Venice: September 1640

Pages 72-85

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 25, 1640-1642. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.

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September 1640

Sept. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
107. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Having completed the redoubt across the River Tweed, the Scottish army resumed its march towards Newcastle on Thursday, proceeding with order, but slowly, as the rain which has recently fallen most copiously does not permit them to go quicker. It is marching in two squadrons, the first led by Gen. Leslie, is composed of 1300 horse and 12,000 foot ; the second, commanded by a brother of the Earl of Argyle, (fn. 1) has 6000 infantry and 1000 cavalry with the colours, all the artillery and every other instrument of war, with which it is abundantly furnished. It cannot yet be discovered whether the Scots intend to capture Newcastle, a place of importance situated on the coast, though without defence, where the ships and merchantmen taken from them these last months are guarded by the fleet, or go direct to York, without any other attempt.
The king's cavalry is directed to the River Tyne, to dispute the passage, but it is thought with secret orders to the General to open negotiations for a composition rather than risk the hazard of battle. We ought to have news very soon.
One thing is certain, universal acclamations at the entry of this army become ever louder. Those of the Puritan faith in particular never tire of applauding them, in the hope that this move will suffice to compel the king to summon parliament again, whereby not only Scotland but England also would recover their accustomed liberty, which has suffered injury solely from the principles of the present government, which is most hateful to the people.
The king, on his arrival at York, found his troops scanty in numbers, with no sort of order and by no means ready to engage the enemy. That county, on whose vigorous support were based the most founded hopes of resisting the Scottish forces, instead of offering powerful succours has prepared fresh audacious demands to be relieved of the burdens laid upon them, as they are determined not to bear them any longer.
Five regiments of infantry, quartered in this city, and intended to serve on the ships which are still in the river, have riotously refused to embark or draw the sword against the enemy. Accordingly they have decided to retain the officers only and to dismiss the troops without attempting more, as they fear that severe treatment of the disobedient would lead to more dangerous disputes. In the absence of troops ready to fight, a part of the ships here will proceed to the fleet with munitions of war only.
The Viceroy of Ireland, who is to command the forces, set out from this city on Saturday. But being overtaken by a dangerous illness on the road, he has had to stop, full of the most painful thoughts. He has long foreseen the imminent perils which menace him personally, as he is threatened publicly by the Scots not less than by the English. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is equally a subject of the popular wrath, has withdrawn to the queen's Court for greater safety and only emerges from there with circumspection.
By a published proclamation the king has declared guilty of high treason and rebellion the Scots who have entered England armed, and has forbidden, under the severest penalties, the supplying them with commodities of any kind, while he offers a full pardon to those who repent of their most grievous fault and return quietly to their homes. But this is labour lost as on the one side they are eager to carry out their plans, while on the other they are anxious to use this crisis to obtain from his Majesty the satisfaction which hitherto they have not been able to get by respect and loyalty.
Strict orders have been sent to all the lords and others who hold property of the crown, and who are therefore bound to follow the king when he takes the field, to proceed to York with all speed for service with permission however to the infirm and to those who do not want to leave their own hearths to withdraw upon payment of a definite sum of money. In this way the ministers here hope to collect a considerable sum in the present penury. But those concerned saw through the trick and were unwilling to facilitate the king's designs by the payment of money. So they have intimated that they are all perfectly ready to obey, but they will not fight before they have heard that the demands of the Scots are inequitable, which means that they do not feel inclined to expose themselves to hurt.
Fresh requests for loans have been made of this city, but have met with no better response than before and they have definitely refused to contribute without a vote of parliament. Not knowing where else to go they have tried to obtain on credit from the India Company all the pepper brought by the ships, which have recently arrived, amounting to 70,000l. with the idea of selling it afterwards to the merchants at a loss, who will readily supply the money. But when negotiations were opened with the interested parties and the heads of the Company, they showed no inclination to entrust their capital to the king, and unless they take it by force, as was done before with the money which lay in the Tower, it seems likely that this last expedient will fail also, involving as it does most hurtful consequences to the traders of this mart.
