Venice: October 1643

Pages 24-35

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 27, 1643-1647. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.

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October 1643

Oct. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
26. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After relieving Gloucester General Essex made a forced march to Sisiter, capturing the town, which is of slight consequence, but what is more important, taking 30 carts with food which were going to Oxford, and capturing two regiments of horse which were convoying them. (fn. 1) As he was hastening with the same speed to reach Newbury and to take steps there to besiege Oxford with the Court and army, the king decided to forestall him. So he sent forward Prince Rupert with a flourishing and noble cavalry last Monday, who occupied the position with some fighting, some being wounded on both sides. His Majesty avoided a battle with all his power, strong as he is, as an unfortunate issue might ruin his not very firmly established fortunes ; but the danger of a siege forced him to a decision. Accordingly on Wednesday, the last of September, there was a bloody and cruel encounter between the two armies, and although many things are related to the advantage of this side, nothing certain is yet known, all the couriers being detained. Meanwhile after pressing troops all these days in the city they sent out General Waller yesterday evening with an army not exceeding 6,000 men, horse and foot, with orders to go and join Essex. But the pique between these two commanders may cause some disorders to the king's advantage. His Majesty with a few troops has besieged Southampton, a small place on the sea.
The army of the Earl of Manchester has prospered at its first attempt, as it has taken Lin. He compares it with Exeter, but it is really much inferior.
Amid these possibly false hopes of success in battle, the parliamentarians as well as the governors of the city find themselves in great difficulties, as although the taxes imposed are worth great sums, the returns do not correspond. Moreover the Vice Admiral, the Earl of Warwick, anchoring the whole fleet in the Downs, has arrived here protesting that if they do not immediately supply him with the money due to the sailors, it will not be in his power to prevent them from coming here riotously for satisfaction, as they have begun to do. Accordingly they are making the greatest efforts to find it, so far without success. He will leave with orders to put to sea and with sufficient powers, without further reference, to search all French ships and seize those which are bringing soldiers, money or other things for the king.
They have been negotiating all this week with the Scottish commissioners about the terms for the entry of their army into this kingdom. They have arranged for 18,000 foot and 3,000 horse. There was some difference because the English parliament did not want the army to exceed 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse, from fear of buying with their own money a more painful slavery, instead of liberty, as may well happen. The Scots claim 100,000l. at once on account, and some one has been sent on purpose to Amsterdam to treat with the merchants there for a loan of 200,000l. sterling, at the usual rate, without any security than the joint credit of the English and Scots. But as those people are very practical it is not believed that they will build their capital in the air upon credit where there is none.
The Prince of Orange although he has retired to the Hague, has left the troops in garrison all ready to move, but it is only to quiet the French. Two commissioners from the Duke of Neuburg had arrived there to complain of a letter from the States to the duke demanding the free exercise of the Calvinistic faith in Juliers. They have not yet had audience, but they expect help from the Prince and are trying for the support of the French ambassador, declaring that the States want to subdue that country. Meanwhile the Hessians have entered that district and taken Durem. The Assembly of the states of the Provinces have restored the ancient decrees against the Catholics. The matter of the plenipotentiaries is not yet settled, as they are waiting for the French.
London, the 2nd October, 1643.
27. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Before M. de Cressi went to Dover to meet the Count of Harcourt, who was to leave Paris last Monday, two commissioners of parliament went to see him and showed him letters from Plymouth in which the governor reports that a confidant of his, returned from St. Malo tells him that troops are gathering in all those provinces and they already have 20,000 Frenchmen all ready to cross to serve the king. He proved to them the baselessness of the report, but all the same they obliged him to write to Court about it and to show them the reply that comes.
