing the drive towards presbyterian settlement by sundering the equation of the Covenant with presbytery. The provocative political calculus was revealed by the mode of the tract’s distribution: on September 27, Cornwell stood outside parliament, handing copies to MPs. If his goal was to incite a reaction, he succeeded admirably. Laurence Whitaker, chair of the Committee of Examinations, was “sent Out of the house with Others to Examin One Cornwell . . . whoe had presented a Scandalous Booke to the house in print in Confutation of Baptizme of Infants.” Also in trouble was “a Scottish Captain whoe Asisted him.” While this officer’s identity is unknown, the most likely candidate is Alexander Tulidah, a Scot by origin, and recently a captain in the Eastern Association, who was later arrested alongside Nicholas Tew. Whitaker’s committee sent Cornwell to the Gatehouse, where he joined a growing number of sectarian leaders under investigation or restraint; the Scot was to attend the committee and it was likewise ordered that “the printer . . . be sent for by warrant.”31 The hunt for the printers was unsuccessful, but the press seems to have lain dormant for the next two months, suggesting its work was ­temporarily disrupted. RU M O R WA R S : R E L I G I O N , C O N F L I C T, A N D T H E C RO O K E D PAT H TO M I L I TA RY R E F O R M The political landscape was meanwhile transformed by further military failures. In September and October, parliament raced to combine its southern forces to check the king’s march towards London. The result was a composite force, merging the Eastern Association army, the remains of the armies of Waller and Essex, and a London militia brigade. While this force was very large, it was also headless—the 29  Lightfoot, 13:302; MPWA, 3:223. 30 Cornwell, Vindication, 14–16. 31  BL, Whit., fol. 162v; Perfect Occurrences (Oct. 4, 1644/E.256[15]), sig. H2v; Gangraena, 3:98. For Tulidah, see The List of the Army Raised under the command of his Excellency (1642), sig. B3r; in 1643, he was likely a dragoon captain in Suffolk: SP 28/12, fols. 188r, 212r; SP 28/23, fol. 398r (“Captain Tolleday”); Tub Preachers overturn’d (1647), 15 (for his Scottish origin); Gold tried in the fire, or The burnt petitions revived (1647), sig. Ar–v; CJ 5:118.

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Earl of Essex declined service due to illness. The other commanders—including Manchester, Cromwell, Crawford, Waller, and Sir Arthur Hesilrige—were ordered into a council of war, which was supposed to determine all major military decisions by vote. The result was not satisfactory. On October 27, parliament’s forces met the king at the Second Battle of Newbury. After heavy fighting, the king transferred his artillery and supplies to Donnington Castle, before retreating. Thirteen days later, Charles returned and successfully relieved the castle, recovering much of his ordnance. In both instances, parliament’s factious war council remained deadlocked over whether to pursue and engage the king’s forces, with Manchester, now cautious almost to the point of paralysis, resisting his co-commanders’ urgings to take a more aggressive line.32 The disappointment at Newbury, followed by the more serious failure at Donnington, meant that the war was likely to persist into the next campaigning season; it all reflected badly on the squabbling commanders, including Cromwell. This, together with fresh news that the Scots had finally taken Newcastle, upended the stalemate at Westminster. Pushed by the Scots, concessions to independency were rolled back: the accommodation committee was suspended, the “Advice” against sectaries and lay preachers, after two months in limbo, was brought into the house and partially approved, and a new ordinance for tithes was voted. Under Scottish pressure, a number of important decisions were taken respecting church government and liturgy.33 Parliament now appeared to be rolling towards a uniform presbyterian settlement. Meanwhile, London was awash with competing rumors and whispered accusations. The first reports of Donnington, racing up and down the Exchange, claimed that Waller had been captured and Cromwell slain.34 When it became clear that these tales were false, new reports, evidently leaked from headquarters at Reading, flashed back to the city, trumpeting that Waller and especially Cromwell had counseled aggressive pursuit of the king, while indicting Manchester and his Scottish allies for inaction.35 Manchester’s friends, on the defensive, circulated their own manuscripts and accounts, which hinted that Cromwell bore the brunt of responsibility for Donnington. These reports shaded into even cruder rumors, claiming “that the Independants would not fight” at Donnington, a refusal taken to account for the debacle.36 Meanwhile, backers of Essex, the only commander not tarnished by the defeat, now began to spread another wave of rumors, suggesting that the disasters would not have transpired if the earl had been in charge, and that only he and his chief officers were fit to command, “the rest novices and incapable.”37 32 Gardiner, GCW, 2:42–60. 33  Bod. L., MS. Carte 80, fol. 198r; CJ 3:684; BL, Whit, fol. 171r; BL, Hl. 166, fols. 151v–152r; Juxon, 61. 34  Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (Nov. 12, 1644/E.16[27]), 644–5. 35  Perfect Passages (Nov. 13, 1644/E.17[1]), 32; Parliament Scout (Nov. 14, 1644/E.17[4]), 586; Juxon, 63; Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 69. 36  S. Ashe, A True Relation of the Most Chiefe Occurrences (1644), 1; Mercurius Civicus (Nov. 28, 1644/E.19[4]), 731; Perfect Occurrences (Nov. 29, 1644/E.256[42]), sigs. Qv–Q2r, for Cromwell’s speech on Nov. 25, refuting the latter rumor. 37  Juxon, 65.