His Majesty has unexpectedly issued a proclamation to the Sheriffs whose duty it is to collect the last tax known as ship money, which the people have been unwilling to pay in the past, although under pressure, informing them that they must satisfy the Treasury within a month, under pain of severe penalties, as he is determined to have prompt obedience and full payment. These, on the contrary, claim that the royal authority does not extend to the imposition of the greater charges, and they refuse to pay. Dissatisfaction constantly increases and without any advantage they keep preparing material for the most serious outbreak. It is feared that this is very near, much to the alarm of good men and of foreigners in particular. Owing to this fear the custody of the Tower has been committed to Cottington, (fn. 2) one of the most capable of the ministers, with orders from the king that in case of a rising he is to raise platforms of earthworks in the Tower and take steps to command the city with guns. May God avert the need for such service to his Majesty and for the safety of private individuals.
The ambassador destined for this Court has already left Denmark, and they are momentarily expecting his arrival in port. (fn. 3) When he comes we shall know more precisely the commissions with which he is charged, which I will report later. I have your Excellencies' letters of the 17th ult.
London, the 7th September, 1640.
Sept. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
108. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday the Scottish army reached Morphet, a small place 12 leagues from Newcastle. It numbers 32,000 combatants, reinforcements of 12,000 men having reached it since it started.
On the way it has continued to enjoy the goodwill not only of the common people, but of the gentry of the country as well. Gen. Leslie maintains the most severe discipline in the army, and so far has not suffered any hurt to be done to any place or person, save only a few houses of Catholics, who imprudently refused to supply some refreshment asked for, and these were pillaged and completely destroyed in revenge. The commander enjoys the prompt obedience not only of the soldiers but of the higher officers as well, to such an extent that he could not wish for more if he had been born their natural sovereign.
Having granted a day's rest at the place mentioned, he advanced in good order to the River Tyne, on the shores of which a royal force of 3000 horse and 2000 foot was drawn up, intent on offering a vigorous resistance to the passage of the river. Being thus obliged to force it, Leslie soon established several pieces of artillery on the high ground near by, with which he began to bombard the royalists furiously. Terrified at the first shots and unprepared (non avvezzi) for the violence of such salutes, the infantry shamefully abandoned their colours and sought safety in precipitate flight. The cavalry, with more courage, or possibly being less cowardly, offered some resistance to the attack, but being overborne by numbers and by the valour of their opponents, they also retired with the loss of 400 of the most faithful troops in the royal forces, leaving the way open to the Scots. (fn. 4)
After this success the army approached Newcastle, which surrendered without resistance. There they found a quantity of artillery, abundant supplies of food and munitions of war, sent there these last months by the king, to be distributed to his own force, and by this important capture the Scots have opened the way for receiving succour by sea from Scotland, and for securing considerable supplies of money because situated in the neighbourhood are the mines of coal which is brought to this city in great quantities and distributed throughout the realm. They will be able to sell this and will thus obtain the means to support the war for a long time in this country, if the king's necessities do not compel him to buy peace at any price, as everyone predicts, or the English change their minds and decide to render powerful aid to the king, of which there is no indication. Everyone here expresses gladness at the news, and although it is forbidden under severe penalties to speak in favour of the rebels, and many persons have been arrested for the offence, such devices are quite inadequate to restrain this free spoken people within bounds, so powerful in them is the sentiment of liberty and the question of religion, under which the Scots cleverly cloak their ambitious greed.
On the very day of the action the king left York with the bulk of the army, intending to advance to Newcastle, but the unlucky news of the flight of his troops reached him on the road, and sad at heart he found it advisable to return to the city. It is thought that he may even retire from there if the rebels push on in that direction, and here they are impatiently waiting for news.
The men of the trained bands commanded to follow the king have not moved as yet, the counties being undecided whether to obey or to excuse themselves. They were to come to their final decision yesterday, and upon this in great measure depends the success or failure of His Majesty's affairs. His fortune is undoubtedly exposed to very dangerous contingencies and hateful changes.
Upon the promise of the customers and of many men of credit, the India Company has at last agreed to grant the king the sale of the pepper as asked. The ministers have hastened to complete the bargain, but so far they have not been able to find anyone willing to take it up, the calamities of the time inducing everybody to proceed with great caution in a matter which may give general offence.
