Posted by: Democratic Thinker | November 16, 2013

Cromwell—Honest Men

Background of the American Revolution

No one can understand the foundations of the American nation without understanding the English Civil War from a century earlier. During the first war Cromwell builds his Ironsides regiment.

I beseech you bee carefull what captaines of horse you choose, what men be mounted: a few honest men are better then numbers.


To my noble Friends, Sir William Springe, Knight and Baronet, and Maurice Barrowe, Enquire, etc., Present these.

[Cambridge,— September 1643].


I HAVE been now two days at Cambridge, in expectation to hear the fruit of your endeavours in Suffolk towards the public assistance. Believe it, you will hear of a storm in few days. You have no Infantry at all considerable; hasten your Horses;—a few hours may undo you, neglected.—I beseech you be careful what captains of Horse you choose, what men be mounted: a few honest men are better than numbers. Some time they must have for exercise. If you choose godly honest men to be captains of Horse, honest men will follow them; and they will be careful to mount such.

The King is exceeding strong in the West. If you be able to foil a force at the first coming of it, you will have reputation; and that is of great advantage in our affairs. God hath given it to our handful; let us endeavour to keep it. I had rather have a plain russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for, and loves what he knows, than that which you call a Gentleman and is nothing else. I honour a Gentleman that is so indeed.—

I understand Mr. Margery hath honest men will follow him: if so, be pleased to make use of him; it much concerns your good to have conscientious men. I understand that there is an order for me to have 3,000lb. out of the Association; and Essex hath sent their part, or near it. I assure you we need exceedingly. I hope to find your favour and respect. I protest, if it were for myself, I would not move you. This is all, from

Your faithful servant,        

P.S. If you send such men as Essex hath sent, it will be to little purpose. Be pleased to take care of their march; and that such may come along with them as will be able to bring them to the main body; and then I doubt not but we shall keep them, and make good use of them. I beseech you, give countenance to Mr. Margery. Help him in raising this troop; let him not want your favour in whatsoever is needful for promoting this work; and command your servant. If he can raise the horses from malignants, let him have your warrant: it will be of special service.

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  1. Dear Democratic Thinker:


    Thanks again!

    Steve Farrell