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The intensity of these rumor campaigns was heightened by awareness that ­ arliament was set on a major military reorganization. On November 19, the lower p house ordered the Committee of Both Kingdoms “to consider the State and Condition of all the Armies . . . under the Command of the Parliament; and to put them into such a Posture as may make them most . . . advantageous to the Kingdom.”38 Faced with a torrent of rumors, the rising political success of the Scots and presbyterians, and the prospect of a significant overhaul of the armies, Cromwell now made a decisive move against his enemies. Having been dispatched to parliament to report from the army, on November 25 Cromwell denounced his commander Manchester for incompetence and timidity not just at Donnington, but throughout the previous campaigning season. After sharp debate, Cromwell’s charges were referred to a committee chaired by the war-party MP Zouch Tate, which quickly began to investigate the Donnington disaster.39 Manchester, hearing of this, dashed to Westminster, and produced a countercharge against Cromwell in the Lords, blaming him for Donnington, but also portraying him as a violent social radical: “his expressions were sometimes against the Nobillitie; that he hoped to live to see never a nobleman in England, and he loved such better than others because they did not love lords.” In this, the earl exploited longstanding prejudices about sectarian religion as an egalitarian threat to social order. The earl also alleged that Cromwell had branded the Westminster Assembly a pack of “persecutors” and had denounced the Scots, saying “he could as soone draw his sword against them as against any in the king’s army.”40 Manchester circulated his charge, sharing it with the Scots and probably leaking it, along with related documents, for dispersion in manuscript.41 Such leaks ensured that the conflict soon reverberated through the city and beyond. This owed nothing to the parliamentarian press, which scrupulously ignored the feud; as Dillingham’s Parliament Scout warned readers, “we are so far from relating a word of [it], that we pray it may be all buried in the grave of oblivion.”42 Under the thumb of parliament, and lacking an analytical framework for objectively reporting the fierce partisan dispute now infecting the cause, the press fell into a silence that ironically contributed to the overheated chain of elastic truths and rumors. The progress of these rumors can be reconstructed with great accuracy. The Londoner Thomas Juxon recorded copious detail on the countercharges between Cromwell and the earl. Juxon and others were particularly taken by Manchester’s famous utterance at Donnington, in response to urgings to press after Charles, 38  CJ 3:699; BL, Whit., fol. 175r. 39  BL, Hl. 166, fol. 156r–v; BL, Whit., fols. 175v–176r; CJ 3:704. 40  The two parts of the charge have not been published together. For the first part, see J. Rushworth, Historical Collections. The Third Part: Volume the Second (1692), 733–6; for the second, see Gardiner, ed., “A Letter from the Earl,” 1–3 (quoted here). 41  Baillie, 2:244–5. For MS copies, see Bod. L., MS. Tanner 61, fols. 205–6; BL, E.903[3]. For other MSS tied to the earl’s campaign of self-defense, see Huntingdonshire Archives, M.32/5/1; M.32/5/52; Somerset Heritage Centre, DD\AH/51/4/2; BL, Add. MS. 70108, misc. 31; Kenneth Spencer Research Library, Lawrence, Kansas, MS. P539:2. 42  Parliament Scout (Nov. 28, 1644/E.19[5]), 601.