Two ambassadors of Denmark arrived in this city on Monday, being lodged and defrayed by His Majesty. They have sent a gentleman to him to learn his pleasure, whether they shall await his return, of if he will give them audience where he is.
I sent my Secretary Agostini to pay my respects, as did all the other ministers, and those of Spain in particular.
The Chiaus sent by the Grand Sultan to announce his accession (fn. 5) has also arrived, and is defrayed by the merchants of the Levant Company. He formally expressed his esteem for your Excellencies and handed me letters from the Bailo Contarini. I made a suitable response.
Your letters of the 23rd and 24th ult. reached me today, and your orders to me to prepare to proceed to the embassy to Caesar. On his Majesty's return I will take leave as directed, and after performing the other functions and making preparations for sustaining the charge with due splendour, I will try to set out on the journey with all possible speed. The dangers of the journey, in the present movements of armies, only make me the more anxious to serve my country.
London, the 14th September, 1640.
Sept. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
109. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The news which throngs in at every moment in this country impels me to add these few lines to my last. The Scottish army, leaving Newcastle well supplied, has since advanced to Durham, and taken it without resistance, and from that city they are approaching swiftly to York.
Two days ago several earls, barons and other leading men of the Puritan party came to this city and after secret conferences they have united to send letters to the king by Baron Batvil and Avort, representing that this kingdom has been brought to a state of most serious calamity by the sole fault of His Majesty's evil ministers, and there is no remedy except the summoning of parliament without delay. (fn. 6) They beg him to consent to this, otherwise they protest that they will summon it themselves, in order to escape greater trouble for their country.
The queen and ministers having discovered full particulars of this daring resolution, conspiring with the most pernicious aims of the Scots, sent the news to the king with all speed, advising him to come quickly to this city to divert the serious mischief with which they are threatened if he is not disposed to summon parliament without a moment's delay. The acts of that body will undoubtedly cause great affliction to many ministers with the danger of even more hateful consequences which the prudence of your Excellencies will foresee.
In the Tower here they are preparing quarters for soldiers, and are hurriedly making many military preparations, with the object perhaps of providing, in the last resort, a refuge in that fortress for some minister or for the king himself. With his arrival and from the decisions which he will take we shall see the trend of these difficult and troublesome affairs.
London, the 15th September, 1640.
Sept. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 110. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In conformity with my instructions I seized on a favourable opportunity for performing the office with the Cardinal about sending an ambassador, pointing out the advantage of maintaining by such means confidential relations between the two crowns, always most useful in the public interest and above all necessary in the present serious emergencies, when three ambassadors of the Catholic are present at the same time at that Court, without there being a single adequate representative of France. His Eminence seemed very pleased at what I said and charged me to thank your Excellencies and assure you that he would give the matter his earnest consideration. He added that he had not, up to that moment, thought much about the question, it being clear that the King of Great Britain, a prince of peculiar ideas, is unwilling to extend his vision outside his own kingdom, it pleasing him better to toil there with disadvantage and loss of reputation, than to take advantage of what could be done outside, for the benefit of the common cause. Quite recently measures had been proposed to him, most opportune for the redemption of the Palatine House from its present oppressions, but without success, his usual subtleties broke off the negotiations at the outset. It is certain that the King of Spain, whether he sends three or even ten ambassadors, will not conclude any agreement with him, or if he does so it will be without profit. England today has become a nation useless to all the rest of the world and consequently of no consideration (ben vedendosi che il Re di Gran Bretagna, prencipe di pensieri particolari, niente vuole estendersi oltre il suo regno, godendo piulosto di traragliare con disavantaggio e discapito di riputatione in esso che di valersi di cio che puote fuori in beneficio della causa commune, essergli anco ultimamente proposti de mezi opportunissimi per redimere la Casa Palatina dall' oppressioni presenti, ma inutilmente, le solite sue sotligliezze interrotone sul principio il maneggio. Esser sicuro che l' Re di Spagna non sol con tre ma ne anco con dieci ambasciatori stringera alcun concerto seco o se to faccia sara senza profitto. L' Inglese hoggidi divenuta una natione inutile a tutto il resto del Mondo e per conseguenza niente considerable).
