The message had immediate repercussions. Many in Parliament accused Cromwell of secretly fomenting rebellion among the soldiers, and wanted to see the Army disbanded entirely. On May twenty-five, Parliament issued an order to Cromwell and his officers to gradually disband the Army, but they refused to obey. Parliament was alarmed and voted to grant the troops their full back payment for the services they had rendered. The action came too late, however, as the Army, under Cromwell and the other officers, gathered at Newmarket in June and decided to occupy London. On June fourteen the Army Council issued a declaration calling for a purge of Parliament, especially of the conservative Presbyterians who seemed too attached to the old system of monarchy. The declaration also proclaimed that the troops were not mercenaries at Parliament's disposal, but citizens of England wearing military uniforms.
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