The interactive parts of this resource no longer work, but it has been archived so you can continue using the rest of it.

The National Archives Civil War
Close window Download and print PDF version

Why did people go to war in 1642?

Case study 1: 1637-39 - Source 5

Simplified transcript

Letter from a gentleman called Edward Norgate with Charles’s army against Scotland, 4 May 1639

(Catalogue ref: SP 16/420/45)

[Extra explanations are in square brackets.]

The king has been pleased to send a declaration to the Covenanters with a free pardon to even the greatest troublemaker, if they come in within eight days (with other details that I don't need to repeat to you because you know it better than I). If they have even a little honest loyalty or religion, then no doubt we may hope one day to look homewards again, and to recover lost happiness. …

If the people remain stubborn, we will lose patience and our coats will be stained [with blood]. For never was so a good king wasted on such bad subjects, …