The Cardinal openly professes aversion against the nation, always speaks of it with derision, and I have frequently heard him say that it is quite useless for those princes who have no commercial interests with the English to keep up relations with them for reasons of state. Yet on this occasion, possibly out of regard for your Excellencies, he seemed disposed to send an ambassador. He assured me that the difficulty of finding a suitable person had alone delayed the appointment hitherto.
Amiens, the 15th September, 1640.
Sept. 15.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
111. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here almost laugh when one talks to them of peace. It is true that the chief things upon which they counted on continuing the war this year, namely the enterprises of Casale and the alliance with England have failed them. The latter is considered here to be practically broken off. But they do not give in on this account as they hold firmly to the belief that France will never hold out so long as they do.
Madrid, the 15th September, 1640.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
Sept. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
112. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The two lords sent by the earls here with letters to the king reached York on Wednesday, and thus added fresh cause of disturbance to His Majesty. Dissimulating the bitterness of his feeling he told them that before deciding on the subject he wished to consult the remainder of the high nobility and would then follow the advice which they might consider best for the common advantage and the crown.
In addition to the demand for the summoning of parliament the letters contain other requests of great moment, namely the speedy abolition of all monopolies, which are numerous, and of the impositions recently introduced, the punishment of the ministers who have given bad advice, not to call Irish or other foreign troops to the kingdom, the resumption of the ancient severity against the Catholics, the prohibition of all the rites newly ordered in the worship of the Protestant Church, bringing it back to the severe form of the ancient use, and finally that the Scots receive satisfaction for their most just claims, so that they may withdraw to their own country by negotiation, without bloodshed, and that the two kingdoms may be united in friendship and religion alike.
These same lords have audaciously presented a copy of these letters to the Council here as well. In consequence of all that is involved, the king has decided to summon all the earls and barons and to hear the opinion of each, from which it is thought that it will be possible, with a show of confidence to issue a formal summons for a new parliament. In the common opinion it will be at York. The king has sent the Vice Chamberlain Gorin to this city, with orders to warn all the nobility to meet His Majesty on the 4th prox.
The Scottish army, having obtained a friendly loan of 20,000l. giving security for complete repayment, has taken without opposition the place of Simons, which lies at the mouth of the River Tyne, and renders the Scots completely masters of that part of the sea. Without advancing any further they have distributed their troops in the country of the Bishopric of Durham and about Newcastle, which place they are actively fortifying. In the meantime they have sent a special messenger to the king with a petition full of the most studious terms of respect, but in no way differing from the manifesto of the English earls and barons, thus showing ever more clearly the secret communication between the two, the English being informed of their coming and approving of their stay.
Nevertheless the king gave them a most gracious reply, that he was entirely disposed to give satisfaction to the Scottish people in what he considers just. Meanwhile he commands them not to advance further, in which they have complied, and to await what will be decided. Although this is recognised as an attempt to gain time, yet it affords some hope that these differences may be composed in a friendly way, without force. If this follows it will undoubtedly be greatly to the advantage of the Scots as well as of the English. On the other hand it will mean the total desolation of the Catholic Faith in this country, with a notable diminution of the king's authority, and the final ruin of his most confidential ministers. These are using their utmost endeavour to prevent the convocation of parliament, but the increasing stringency of His Majesty's affairs and the persistent and general outcry make it likely that all their efforts will be in vain.
The counties of the North have at last agreed to send the men of the trained bands commanded, to the royal army, which is quartered a mile from York. With these the royal army is increased to 28,000 men. They are expecting reinforcements from other counties, which revives the hope that this army may be rendered as powerful and numerous as that of the rebels. The chief difficulty consists at present in the lack of money, which is irremediable and by the suspicion, confirmed by reports and by experience, that when it comes to the push the English troops, the infantry in particular, will not fight the enemy. These last, through artful announcements that they aim solely at the preservation of liberty and religion, and except the satisfaction they claim from the most just hand of parliament, that they do not mean to fight the king's forces except in self defence, and only wish to be heard quietly by his Majesty, increase their favour with the people, while alienating them from the king. For this reason every one here is awaiting with curiosity to see how these most perilous circumstances will end, accompanied as they are by such irregular and numerous accidents, so that no sure opinion can be advanced about the end.
