Declaration: the English parliament's answer to the convention's instructions
Mr Robert Meldrum [of Burghlie] reported the parliament's answer to his instructions

The which day Mr Robert Meldrum produced and exhibited before the convention of estates an answer from the houses of the parliament of England to the instructions committed to him by the said estates, whereof the tenor follows:

We, the lords and commons in parliament, having considered the propositions presented to us by Mr Robert Meldrum according to certain instructions given to him by the convention of the estates of the kingdom of Scotland, dated 17 July 1643, do in that particular matter discern many experiences of their brotherly affection to this kingdom and nation and Christian compassion of the great calamites and wants which at this time lies upon us, for which we return them hearty thanks.

And because we find ourselves by these troubles not only disabled to support the necessary charges of the war against the rebellion of the papists in Ireland, to discharge the arrears and growing pay due to the Scottish army there and other expenses incident therein, but even deprived of sufficient and competent means to defend ourselves in the war raised against us by the papists, prelatical faction and other malignants of this kingdom,

We have taken it into our serious consideration how we might give our brethren of that nation most speedy and effectual satisfaction, and do desire that honourable assembly of the estates of the kingdom of Scotland to take notice that before the arrival of Mr Meldrum, we had appointed John [Manners], earl of Rutland, [Sir] William [Grey], lord Grey of Wark, Sir William Armine, baronet, Sir Henry Vane, knight, Thomas Hatcher and Henry Darnley, esquires, committees and commissioners of both houses of parliament to the estates and kingdom of Scotland, [...] which are already on their way there, and have enabled these committees and commissioners, or any three of them, with ample instructions in our name, to treat, agree and conclude all questions, doubts and demands concerning the remainder of the brotherly assistance, the arrears and future pay of that army, the continuance or removal of the same and other matters mentioned in their propositions received from Mr Meldrum.

As for the other particulars, we shall earnestly endeavour so far as our public pressing necessities will give us leave to make speedy payment to Sir William Dick [of Braid] of the remainder of the brotherly assistance due in June 1642, to Mr Thomas Cunningham and his factors the money due for the arms he has sent into Scotland, that Alexander Finlon and Archibald Hamilton may be paid the money due to them by a contract made with Walter Scott, the commissary for the victual in Ireland, for which he was engaged as our servant; and as he may justly thereupon claim the privilege of parliament, so we acknowledge that we stand bound both in justice and honour to pay that debt. Similar care shall we have of giving just satisfaction to John Dernie, James Kerr and James Sanderson upon their several demands, entreating our brethren to believe that it is to us most unpleasing that any particular person of that nation should undergo any loss, much more their ruin and undoing, by reason of our troubles and necessities, which as we shall earnestly by all means seek to prevent, so if that cannot be done, we hope God will in his good time give us means to recompense.

We have further directed and enabled those commissioners to treat and conclude upon sundry other propositions and requisites to be presented from us to the states and kingdom of Scotland concerning the deliverance of this kingdom from the present dangers and calamities, and securing the kingdom of Scotland from similar dangers and calamities, both being the objects of the cruelty and malice of the same enemies; to which desires of ours we doubt not but our brethren will give such a speedy and satisfactory resolution as may contribute most effectually to the safety and peace of both, and to the prosperity and advancement of the cause in which God himself is so clearly interested for the defence of Christ's truth and the profession of it.

  1. NAS. PA8/1, f.83v-84v. Back