In addition to this, the queen having offered the use of her palace of Somerset House in this city, to the Count, while he was making arrangements a commissioner of parliament went there, followed by a number of soldiers, and carried away all the furniture found there, not only that of private individuals, but the queen's, and all Cressi's efforts have failed to obtain the return of anything. He has asked for passports for the Count, his household and goods ; but the parliamentarians, under the pretence of courtesy, said they would send two deputies to Dover, to accompany him all the way, and these are appointed. Cressi, unable to believe in so much civility among this excited and suspicious people, was afraid that they might be intending to overhaul his baggage and even his papers. So without pressing for passports or anything else he has gone with the intention of suggesting to Harcourt that he shall put up with anything in order to reach the promised end. But there are likely to be so many slights that it will be difficult for a spirit more noble and less interested than Cressi, to put up with them. They already give out here that he pretends to come as a mediator in order to take sides, and they conclude this from seeing that instead of a clever diplomatist they are sending a valiant captain, who, they say, is bringing with him a number of army officers.
As a foil to this embassy parliament has got the deputy Stricland to suggest a solemn mission from those Provinces on the same pretext of peace. This was decided and they proposed to send here immediately the Ambassador Joachimi, with another. But the Prince of Orange, who knows that he has not served the king well, is trying under the pretext that they ought rather to reward the old minister than lay new burdens upon him, to propose Emflit, his own creature, who had the honour of arranging the marriage between his son and the princess. This not proving acceptable, a decision has been postponed, which is equally satisfactory to the Prince.
London, the 2nd October, 1643.
Oct. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
28. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The battle of Newbury took place on Wednesday the last of September, between almost equal forces, of 13,000 on each side, the cavalry supplying the shortage and inefficiency of the royalist infantry. The fight lasted from sunrise to sunset, and 4,000 fell, without counting the wounded. The attacks were vigorous, but whether from the ardour of the royalists and of his Majesty, who was present, sword in hand, or for some other reason, they suffered more, if not in numbers at least in the quality of the slain, among whom were a marquis, two earls and a secretary of state. (fn. 2)
In the parliamentary army the trained bands of the city bore the heaviest blows, his Majesty having given orders that these obstinate folk should feel the weight of his ire, refusing them quarter, and if many had not run away the slaughter would have been greater.
Although General Essex boasts of having won the day, pointing to the muster he held and the order for the burial of the bodies, yet the king was equally master of the field, as he remained as long as he liked, and withdrew before the break of the following day for other designs.
When his Majesty reached Oxford, supposing that Essex would march towards Reading, as he did, he sent a part of the cavalry to occupy the bridge over the Thames, which he would have to cross. These profiting by the confined space, captured two guns, slew 300 of the enemy and pursued them to within sight of Reading. So there are disputes about the victory, which has been celebrated with bonfires at Oxford and by thanksgivings in the churches here. But his Majesty's loss is certain, from the death of so many subjects on both sides.
With Essex quartered at Reading three commissioners were sent to him by parliament to urge him not to leave his army or permit the officers to go to the city, assuring him that they will provide him with reinforcements, money and all that he needs to continue his efforts, as may seem best. But their efforts proved fruitless as he arrived the day before yesterday, as also did Waller, who never advanced further than Windsor. They are now consulting with these two commanders about besieging Oxford, considered the best way of finishing the business, as the thoroughly wearied citizens desire. But they have not yet decided, and the soldiers, who know the difficulties and dangers, do not approve, especially with the approach of the cold weather, and they do not want to see the end of their honours and advantages.
Meanwhile they have held a muster of all the trained bands of the city, who number 12,000, and they talk of reinforcing the army with a part of them, since they did better service than was expected ; but many did not appear at the muster from fear of being immediately sent to the front.
The Earl of Warwick left with the money promised for paying the sailors, for which they are trying to get together 40,000l. though that will not be the eighth part of their indebtedness. He has orders to search the French ships which he suspects of taking men, money and munitions to the king, it being understood that a quantity of arms for this purpose are already laded at St. Malo and elsewhere, though the French say they are for merchants, for purposes of trade.