They are still devoting careful attention to the custody of the Tower. It is at present guarded by 600 infantry of the garrison. They are also taking many other steps to prevent risings, which are threatened all the same. Many bills have again been posted up in public places in the city inviting the people to revolt. In consequence of these suspicions the king has sent patents to the Earl of Arundel appointing him general this side Trent, with express orders to all officers and soldiers of those parts to obey his commands.
A Scottish maitre de cuisine of the Prince has been arrested for having expressed the intention to kill his Highness with a knife. (fn. 7) It is proposed that for greater safety the prince with the others shall go to the queen, who has proceeded from Oatlands to Hampton Court, a pleasure house of the crown nearer this city.
The ambassadors of Denmark are still lodged in a house of the king and one hears of no orders for their audience. The same applies to the Chiaus from Constantinople.
Orders have reached the merchants from the Prince of Satriano, who is at Naples, to purchase as soon as possible six vessels armed for war. It is believed that they are to join those of the Catholic. The merchants are acting under this commission in Holland under feigned names. By such ways do the Spaniards obtain the means for their defence from their very enemies.
London, the 21st September, 1640.
Sept. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
113. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal has spoken to me again about sending an ambassador to England. He said that the answer he gave me last week was such as a statesman should give, to an ambassador ; but the confidential relations between us constrained to speak to me as a friend, and he must tell me plainly that under existing circumstances he would on no account advise the king to give this satisfaction to the English, although they had asked for it through several channels. It was very well known that the only reason they wanted a French ambassador resident with them was to make the Spaniards uneasy and they flattered themselves with the hope that in the negotiations between the two countries they would lead the Spaniards perhaps further than they wanted to go. France had made every effort and experiment possible to unite with the King of Great Britain for the benefit of the general interests and for the special advantage of the Palatine. A while ago they had promised, an obligation which involved very little on the side of England, not to make peace with the House of Austria until the Palatine was first restored to his dominions. All this with so little result that it was no wonder if His Majesty felt that there was no hope that an ambassador of his in England would be of any use to himself or the public cause, and had decided not to keep one there any longer, more especially as the presence of a minister of his in that kingdom might, as already stated, serve as an instrument for the English to make an alliance with Spain.
His Eminence then added : But let me tell you another and more recondite mystery. You are aware that the Puritans are less hostile to us than to the Spaniards. These rebels in Scotland are making war openly on the king, and in England they are all ready to make some disturbance. So long as they see the negotiations continued with the Spanish ambassadors, and that there is no one representing France, they will keep up their agitation, from their fear that something may be arranged with the Spaniards to their prejudice. This agitation will make the king hesitate and render it certain that, in order not to incite them to declared hostility, he will not take any steps with the Spaniards to the prejudice of us or of the common business (sapete bene che i Puritani sono manco inimici nostri che de Spagnoli : questi sollevati in Iscotia fanno apertamente la guerra al Re, e quelli d' Inghilterra stan sul punto di far qualche emmotione etiamdio : sin che vedranno continovarsi le negotiationi con gli ambasciatori de Spagna, e non esservene alcuno dalla parte di Francia sempre staranno in agitatione adombrati che con li Spagnoli non si concluda qualche cosa a loro pregiudicio, e questa agitatione tenendo in sospeso l' animo del Re fara certo che per non concitarseli dichiaratamente contrarie non prendera risolutione alcuna coi medesimi Spagnoli a pregiudicio de nostri, e degli affari communi).
This is the only way. We do not want to give encouragement to the Scots. God knows how far we are from it. The world and the King of Great Britain himself are not unaware of the advances and proposals that have been made to us, and the answer we gave. We shall never disturb the repose of our friends, indeed we shall assist them when they are willing to stand well with us, and will be friends of the public cause.