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“that if we beate the King 99 times he would be King still . . . and we subjects still; but if he beate us but once we should be hang’d.”43 A Catholic friar on November 28 wrote a letter to Paris, reporting a version of this speech.44 The next day, from London, George Humphrey wrote to Cambridgeshire describing Cromwell’s charges, including a remarkably accurate rendition of Manchester’s alleged words: “if the king . . . should miscarry, they were never the nearer an end of the warre . . . but if the king should prevaile . . . they were all sure to be hanged.” Humphrey then described Manchester’s counterclaims. Here, he mangled the details, showing how the rumor mill transmitted but also distorted news: Manchester’s two distinct charges, that Cromwell “hoped to live to see never a nobleman in England” and that “he could as soone drawe his sword against” the Scots as the royalists were conflated into one; in Humphrey’s words, Cromwell had said “he would not sheath his sword as long as there was a Peere alive in England,” an extreme accusation implying Cromwell was ready to butcher all nobles. Humphrey within days knew with startling, if warped, precision the various countercharges, although none of those details had been printed anywhere.45 From here, he dispersed the rumors to the Cambridgeshire countryside, even as the news made its way to the French court. In the next days, fresh stories churned that either Cromwell or Manchester had been imprisoned.46 In this riotous atmosphere of speculation, Zouch Tate and his committee pursued their investigation of Cromwell’s charges. The details of this committee’s deliberations, and its subsequent actions, lie outside the orbit of this study. However, it is important to realize that Tate’s committee proceeded essentially as a prosecution, gathering evidence against Manchester. The witnesses contacted were chiefly confidants or supporters of Cromwell; none of Manchester’s allies were questioned. Indeed, the first witness examined was John Lilburne, who had entered the Eastern Association army at Cromwell’s invitation thirteen months earlier, and who on cue confirmed the case against the earl.47 Lilburne later hinted at the collusive atmosphere in which the case against Manchester was pressed. He recalled a meeting “at the time Manchesters treason was upon examination,” at Cromwell’s “owne chamber at Dillinghams house” (that is, John Dillingham, editor of The Parliament Scout). Present were Cromwell, Lilburne and his wife, and Nathaniel Rich, another Eastern Association officer, who also testified against Manchester.48 This suggests the extent to which the evidence weighed by Tate’s committee was fine-tuned within a tight group of supporters around Cromwell. By the weekend of December 6, Tate’s committee had questioned six witnesses.49 It was apparently widely known that the committee was to issue a preliminary report on the following Monday, December 9. Overton and his allies now lurched into action again. 43  Bruce and Masson, eds., Quarrel, 93; Juxon, 63, 67–8. 44  AMAE, Paris, vol. 51, fol. 203r. 45  CUL, Buxton MS. 59/90. 46  Perfect Occurrences (6 Dec. 1644/E.256[44]), sig. R3v; AMAE, Paris, vol. 51, fol. 203r; Bod. L., MS. Carte 14, fol. 64r. 47  For the witness statements, see SP 16/503/56; for Lilburne, SP 16/503/56IV, fol. 125. 48  J. Lilburne, Jonahs Cry out of the Whales belly (1647), 8–9; for Rich, SP 16/503/56XVIII. 49  SP 16/503/56IV–X.

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H OW A RT T H O U B E T R A I’ D ? S T R E E T L I B E L , T H E S E C R E T P R E S S , A N D T H E A S S AU LT O N T H E L O R D S Amid the storm of rumors and countercharges, and with the city awaiting Tate’s report, Overton and his allies contrived a piece of street propaganda unlike anything attempted before. By the night of Sunday, December 8, they had produced a printed ticket designed for distribution through the city (Figure 11.1). When Londoners awoke on the morning of December 9, they found copies of the paper scattered through the streets: Alas pore Parliament, how art thou betrai’d? This is the Plot the Kings party boasted of, that should take whether God would or no: You see though they care not what they speake,: yet they know what they speake. Wee have brave Generalls that fight for the King, and make pore honest people pay for their owne destructions: One of them hath wrought finely in the darke all this while like a Divell, but the other hath shew’d himselfe an open enemie, and therefore is more to be borne with; he hath made use of Rouges, Cutpurses, Players, Fidlers and Tinkers to forward a Reformation, and the other hath culd out all the honestest Youth in the Kingdome to keep them from Action, or for slaughter. Neither of them worke, but make worke; when they should doe, they undoe, and indeed to undoe is all the marke they aime at. Doe yee thinke Greatnesse without Goodnesse can ever thrive in excellent actions? no, Honour without honesty stinkes: away with’t: no more Lords and yee love me, they smell o’the Court.50