Newcastle, created marquis by the king, with all his forces, which are more powerful than the king's own army, is closely besieging Uls, in the hope that a body of cavalry gathered there by Fairfax to sally out and harass him, may consume their provisions and hasten a surrender. This has alarmed them here, and they have directed the Earl of Manchester to unite with Cramuel and proceed in that direction, Fairfax being directed to come out by sea with his cavalry and join them, which they say has happened. If Newcastle succeeds in this enterprise it will place a serious obstacle to the advance of the Scots, whose entry is referred to as very near. But although parliament, the synod and the commissioners of that country have solemnly sworn in church to the league, the 100,000l. sterling, which they claim in advance, has not yet been provided, and the monthly subsidy has not been settled, as they offer 20,000l. while the Scots claim 30,000l. and this will delay the levies and provisions. It is true that they have allowed them to introduce a garrison into Berwick, a place formerly so jealous, opening the way into England at their pleasure. The queen mother has sent a gentleman there on purpose to protest her resentment, that they should make war on the king, and Lodun, their commissioner, who has been staying some months in France, has gone there also to inform them of the feelings and intentions of the Court.
London, the 9th October, 1643.
29. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
There is no news yet of the ambassador Harcourt having crossed the sea, Cressi is still at Dover awaiting him. Parliament refused a passport to the French resident when he asked for one, and has not even held to the decision to send two commissioners. They have instead ordered the deputy of the lieutenant of Kent to proceed to Dover to meet him, and escort him under the show of a compliment. The resident apprehends a thorough search of all Harcourt's goods and believes that he will not stand it.
The peace mission of the Dutch ambassadors is suspended for the reasons reported, and it is unlikely unless circumstances here afford a more propitious opening. Meanwhile the Prince of Orange has withdrawn to a country house of his to recreate himself after the campaign. The severity shown against the Catholics in that country is encouraged by his Highness not from natural inclination but to escape calumny and regain the confidence he used to enjoy. The affair of the plenipotentiaries is not settled, and it gets little attention since the French are so slow. They have appointed deputies to negotiate with Neuburg's commissioners about the alleged introduction of Protestantism into Juliers.
London, the 9th October, 1643.
Oct. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
30. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
They have tried their hardest to persuade the people that the parliament gained a very great victory in the last battle. To this end they have sent out at night numbers of the citizens to fill up the companies of the trained bands which took part and were almost completely destroyed, and in the busiest part of the day the soldiers have entered all crowned with laurel, so as to hearten the others, that they may not refuse when next they are commanded to go forth. But the results do not point this way, since the parliamentary troops, pursued by the royalists have been obliged to abandon Reading and retire to Windsor, a well fortified place not more than 25 miles from here. So the others have occupied the position which they are fortifying anew, as General Essex had demolished them. From what I gather the king's intention is to send troops into Kent to harass London next winter, as he realises from the affair of Gloucester that the reduction of this great foundation and support will involve the fall of the whole machine.
General Essex has given permission for Waller to take any men of his army that he wishes for such enterprises as he may decide upon. Meanwhile he moves in a halo of glory here, having recovered his reputation by the relief of Gloucester, and vindicated himself with the citizens of London, who had reviled him. He has also put his rival in danger of losing the reputation gained on nothing, during the present difficulties, by moving without fighting. To complete their mortification he decided to go to the Common Council of the city, where he informed them of what he had done. He added that there were three possible courses to take ; to find a fountain that spouts money ; or to get real volunteers who will fight without pay, or else to come to terms with the king. After a night's discussion they have found no answer to this.
Yet they are devoting their most earnest attention to the provision of money. In addition to the 50 subsidies and other taxes imposed, they ordered the revision and increase of the twentieth on goods, as the way that has proved the most prompt, since they seize the goods of those who do not pay at the first warning. But owing to the tyrannous violence with which they have proceeded in this and other matters, many families are destroyed, others have fled, while the moveable goods of those who do not possess land, are concealed.
The total of these taxes taken together amounts to 600,000l. sterling, but to exact this is known to be impossible. The parliamentary chest is thus exhausted by the necessity of supplying promptly numerous outgoings ; for the Scots, the land army, the navy, which has so far received no payment, while they are imprisoning the sailors who come to demand it. They have applied to the private purses of the city, who are most friendly, for a loan of 300,000l. but all their most strenuous efforts will not suffice to raise a third of it, and afterwards it vanishes quickly in the hands of the distributors.
