Commission of Array

The Text of the Commission of Array granted to the Marquess of Hertford, August 2, 1642

Charles by the Grace of God, King of England,Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To Our Right-Trusty, and Right well-beloved Cousin and Counsellor, William Marquess of Hertford, Greeting.

Whereas there are now, at and near the City of London, great Forces levying, and Monies raising by way of Contribution, and otherwise, towards the Charge of raising and maintaining an Army, or Forces, by Order of our two Houses of Parliament, not only without our consent, but contrary to our several express Commands, published by several Proclamations, Letters, and otherwise: And the same Forces are actually in so much forwardness, as that there are divers Horse men daily exercised and trained in places about our said City of London, and great Numbers of Foote raising, and a General, and other principal Officers declared. We have found it necessary to levy and raise forces, for the Defence of the Protestant Religion, our Person, the two Houses of Parliament, and for the Laws of the Land, the Liberty and Property of the Subject, and Priviledg of Parliament. And for the special Trust and Confidence we have and do repose in your approved wisdom, Fidelity, Valour, and great Ability, do Name, Assign, Constitute and Ordain, you the said William Marquess of Hertford, to be our Lieutenant-General, of all such Forces as by virtue of this our Commission shall be brought unto you, within all or any our counties of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Southhampton, Gloucester, Berks, Oxon, Hereford, Monmouth Radnor Breckwich, Glamorgan, Carmarthen, Pembroak, Cardigan ; and in our Cities of Exeter, Bristol, Gloucester and Oxford, and the Counties of the same: And likewise in our Cities of Bath and Wells, New Salisbury and Hereford ; and also in our Towns of Pool, Southhampton, and Haverford West, and the Counties of the same Towns.