In the following weeks, much evidence emerged implicating the Overton-Tew press in producing this libel. Typographical analysis is challenging: the paper was set using some 800 characters, heavily inked, providing scant data for comparison. But the only three clearly damaged letters used to print the paper have very close analogues in tracts that (owing to the research of Adams) we know were certainly executed on Overton’s secret press (Appendix 4). A large body of evidence, both textual and physical, thus points to Overton’s press as the libel’s source.51 If the authors remained hidden in the shadows, contemporaries had no doubt about the libel’s target. As George Thomason scrawled on his copy, it was “written by some Independant against Ld Gen Essex and Ld of Manchester, and scatred about the streets in the night.”52 The ticket played upon widespread prejudices against Essex, the “open enemy,” whose army was seen as a band of thieves, robbing the country under pretense of reforming the kingdom. Manchester was the more secret enemy, who had lured to his army all the “honestest” (that is, godly) youth of England, only to bind them in inaction, leaving them prey to slaughter. Both generals were portrayed as underhanded agents of the king. The libel thus perfectly crystallized the narrative that had been building within militant circles 50  Alas pore Parliament, how art thou betrai’d? (1644). 51  Adams, “Secret Printing,” 11 n.20, 36, 38, argues it was most likely printed by Overton. Because of the libel’s importance, further investigation, building on Adams’s work, was undertaken. Three damaged letters were found in the libel’s type. These were compared against the certain output of the press, as established by Adams, and probable matches were located. 52  BL, E.21[9].

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Figure 11.1.  Alas pore Parliament, how art thou betrai’d? (1644). BL, E.21[9], copyright © The British Library Board, all rights reserved.

since the start of the war, in which a gang of secret traitors had been poisoning parliament’s cause, betraying the “honest” party. Yet the libel went far beyond merely denouncing the two lords. It also broached a series of social criticisms, which channeled and amplified the intense egalitarianism that had been gathering steam in radical puritan discourse since Overton and his friends published Samuel How’s Sufficiencie of the Spirits Teaching four years earlier. “Neither of them worke,” the libel observed, “but make worke,” a statement that on its face concerned the lords’ dangerously idle armies, which multiplied military crises even as they milked the people dry. But this was also, of course, a comment on their status as idle nobles. Indeed, at one level the whole point of the libel was that “Greatnesse without Goodnesse” was worthless, that is, that true virtue had nothing to do with blood or rank. This was a humanist commonplace; but when uttered in such a sensitive context, to indict two exalted peers for treasonable actions, readers were invited towards a most extreme conclusion. That conclusion was gestured at in the last line: “no more Lords and yee love me, they smell o’the Court.” This, perhaps not coincidentally, echoed and inverted Manchester’s charge that Cromwell declared he “loved such better than others because they did not love lords.” But at a more global level, the final line hinted that not just Manchester and

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Essex, but all the lords, had abandoned the “honest” people, and were hopelessly wedded to the “Court.” While the libel contained a corrosively radical subtext, it was also perhaps the most subtly calibrated instance of printed street propaganda that had been attempted during the war. In a very concrete way, it sought to intervene in the immediate political situation, with its overheated counter-rumors, and its deadly serious political stakes. The point was to discredit, before the court of London public opinion, both Manchester and Essex, at a moment of pivotal importance, as the Commons prepared not just to adjudicate the dispute between Cromwell and Manchester, but also to reshape the armies (a project that had been publicized in several newspapers during the previous week). While designed to intervene in politics with precision, at the broadest level the libel’s message and means of distribution suggested a vision of political mobilization and inclusion that can only be described as profoundly egalitarian, if not crypto-democratic. It is, of course, tempting to wonder if this maneuver was coordinated from inside the cabal around Cromwell. Lilburne was one potential link between Overton and Cromwell’s circle. In 1640, the Margery Mar-Prelate Press published two of Lilburne’s pamphlets; just a few weeks after the libel was scattered, the Overton-Tew press printed two more of Lilburne’s tracts, revealing direct ties between him and the clandestine printers. Yet there is also evidence telling against his involvement with the libel: in following months, Lilburne repeatedly praised Essex as an honorable soldier who had treated him with fairness and generosity.53 “Freeborn John” was not above speaking out of both sides of his mouth, but he was usually voluble about those he disliked, which suggests he probably did not partake, at least actively, in this particular exercise in character assassination. More tellingly, John Dillingham (Cromwell’s London