By a recent decree of parliament they have deprived the king, queen and the prince also of all the hereditary revenues of the crown. But this does no harm beyond showing their hatred against the royal House, as it has not enjoyed them for a long time.
Being deprived of the coal from Newcastle, the city is experiencing a great shortage of fuel, which is beginning to be wanted this season. On account of the great outcry among the people parliament has decided to have the trees cut down for 60 miles around, especially in the king's parks and forests. They have appointed commissioners for this, and they will profit most from a thing so prejudicial to the country.
Prince Maurice, with a few troops, augmented and assisted by the people of Cornwall, is besieging Plymouth, with good hope of taking it, because all that coast sides with his Majesty and Peninton with some Bristol ships is blockading the port. The important fortress of Uls is also closely invested by the Marquis of Newcastle. Besides capturing all the dykes, which prevent the flooding of the country, he has made a cutting which diverts the river from the town. Owing to this the besieged are running short of fresh water ; but surrender is doubtful because the sea passage is open. Success there that would secure a withdrawal and set Newcastle's army at liberty, would constitute a stiff obstacle to the entry of the Scots. These are only waiting for the provision of 100,000l. in advance, granted to them instead of the 200,000l. they claimed, though they have not yet yielded about the 30,000l. a month.
Fearing that the Irish may intervene, either by coming to serve the king or by way of a diversion in Scotland, parliament has sent letters to the magistracy of Dublin, ordering them to break the truce concluded by his Majesty (fn. 3) ; but without help in money or men the letters are not likely to find obedience.
The French ambassador Harcourt landed at Dover some days ago. He has not yet arrived in this city, his family and goods being carefully searched at every step. Parliament has summoned the merchants to learn what is the amount of his credit in this mart, but they have not discovered more than 4000l. sterling. Montegu crossed the sea with him, denounced by parliament as a traitor for having served the queen both here and in France. He tried to pass under a disguise, but being recognised, was arrested and sent to the Tower. They took from him letters from the queen mother for their Majesties. This has increased the suspicions about the ambassador. The same thing has happened to another gentleman who was going to meet the Count and pay his respects in the name of the queen.
The Ambassador Gorin, destined for France, has crossed the sea and is travelling through Holland to confer with the Prince of Orange. As the Ambassador Contarini has reached Cologne I shall not trouble your Excellencies with any more reports of events in the Netherlands.
London, the 16th October, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
31. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
The mission of the Count d'Arcurt to England has reawakened in the States feelings of jealousy on the subject of religion and proximity, to such an extent that they have brought up again the question of sending two ambassadors as was decided more than a year ago, but always put off owing to what was happening in that kingdom.
Cologne, the 18th October, 1643.
Oct. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
32. To the Secretary in England.
Approval of his diligence in the matter of the currants and of his action in asking the king to permit his subjects of Bristol to go to the Levant islands to lade that fruit. This cannot fail to prove very helpful, and it will also serve to make the Levant Company anxious. He must continue to speak on the subject with those he may chance to meet and see that the permission is carried into effect, as with the progress of that affair the force of self interest will do more to move the Company than all the remonstrance and argument in the world, and the competition will be all to the advantage of Venetian interests and those of Venetian subjects.
Enclose a copy of the decree of the Senate concerning the reduction of the duty on currants. (fn. 4) Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 2nd inst.
Ayes, 72. Noes, 4. Neutral, 7.
Oct. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
33. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The present week has passed in disputes and quarrels between the two generals Essex and Waller. The former made a violent attack on the other in parliament, so that he was obliged to leave the army and come here to defend himself. The Lower House has employed persuasion and authority to reconcile them, but without success. Accordingly Waller decided to resign his commission, of which he subsequently informed the city Council, inveighing against the insolent pretensions of Essex. Many believe that seeing the difficulties of collecting a powerful army, the impossibility of keeping it satisfied and the difficult task which is set for the first enterprise, as will be related, he has seized the opportunity to retire in order to preserve the reputation which was impressed upon the common people, when Essex was under a cloud, to encourage the party and obtain contributions. Essex is busy in trying to checkmate this, since another member of parliament hostile to him has come forward and has laid an accusation against him, with 16 charges, from which he will have to clear himself or remain discredited.