And therefore we do give you full Power and Authority, in case of any Invasion, Insurrection and Rebellion, or any of them; and for the suppression or prevention of acting, or further executing the same, to raise and levy forces, as well of our Trained Bands as others, within all, or any of the said Counties and Places, as well within Liberties as without, meet and apt for the Wars. And Likewise to command and enjoin the Commissioners of our Commissions of Array and Sheriffs of our said several Counties, and all our Lieutenants which are, or shall be of or for our said several Counties, and every or any of them respectively, from time to time, according to such directions as you shall receive them from Us or as you in your good Discretion, for the Purposes aforesaid, shall think fit to send, or cause to be sent unto you such Numbers of our said Subjects, apt and meet for the Wars, armed and arrayed as aforesaid, to such Place or Places, and at such Times as shall be directed by Us, or as you by your Wisdom and good Discretion for Our said Services shall require; or from Our said Commissioners, Sheriffs, or Lieutenants, to be sent, brought or conducted unto you. And we do further by these Presents give you full Power and authority, to Try, Array, and put in readiness the Persons so by you to be raised, levyed or assembled, sent, conducted, or brought unto you: And Them also, and every of them after their Abilities, Degrees, and facilities, well and to sufficiently cause to be armed and weaponed, and to take the Musters of them from time to time in Places most meet for that purpose after your good Discretion. And Also the same our good Subjects so Arrayed, Tried and Armed, as well Men of Arms, as other Horse-men, Archers, and Foot-men, of all kinds of Degrees meet and apt for the Wars, to conduct and lead, as well against all and singular Enemies, Rebels and Traitors, and every of their Adherents, attempting any thing against Us, our Crown and Dignity, in any of the said Counties or Places, from time to time as occasion shall require; and the said Enemies, Traitors and Rebels, to invade and repress ; and in case of Opposition or Resistance to Slay, Kill, and put to Execution of Death, by all Ways or Means, according to your good Discretion; and to do, fulfil, and execute all other things which shall be requisite for the Levying, Conducting, and Government of the said Forces, for the Conservation of our said Realms and Subjects in Peace. And also we give you full Power and Authority to make, constitute and ordain Laws and Proclamations, from time to time, as the Case shall require, for the good Government and Order of all the Forces that shall be under your Command; and the same and every of them to cause to be duly proclaimed, performed, and executed against the said Enemies, Traitors and Rebels, and every of them, their, and every of their Adherents: And of such Offenders apprehended, or being brought into Subjection, to save whom you shall think fit to be saved. And our further Will and Pleasure is, and we do by these Presents give unto you full Power and Authority, in case any Invasion of Enemies, Insurrections or Rebellions shall happen to be moved in any Place of this our Realm, within or without the Limits of this our Commission; that then (as often as Need shall require by your good Discretion, or as you shall be directed by Us by any special Commandment) you with such Power to be levied within the Limits of this our Commission, as you shall think requisite, or as shall be directed from us, as is aforesaid, shall, with all diligence, repair to the Place or Places where any such Invasion, Rebellion, or Insurrection, shall be made to subdue, repress and reform the same, as well by Battel, or other kind of Force, as otherwise, according to the Laws of this our Realm, and according to your good Discretion. And our further Will and Pleasure is, and we do by these Presents give unto you full Power and Authority, in case any Invasion of Enemies, Insurrections or rebellions, shall happen to be moved in any of the said Counties or Places, that then; and as often as you shall perceive any such Offences or Occasions to grow or arise, you, with all the power you can make, shall, with all diligence, repair to the Place where any such Invasions, Insurrection or Rebellion shall happen to be made; and to subdue, repress, and reform the same, and every of them. And we do give full Power and Authority to you, for the Execution of this Commission, to appoint, and assign all Commanders and Officers, necessary and requisite for the Government, and Command of our Army. And further also, that in case you shall in your Discretion think fit to divide, or dispose the said Forces by Land, or by Sea; into several Parts, That then you may, as often as occasion shall be, divide and dispose the same, for the purposes aforesaid, into such Parts and Places, at your Pleasure, and appoint such Commanders over such parts of the said Forces, as in your Discretion you shall think meet. And we do further grant and give you full Power and Authority for Us and in our Name, as occasion shall require according to your Discretion by publick Proclamation to make tender of our Royal Grace and Favour, to all such Traitors and Rebels (if any shall be) as shall submit to Us, and desire to be received to our Mercy. And for the better execution of this our Service, We do further give and grant to you full Power and Authority, (as occasion shall require) whensoever you shall (according to the intent of these our Letter Patents) have an Army or Forces under your Command in our absence, to command all our Forts and castles now fortified, or hereafter to be fortified in or near the Parts or Places, where the said Army shall be; and to remove, displace, or continue the Captains, Lieutenants, Commanders and Souldiers, as you shall think meet for the Good and Safety of this our Kingdom.

Wherefore we Will and Command you, our said Lieutenant-General, with all diligence, duly to execute the Premisses with Effect; And whatsoever you shall do by virtue of this our Commission; and according to the Tenour and Effect of the same, touching the execution of the Premisses, or any part thereof, you shall be for the same by these Presents discharged in that behalf against Us, our Heirs and Successors.

And further we Will and Command all and singular, our Lieutenants, Deputy-Lieutenants, Officers of our Ordinance, Justices of Peace, Mayors, Sheriffs, Balliffs, Constables, Headboroughs, and all other Officers, Ministers and Subjects, meet and apt for the Wars, within the said Counties and Places to whom it shall appertain; That they, and every of them, from time to time, shall be attendant, aiding, assistant, and helping to you, and at the Commandment of you, as aforesaid, in the execution hereof, as they and every of them render our Pleasure and will answer for the contrary at their utmost Perils. Nevertheless, our Will and Pleasure is; That you the said William Marquess of Hertford, in the execution of this our Commission, shall from time to time, proceed according to such private Instructions, as are or shall be delivered unto you, under our Sign Manuel. In witness whereof, we have made these our Letters to be made Patents, and to have continuance during our Pleasure.

Witness, &c. our Self at York, the second of August, 1642.


    • Transcribed from a photocopy made from a microfilm copy of John Rushtons, Historical Collections, Part III, Vol I, pp. 672-74.