host and recently his mouthpiece in the press) was at pains to bury the dispute between Manchester and Cromwell, a cautious strategy at odds with the brash street ticket. Dillingham’s newspaper thus vehemently denounced “the scurrilous libell” just three days after it was dispersed.54 If the ticket was concocted in Cromwell’s inner circle, it was thus a fabulously Machiavellian contrivance. More likely, the libel was a freelance move, born of the torrid atmosphere of rumor in London, and undertaken by Cromwell’s fiercest partisans at a moment when the political situation hung in the balance. It would appear to be a classic example of para-propaganda, generated by parliamentarian militants operating on their own initiative. Like other such interventions, this one provoked extreme reactions, polarizing opinion. Certainly, the Lords were deeply distressed when, on Monday, December 9, they received a copy of the libel; the house immediately ordered that Stationers’ Company officials root out the author and printer.55 The ensuing investigation, conducted by the city and the stationers, in conjunction with the Lords, dragged 53  J. Lilburne, The Reasons of Lieu Col: Lilbournes sending his Letter to Mr. Prin (1645), 3; J. Lilburne, Innocency and Truth Justified. First against the unjust aspertions of W. Prinn (1646), 41; J. Lilburne, The Legall Fundamentall Liberties (1649), 23. 54  Parliament Scout (Dec. 12, 1644/E.21[15]), 618. 55  LJ 7:91–2; PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/177 (Dec. 9, 1644).

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on for weeks.56 It quickly identified a young man named George Jeffrey, who circulated the paper. Jeffrey was apprentice to Joseph Blackwell, a parliamentarian hosier of St. Christopher-le-Stocks.57 Under questioning, Jeffrey claimed that on the morning of December 9 he had found twenty-two copies of the libel stuffed “between the Stall-boards of his Master’s Stall.” Although he implied that these had been dumped randomly, they had likely been left because it was presumed that Blackwell’s establishment was a conduit for spreading them. After reading the paper, and carrying the stack into his master’s shop, Jeffrey “told some of the Neighbours of it,” upon which “some of the unruly Neighbours came in, and got some of them away.” Jeffrey allowed almost all of the tickets to be taken by these “unruly Neighbours.” At some point, Jeffrey realized that this was probably going to turn out badly for him; he sent two copies to the Lord Mayor and notified his local alderman. He then tried to recover the papers that had escaped.58 He managed to get one from “A’exand. Mr. Hamer’s Man,” presumably a servant of Thomas Hamor, a parish householder.59 Another was reclaimed from “Nathaniell Mr. Blundell’s Man,” almost certainly Nathaniel Brooks, apprentice to the stationer and parish resident Humphrey Blunden.60 A third was obtained from “Thomas Heath the Lord Mayor’s Kinsman,” and still another from Isaac Blackwell. A fifth had gone to Samuel Blackwell, “an Exciseman.”61 Finally, Jeffrey reclaimed one from “Thomas Lambe an Oilman.” Fourteen papers, however, were never recovered.62 It is difficult to trust Jeffrey’s portrayal of himself as a well-meaning dupe. Some who got their hands on the libel may have been curious adolescents, in the mood for scandalous entertainment. Nathaniel Brooks, for instance, would soon become a free stationer, whose eclectic book list showed few signs of ideological commitment: he would sell works by antinomians, independents, presbyterians, and royalists, as well as plays, herbals, medical books, and one “lascivious, scurrilous, and prophane” collection that got him into trouble in the 1650s.63 But others were perhaps less innocent. Samuel Blackwell, the “Exciseman,” was a longtime henchman of parliament, with ties to London’s militant party, and both he and Isaac Blackwell later revealed connections to leading independents.64 Most interesting, however, 56  PA, HL/PO/JO/10/1/177 (Dec. 28, 1644); PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1/11, Dec. 26, Dec. 28, Dec. 31, 1644; H. Woodward, Soft Answers, Unto Hard Censures (1645), 2. 57 Lindley, PPR, 323 n.84; SP 28/131, part 5, fol. 11v; SP 16/453/75, fol. 150v. 58  LJ 7:97. 59  SP 16/492, fol. 230r; TNA, E179/147/568, mem. 1. 60  For Blunden’s residence, see SP 16/492, fol. 230r; McKenzie, SCA, 45. 61 Samuel, Isaac, and Joseph Blackwell were likely brothers; cf. TNA, PROB 11/331/295; SP 63/299, fols. 286–8; PROB 11/266/165. LJ 7:97 calls Isaac “this Examinant’s [i.e., Jeffrey’s] Brother,” probably a slip for “his Master’s Brother.” 62  LJ 7:97. 63  W. Winstanley, England’s Worthies (1660), sigs. Rr3v–Ss4r; SP 25/77, fol. 42v. 64  CJ 2:933; SP 28/135/3, fol. 3r (for ties to the Salters’ Hall committee). For Samuel’s links to the congregationalist Hezekiah Woodward, see SP 63/299, fol. 164r; SP 63/301, fol. 168r. Isaac in 1645 was servant to the independent John Kendrick; he later named the leader of the Hamburg congregational church to supervise his will. SP 28/350, Part 5, book 2, fol. 2r; TNA, PROB 11/331/295; K. Sprunger, Dutch Puritanism: A History of English and Scottish Churches of the Netherlands in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Leiden, 1982), 260.