The Cardinal enlarged upon this and could not refrain from breaking out against the English, as is his wont, imputing to them the continuation of the present disorders of Christendom. He summed up that for the reasons given they certainly could not send an ambassador to England at the moment, but he begged me to keep to myself what he had told me in confidence, and not to tell your Serenity any more than that he thanked you for the office and would give it full consideration, in order to follow your prudent advice as soon as possible.
I replied that your Excellencies' regard for the public weal and especially for that of this crown had moved you to make this representation. You would never oppose the definite resolutions of the king. You only thought that the presence of an ambassador in England at a time when three Spanish ambassadors were kept there, could not fail to be of advantage to His Majesty and to Christendom as well.
Amiens, the 23rd September, 1640.
Sept. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
114. To the Ambassador in England.
The Secretary of England has asked for the arrest of one William Burdet. We do not know that he has committed any crime in our state or of what he is accused ; consequently there is no reason for detaining him. We are anxious to gratify his Majesty in every possible way, but while Burdet remains in our territory and does not commit any public crime or cause any scandal, honour and justice must be considered. You will speak with great circumspection on the subject and if any further demand is made you will speak in accordance with the tenor of these instructions.
Ayes, 108. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
115. To the King of Great Britain.
We are always pleased to have any opportunity to gratify your Majesty. In the matter of William Burdet we will send instructions to our representatives at Zante and Cephalonia to have him arrested and handed over to the ship which is to carry him to England. Compliments.
That the Rectors of Zante and Cephalonia be directed to order the arrest of William Burdet and to hand him over to the ship "Unicorn," to be taken to England. That the ambassador in England be informed of this decision. (fn. 8)
Ayes, 21.
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
116. To the Ambassador in England.
We have decided to gratify his Majesty in the matter of the request made by his secretary here about Colonel Douglas. Accordingly you will present the enclosed letter to his Majesty, assuring him of our devotion which, with the passage of time, has enabled the law and other difficulties to be overcome. We have informed his Majesty's resident here of the result and he seemed greatly pleased and said he would inform the king. We also enclose a decision of the 26th inst. about William Burdet, upon which we are sure you will speak with your customary prudence, fortified by the unusual favour granted to Colonel Douglas. Enclose sheet of advices.
Ayes, 107. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
117. To the Ambassador in England.
The Imperial Ambassador came into the Collegio this morning and we enclose a copy of his office. Owing to this most important occurence, which calls in itself for the most serious and punctual consideration in respect of the circumstances which may be involved and to the motives which may be concealed, all of which demands mature reflection, we have decided to send these presents to you with all speed, in the belief that you will still be in England, not having yet taken leave of his Majesty. If that is the case you will postpone your departure on the plea of indisposition or the difficulties of the journey in the winter season on account of your wife, young children and numerous household, or because of some incommodity of your wife, or that you are waiting for passports, or uncertain which route to take owing to the war in Germany, or that you are waiting to hear from Vienna. We desire you to remain where you are upon some such pretext, until further order. If you have started the courier will follow you with orders for you to come straight to this city announcing that you are compelled to go there on your own private affairs after a long absence. (fn. 9)
Ayes, 107. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
118. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The example of the nobility in boldly demanding a parliament has encouraged the lesser folk of London to draw up a paper with the same demands. This signed by a great number of persons of every condition was sent yesterday to the Court, by four citizens, to be presented to His Majesty. The Royal Council, being advised of this, quickly sent after them a company of soldiers, with orders to stop them on the road, and bring them j3risoners here, as leaders of sedition, an action likely to produce further pernicious results.
The preaching ministers of the parishes, in a separate paper, also demand with great freedom the abolition of some canons lately introduced by the clergy into the Anglican church. Such contumacious declarations are now common among all ranks, and no way remains of denying to the people any longer the satisfaction they claim. The opinion gains ground that at the meeting of the peers of the realm at York on the 4th prox., His Majesty will decide to summon parliament. The more eagerly this is desired the more the suspicion is increased that far reaching reforms will follow in the government of this monarchy. The Parliamentarians let it be freely understood that they mean to deprive the bishops in particular of their old prerogative of a seat in parliament. If this were done it would greatly weaken the royal party, as these men being beneficed by the king have always been accustomed to support his designs in parliament, and to oppose those who stood out obstinately against them.
