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being sore oppressed by the English, took to himself some of 'his own degree; and, by daily incursions and infalls on the English Garrisons and Parties in Lothian, killed and took of 'them above Four-hundred,' or say the half or quarter of so many, and enriched himself by their spoils.' The like did ‘one 'Augustin, a High-German,' not a Dutchman, 'being purged out ' of the Army before Dunbar Drove,'- of whom we shall hear farther. In fact, the class called Mosstroopers begins to abound; the only class that can flourish in such a state of affairs. Whereupon comes out this
I FINDING that divers of the Army under my command are not only spoiled and robbed, but also sometimes barbarously and inhumanly butchered and slain, by a sort of Outlaws and Robbers, not under the discipline of any Army; and finding that all our tenderness to the Country produceth no other effect than their compliance with, and protection of, such persons; and considering that it is in the power of the Country to detect and discover them (many of them being inhabitants of those places where commonly the outrage is committed); and perceiving that their motion is ordinarily by the invitation, and according to intelligence given them by Countrymen :
I do therefore declare, that wheresoever any under my command shall be hereafter robbed or spoiled by such parties, I will require life for life, and a plenary satisfaction for their goods, of those Parishes and Places where the fact shall be committed; unless they shall discover and produce the offender. And this I wish all persons to take notice of, that none may plead ignorance.
Given under my hand at Edinburgh, the 5th of November, 1650.
* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 94).
ONE nest of Mosstroopers, not far off, in the Dalkeith region, ought specially to be abated.
To the Governor of Borthwick Castle: These.
Edinburgh, 18th November, 1650.
I thought fit to send this Trumpet to you, to let you know, That if you please to walk away with your company, and deliver the House to such as I shall send to receive it, you shall have liberty to carry off your arms and goods, and such other necessaries as you have.
You have harboured such parties in your House as have basely and inhumanly murdered our men: if you necessitate me to bend my cannon against you, you may expect what I doubt you will not be pleased with. I expect your present Answer; and rest
Your servant, OLIVER CROmwell.*
The Governor of Borthwick Castle, Lord Borthwick of that Ilk, did as he was bidden; 'walked away,' with movable goods, with wife and child, and had fifteen days' allowed him to pack: whereby the Dalkeith region and Carlisle Road is a little quieter henceforth.
COLONELS Ker and Strahan with their Remonstrance have filled all Scotland with a fresh figure of dissension. The Kirk finds
* Russell's Life of Cromwell, ii. 95 (from Statistical Account of Scotland).
' many sad truths' in it; knows not what to do with it. Estates themselves there is division of opinion. Men of worship, the Minister in Kirkcaldy among others, are heard to say strange things: "That a Hypocrite," or Solecism Incarnate, "ought not "to reign over us; that we should treat with Cromwell, and give him assurance not to trouble England with a King; "that whosoever mars such a Treaty, the blood of the slain "shall be on his head!" Which are strange words,' says Baillie, if true.' Scotland is in a hopeful way. The extreme party of Malignants in the North is not yet quite extinct; and here is another extreme party of Remonstrants in the West,—to whom all the conscientious rash men of Scotland, in Kirkcaldy and elsewhere, seem as if they would join themselves! Nothing but remonstrating, protesting, treatying and mistreatying from
sea to sea.
To have taken up such a Remonstrance at first, and stood by it, before the War began, had been very wise: but to take it up now, and attempt not to make a Peace by it, but to continue the War with it, looks mad enough! Such nevertheless is Colonel Gibby Ker's project,-not Strahan's, it would seem: men's projects strangely cross one another in this time of bewilderment; and only perhaps in doing nothing could a man in such a scene act wisely. Lambert, however, is gone into the West with Three-thousand horse to deal with Ker and his projects; the Lord General has himself been in the West: the end of Ker's projects is succinctly shadowed forth in the following Letter. From Baillie we learn that Ker, with his Western Army, was lying at a place called Carmunnock, when he made this infall upon Lambert; that the time of it was four in the morning of Sunday 1st December, 1650;' and the scene of it Hamilton Town, and the streets and ditches thereabouts: a dark sad business, of an ancient Winter morning;-sufficiently luminous for our purpose with it here.
The 'treaties among the Enemy' means Ker and Strahan's confused remonstratings and treatyings; the result,' or general upshot, of which is this scene in the ditches at four in the morning.2
1 iii. 125.
2 See also Whitlocke, 16 December, 1650.
To the Honourable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the Parliament of England: These.
Edinburgh, 4th December, 1650.
I have now sent you the results of some Treaties amongst the Enemy, which came to my hand this day.
The Major-General and Commissary-General Whalley marched a few days ago towards Glasgow. The Enemy attempted his quarters in Hamilton; were entered the Town: but by the blessing of God, by a very gracious hand of Providence, without the loss of six men as I hear of, he beat them out; killed about an Hundred; took also about the same number, amongst whom are some prisoners of quality; and near an Hundred horse, -as I am informed. The Major-General is still in the chase of them; to whom also I have since sent the addition of a fresh party. Colonel Ker (as my Messenger, this night, tells me) is taken; his Lieutenant-Colonel; and one that was sometimes Major to Colonel Strahan; and Ker's Captain-Lieutenant. The whole Party is shattered. And give me leave to say it, If God had not brought them upon us, we might have marched Three-thousand horse to death, and not have lighted on them. And truly it was a strange Providence brought them upon him. For I marched from Edinburgh on the north side of Clyde; and had' appointed the Major-General to march from Peebles to Hamilton, on the south side of Clyde. I came thither by the time expected; tarried the remainder of the day, and until near seven o'clock the next morning,—apprehending 'then that' the Major-General would not come, by reason of the waters. I being retreated, the Enemy took encouragement; marched all that night; and came upon the
Major-General's quarters about two hours before day; where it pleased the Lord to order as you have heard.
The Major-General and Commissary-General (as he sent me word) were still gone on in the prosecution of them; and he' saith that, except an Hundred-and-fifty horse in one body, he hears they are fled, by sixteen or eighteen in a company, all the country over. Robin Montgomery was come out of Stirling, with four or five regiments of horse and dragoons, but was put to a stand when he heard of the issue of this business. Strahan and some other Officers had quitted some three weeks or a month before this business; so that Ker commanded this whole party in chief.
It is given out that the Malignants will be almost all received, and rise unanimously and expeditiously. I can assure you, that those that serve you here find more satisfaction in having to deal with men of this stamp than 'with' others; and it is our comfort that the Lord hath hitherto made it the matter of our prayers, and of our endeavours (if it might have been the will of God), To have had a Christian understanding between those that fear God in this land and ourselves. And yet we hope it hath not been carried on with a willing failing of our duty to those that trust us:—and I am persuaded the Lord hath looked favourably upon our sincerity herein; and will still do so; and upon you also, whilst you make the Interest of God's People yours.
1 For the purpose of rallying to him these Western forces, or such of them as would follow the official Authorities and him; and leading them to Stirling, to the main Army (Baillie, ubi supra). Poor Ker thought it might be useful to do a feat on his own footing first: and here is the conclusion of him! Colonel Robin Montgomery' is the Earl of Eglinton's Son, whom we have repeatedly seen before.