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was Thomas Lambe, the “Oilman.” This was surely the notorious baptist preacher Thomas Lambe.65 Overton, as noted above, was affiliated with Lambe’s church; weeks later, Overton would use his secret press to print one of Lambe’s books.66 The fact that Lambe had a copy of the paper, and that Jeffrey admitted consorting with him, is highly suspicious. Despite Jeffrey’s claims, the libel was spread partly along well-established lines of radical puritan communication. And while the distribution of the paper was probably not coordinated with political actors in high places, there is a real sense in which it set the stage, in a perverse but perfect way, for the dramatic events that unfolded in the house on that same day of December 9. THE SELF-DENYING ORDINANCE, THE POLITICS O F RU M O R , A N D T H E L O N D O N “ R E M O N S T R A N C E ” AGAINST THE KING AND LORDS As the lords fretted over the street libel on December 9, 1644, in the lower house, the paper was overshadowed by the morning’s business: Zouch Tate delivered his committee’s findings. Famously, rather than addressing Cromwell’s charges, Tate declared “that the Cheife Causes of Our Devision are Pride and Covetuousnes,” moving that all MPs should yield their offices and commissions in a grand act of  self-abnegation. This surprise proposal, which stood to remove Cromwell, Manchester, Essex, and others from command, generated significant conflict in the house. But it was a masterful contrivance, mobilizing a godly language of self-denial alongside a classical argot of self-sacrifice to the public good, at a moment of dismay over an increasingly factionalized war effort. In this sense, it looked like a brilliantly impartial solution. But, crucially, it also cleverly conflated two separate problems: first, it promised to overcome the feud between Manchester and Cromwell; second, it craftily merged this with the broader issue of the reorganization of the parliamentary armies, which were now to be reshaped radically and stripped of  their existing command structure. Despite a  long debate conducted “with bitter contention of spirit,” Tate’s proposal won out, and the first “Self-Denying Ordinance” passed the Commons without formal division.67 The political battle that ensued over the Self-Denying Ordinance was deeply complicated, and deserves sustained treatment beyond the scope of this study. All commentators immediately recognized the measure’s significance. It was dubbed “one of the greatest businesses of . . . importance . . . since the Parliament began,” 65  The baptist Lambe was described as a soap-boiler, a trade reliant on processing fats; “Oilman” (a maker or dealer of animal or vegetable oils) was an overlapping trade. 66  [T. Lambe,] The Fountaine of Free Grace Opened (1645); R. Garner, Mysteries Unveiled (1646), 27–8; Adams, “Secret Printing,” 12, 32, 59. 67  BL, Whit., fol. 178v; BL, Harleian MS. 483, fol. 121v (“acri animorum contentione”); CJ 3:718; BL, Add. MS. 37343, fol. 347r.