Meanwhile the Scots have taken advantage of their opportunities and although they expressed their intention not to move from their first quarters, and there await the decision of the assembly, have nevertheless advanced to the border of the county of York, taking without resistance several other places, and collecting from every place the revenues of the crown. They also oblige the counties occupied to contribute 1500l. a day for the support of their army, which has received further reinforcements.
For the purpose of maintaining the goodwill of the citizens here towards the cause of the rebels General Leslie has sent letters to the Council of London full of the most subtle insinuations and assurances, that the Scots aim solely at restoring the former liberty enjoyed by both kingdoms, and at removing the oppression to which the tyranny of the present government has led. The tenor of these artful letters, which are widely circulated, increases the anger against the ministers and maintains the original sympathy with the rebels.
On the other hand the deputies of the county of York, after several conferences with the Lieutenant of Ireland, putting aside the incitement of the complaints reported, have agreed to supply the king with 12,000 foot and 2000 horse, paid for a month, on condition that, as a reward for this succour, the county shall be relieved of many important burdens, to which they are subject by the ancient laws of the realm. As a sign of his satisfaction with this agreement the king has given the Lieutenant the order of the Garter. (fn. 10)
In order to reach York on the appointed day many of the nobles have set out this week, and the others are preparing to do so soon. All are waiting to see the result of this assembly with curiosity, and it will undoubtedly have a decisive influence on the turn of affairs here. Among so many divers interests it is not easy to see what the end will be.
The ministers here have sold at a loss of 30 per cent, the pepper taken on credit for the king, and they have sent the money to the army.
The gentleman of the Ambassadors of Denmark has returned from York bringing them permission to see the king there, and yesterday they set out thither, with a small suite, as directed. There are various statements about their commissions ; some declare that the chief object of the mission is to facilitate a composition between the Scots and His Majesty, others that they are to treat about the differences between their sovereign and the States of Holland, for which the king offered his good offices, so that with mutual satisfaction all occasions for fresh ill feeling might be removed. After their first audience we shall find out the particulars of this mission, which I will duly report.
London, the 28th September, 1640.


  • 1. Presumably James Campbell, lord of Kintyre.
  • 2. Appointed Constable on Aug. 25—Sep. 24. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1640, page 629.
  • 3. There were two ambassadors, Cornelius Ulefeld and Gregory Krabbe. Their credentials are dated at Copenhagen, 6th August, 1640. S.P. Denmark.
  • 4. The action at Newburn on the 28 Aug.—7 Sept.
  • 5. Mustaffa Chiaus, sent to England, France and Holland to announce the accession of the Sultan Ibrahim on the death of his brother, Murad IV. Crowe's despatches of the 30th April and 10th May. S. P. Turkey.
  • 6. The petition signed by 12 Peers of the 28th Aug. o.s., presented by Lord Mandeville and Lord Edward Howard. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1640, page 639. Id, 1640, 1641, page 15.
  • 7. On a arreté un Ecossais qui servait dans la cuisine de Madame de Rosbroue, gouvernante de Madame la Princesse, qui a été si brutal que de dire devant plusieurs personnes qu'il voulait égorger M. le Prince d'un couteau qu'il tenait en sa main. Montereul on 21 Sept., P.R.O. Paris Trans. Probably the person referred to in Windebank's note of the 4th Sept., o.s. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1640-1, page 12.
  • 8. Talbot was frankly puzzled by the ambiguous behaviour of the Senate with regard to Burdet. Writing on 21 Sept., o.s., he says "I cannot yet draw any positive answer from this prince to His Majesty's letters. . . .I can see no reason why they should demur upon that which concerneth Mr. Burdet, yet they are so cold in it that they have not only neglected to satisfy His Majesty herein, but have divulged the demand, which is to hinder the effect when they shall have condescended to it." S. P. Venice.
  • 9. Salvetti writing on the 2nd November, explains that Giustinian was not to go to Ratisbon because the ambassadors of the electors claimed precedence over the Venetian. Brit. Mus. Add MSS., 27962H.
  • 10. At York on the 22nd September, by special dispensation—Nicolas : Hist, of the Orders of Knighthood, Vol. i., page 235.