"Master Thomas Young, an attorney, a man more eloquent than trustworthy, F (Fairfax) should like to know more of master Young, the orator of Badbury". Report July 1645
A rereading of the Dorset and Wilts Clubmen Desires and Resolutions declaration at Badbury Rings in Wimborne took place in 2016 over 370 years from when first heard in 1645. This gathering was to highlight and acknowledge this third party called Clubmen.
Through declarations and petitioning this generality of people made their demands known to the warring sides.
During the 17th Century English Revolution both sides, those for Parliament and those for the King caused havoc among local towns and villages.
The continuing plundering of the inhabitants of the county by soldiers garrisoned, and those passing through had caused by May of 1645 the Clubmen (being called angry multitudes) to demand a return to their "ancient rights and liberties".
Drawn both from county and town they demanded as an immediate, self protection from the depredations of the military with an end goal to all hostilities.
After agreement at a place called Gorehedge-Corner the Desires and Resolutions of the inhabitants of Wiltshire and Dorset was put to paper as a declaration. Calling for a cease to the war, agreement and an accommodation of the Royalist and Parliaments present differences, the Clubmen had through association and organising become a voice for those not in the business of soldiery.
A report from the parliamentarian news sheet Mercurius Civicus spoke of the Clubmen in Dorset in May 1645.
"It was the fame day certified out of the Weft, that there was a great party of club-men again in Dorfetfhire, the intendtion of their rifing among others is , that they will not admit of any Inland garrifon in that County, It was then reported, that they had fent to Sir Lewis Dive, requiring that he would demollifh his-crarrifon at Sherburne".
Badbury Rings on May 25th 1645 saw 4000 men and women gathered to hear Thomas Young an attorney of law read out the Clubmen of Dorset and Wilts Declaration entitled,
"Desires and Resolutions"
IStephen Burden as Thomas Young at Wimborne Literary Festival event 2016 at Badbury Rings. Images courtesy of Dorset artist, Stewart McArthur.
Desires And Resolutions 25th May 1645
We the miserable inhabitants of the said county, being too too deeply touched with the apprehension and sense of our past and present sufferings (occasioned only by these Civil and unnatural wars within this Kingdom.) and finding by sad experience, that by means thereof the true worship of almighty God and our religion are almost forgotten, and that our ancient laws and liberties, are altogether swallowed up in the arbitrary power of the sword; and foreseeing that famine and utter desolation will immediately fall upon us, our wives and children, (unless God of his in infinite mercy shall look upon our true humiliation be graciously pleased, speedily to put a period to these sad distractions, are unanimously resolved to join in Petitioning His Majesty and the two Houses of Parliament for a happy peace and accommodation of the present differences, without future effusion of Christian blood; without which accommodation we cannot expect the enjoyment either of our Religion, Liberties, or proprieties: mean while, that we whose names are under written, Resolve, and do here Declare.
1. To defend and maintain with our lives and fortunes the true reformed Protestant Religion.
2. To join with and assist one another in the mutual defence of our Laws, liberties, and properties, against all plunderers, & all other unlawful violence whatsoever.
3. We do faithfully promise each to other, that the damage or loss which in the execution here of shall happen to any one, be accounted as the loss of the generality, and that reparation be made to such party or parties by the whole County; and in case of loss of life, provision be made for his wife and children, by the County.
4. To declare all such unworthy of the general assistance, as shall refuse, or delay to join with us in the prosecution of these our just intentions.
The Clubmen 1645 Desires and Resolutions Declaration read out at the ancient Hill Fort of Badbury Rings. In May of 1645 4000 people gathered to hear Thomas Young a lawyer, speak of their grievances and desires for an agreement between King and Parliament. Read here courtesy of Stephen Burden playing the part of that great orator of Badbury Rings Thomas Young. Part of Wimborne Literary Festival 2016. Video Below.