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and was eagerly reported by London newsbooks, which uniformly backed it.68 Importantly, however, it had not passed the Lords, and weeks of tense confrontation ensued between the two houses. Without descending into the details of the standoff, the peers saw it as an assault on their privileges, especially as they were all now to lose their military commands and offices.69 The lords thus found themselves increasingly pitted against parliament’s propaganda machine and the weight of public opinion. But they did have friends in London, who began their own campaign of naysaying and rumormongering. Whispers against the Self-Denying Ordinance were reported in a newspaper of December 17, which noted that “Another objection . . . that is too frequent” was that the ordinance “strikes at the nobility and gentry, Down with the Lords, and produces a libell . . . and therefore suffer this, and suffer all: your Anabaptists and Brownists shall now command.”70 In London’s gossip mills, Overton’s paper became central to the battle over the Self-Denying Ordinance, with critics adducing it as proof the measure was an exercise in dangerous social radicalism, promoted by sectarian fanatics. The currency of such rumors is confirmed in letters of Catholic agents in London. The Venetian secretary Agostini wrote home on December 13 with news of the ordinance. He claimed that, to ensure the lords’ compliance, Londoners had “scattered seditious libels reviling Essex and Manchester, demanding the dissolution of the Upper House because it always resists the popular will.” This was clearly a mutilated report on Overton’s libel, which, for all its fury, had not explicitly called for abolishing the lords’ house. The same day, the Florentine agent Salvetti wrote an account of the Self-Denying Ordinance so similar it suggests a mutual source: “several libels are seen against some of the peers, sent forth by the people, who would like to extirpate them together with their House.”71 Within days, these stories grew more sensational: in the first week of January 1645, Agostini, Salvetti, and a French agent all reported an attempt by London’s Common Council to pass a “remonstrance” to parliament, which aimed, in Salvetti’s words, to “force the upper house of peers to go to sit with the lower, and with it to vote to declare the king incapable of governing, and ultimately to cantonize the Kingdom in the same mode as the Swiss have done.” Here, then, was an alleged 68  The London Post (Dec. 10, 1644/E.21[11*]), 8; A Diary (Dec. 19, 1644/E.21[29]), sig. Ddr; Mercurius Britanicus (Dec. 30, 1644/E.22[19]), sig. Sss4v; Scotish Dove (Dec. 20, 1644/E.21[36]), 477; Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (Dec. 17, 1644/E.21[25]), 681–3; Perfect Occurrences (Dec. 20, 1644/E.258[4]), sigs. T2v–T3r. 69 For contrasting views of the politics, see M. Kishlansky, The Rise of the New Model Army (Cambridge, 1979), 18–51; I. Gentles, The New Model Army in England, Ireland and Scotland, 1645–1653 (Oxford, 1992), 1–27; J. Adamson, “The Triumph of Oligarchy: The Management of War and the Committee of Both Kingdoms, 1644–5” in C. Kyle and J. Peacey, eds., Parliament at Work: Parliamentary Committees, Political Power and Public Access in Early Modern England (Woodbridge, 2002), 101–27. 70  Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (Dec. 17, 1644/E.21[25]), 681. 71  CSPV, 1643–1647, 171, where the original “seditiosi cartelli” (i.e. handwritten libels or manifestos) is rendered as “seditious pamphlets” (cf. TNA, PRO 31/14/28, p. 410); BL, Add. MS. 27962K (II), fol. 385v: “stante i diversi libelli che se’ vedono contro dei Titolati mandati fuori dal popolo, che verrebe estiparli insieme con la lor Camera.”

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attempt by the city of London to dissolve the House of Lords, dethrone the king, and set up a republic.72 The Catholic agents, who were clearly talking together, were convinced of this story; the agents, in turn, convinced later scholars; S. R. Gardiner, for instance, cited the “remonstrance” to dissolve the Lords into the Commons as if it were an actual program.73 The problem with these rumors is that they were almost certainly false. Neither the records of the Common Council, nor any other informed parliamentarian source, mentions such a manifesto. Moreover, these rumors also spread to Cavaliers at Oxford, where at least two royalists reported similar tittletattle, but with a crucial distinction: as one put it, “The House of Comons . . . will have the Lords and themselves to be but one howse, And the Lords are like to yeeld to it.”74 Here, a remonstrance of the Common Council had mutated into a plan emanating from the House of Commons—the subtle amplification of detail a clue that the story was unreliable. But if this particular story was unreliable, there are two senses in which these falsehoods captured important truths about the moment. On the one hand, they provide an index of how the peers and other foes of the Self-Denying Ordinance interpreted the measure. The rumors portrayed it as an insidious attack on the peerage, a first, slippery step towards destruction of the social order, including monarchy, the House of Lords, even “the nobility and gentry.” The conspiracy was fomented by anabaptists and independents, and the recent libel against the peers was brandished as proof. On the other hand, the swirl of rumors also gestures at a real sense of frustration and hostility rising against the lords. This hostility dated back to 1642—when there had been a genuine petition calling for the upper house to be folded into the lower—and as we have seen, such concerns were rei