This post is part of a series of letters from parliamentary soldier Nehemiah Wharton during the English Civil War, which will be posted on the anniversary of the day they were written. For more information see the introduction. To find the rest of the series, use the “wharton letters” tag. The original of this letter is held by the UK National Archives, reference SP 16/492/5, f. 9. The text of the letter is out of copyright. Images are available for non-commercial use only at Flickr (click on folio numbers for individual page images).
Today, another mutiny.
northamton September the 7th 1642
Worthy S[i]r I present you and my Mrs with my humble service wishinge you and all yours the constant fruition of all hapinesse this is my fifth letter unto you but I question wheither ever you received one of them because you neiver yet honored mee with a peece of paper I have therfore once more sent unto you by this bearer Leiftenant Wade who hath promised to deliver these with his owne hands
our place of randevoues is still at North hampton which for Cituation circuit and statelynese of buildinge exceeds coventry but the walls are miserably ruined though the cuntrey abounds in mines of stone from hence I have nothinge remarkeable to present you with neither will time permit me to acquaint you with circumstances
this morninge our regiments beinge drawne unto the feild to exercise many of them descovered their base ends in undertakinge thes deseigne and demaunded five shillinge a man which they say was promised them monthly by the comitte or they would surrender their armes wherupon Colonell hamden and other commaunders labored to appease them but could not so that if they have not the forenamed supply we feare a very greate fraction amongst us there is also greate desention betweene our Troopers and foote companies for the foote men are much abused and souldiers pillaged and wounded I my selfe have lately experimentally [found?] it for they toke from mee above the worth of three pounds but I am not descorged by any of these but by gods assistance will undauntedly proceede for god is able to reconcile all our [deferences
S[i]r I humbly intreate you to send mee a small feather white and one tip of black by one Gregory Kent knowne unto mr Molloyne and [beinge?] neare him he will be with mee by Saturday at night I shall be very joyfull at the last to heare of the welfare of you all thus co[...]inge you into the custody of the most heigh for [...] present I rest
Your humble servant Till Death
The bearer stayed the writinge therof which is the cause my rustick scriblinge and inditinge
To his much Honored Frend Mr. George Willingham Marchant at the Golden Anchor Swethins Lane
Because Wharton states that this is his fifth letter, we know that there are none missing from the archives so far.
The mutiny over pay used to be seen as evidence that Parliament was already short of money, but this now looks unlikely. Tom Crawshaw has shown that Holles’s regiment had already been paid in advance and that the men were probably demanding an extra bonus that had been given to some other regiments (Tom Crawshaw, ‘Military Finance and the Earl of Essex’s Infantry in 1642 – a Reinterpretation’, Historical Journal, 53/4 (2010), pp. 1042–43).
Next letter on 13 September.