The king, profiting by these dissensions, is busily engaged in fortifying Reading, employing 5,000 men of the country on the work, which is not interrupted even at night. He has already introduced 16 pieces of artillery, with 3,000 of the best infantry of his army. Such a sharp thorn could not fail to be sensible to parliament even amid the distraction of the present internal discords. They have devoted some hours to assembling a new army to oppose and hinder the work, since there being no money to support the army returned from the relief of Gloucester, it has in great part wasted away through desertion. As the urgency of the need as well as the shortage of money did not allow of fresh levies, they ordered ten regiments of the citizens to take the field, but aware of the rough handling received by the others in the battle, they have refused. Although the number is confined to five, who are drawn by lot, yet these also refuse, maintaining that if the mayor, their general does not go, they do not consider that they are bound to. Accordingly parliament, has denounced severe penalties for the disobedient, imprisonment, spoiling of their houses and banishment of their families from the city. They were to start last Tuesday, but there is no sign yet of their moving.
Amid all these difficulties their chief hopes are based on the Scots, and the Council of London has exerted itself for the collection in the shortest possible time of the sum to be paid them in advance. General Essex has opposed this and argued that it is first necessary to pay their own army, as not only the interest of the soldiers but the pique between the two nations might lead to pernicious results, if the English saw foreigners better treated than themselves. But so far neither claim has been met.
Lord Widdrington, influential in Northumberland, whose house from ancient times has always professed hostility to the Scots, has arranged with the king to arm the four border counties and prepare to resist an invasion by that nation. 500 of them have already entered Scotland and carried off a quantity of animals. At the same time his Majesty has sent Mr. di More to the Marquis of Hamilton and other lords of his party, who to the number of 25 protest to the government of the country that they will move against it if they send an army into England. There is also the fear that the Irish may cross over on the one side, and the menaces of the gentleman sent by the queen of France to denounce the breach of the alliance with what crown, in which it is stated explicity that the Scots may not take up arms in favour of the English. So it is probable that this assistance will not come so promptly as they hope here.
While some commissioners sent by parliament were having a consultation with other supporters of the party near Bedford, about raising money, four companies of the king's cavalry appeared on the scene and took three of them prisoner. They went on to Newport, which they took, in order to cut off a great quantity of food which reaches the city from that neighbourhood.
The Marquis of Newcastle is still besieging Uls, although with scant hope of taking it while the sea side remains open. Plymouth also is besieged, but Prince Maurice, who is present, is indisposed. Yet they have recovered Dartmouth for the king, with a port near which will facilitate the other enterprise.
The Count of Harcourt arrived here on Saturday. He was met at Gravesend by Fildinch, now Earl of Denbigh, with two members of the Lower House. He is lodged at Somerset House. The moment he arrived he sent a note to the Earl of Pembroke, asking in the name of the queen, his mistress, that Montegu might be restored to him, as a messenger of her Majesty, and asking that this note might be read in parliament. This was done, and an answer was sent in writing that they would restore the letters he brought, but the individual himself could not be released for definite reasons. The ambassador sent another paper full of persuasion, but without avail, as they persisted in their refusal to release him. The Count has asked for a passport to go to Oxford, and is waiting for this, intending to start to-morrow. Meanwhile he has returned the visit of General Essex, the only one to call on him. He seems greatly devoted to your Serenity and shows confidence towards your ministers, glorying in being a son of so great a republic and of having exercised his privilege in the Great Council. He asked me to thank your Excellencies for this.
As a foil to this embassy the Dutch have decided on theirs, which was suspended. The Spanish ambassador is on the watch and would have no slight misgivings had he not great confidence in the strength of his party about the king. The death of the Secretary Falkland has led to an almost universal change of appointments at the Court. This is considered somewhat premature, as many might have been kept at heel by hope.
London, the 23rd October, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
34. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen has sent in haste to England to obtain from parliament a pardon for Montagu, who was arrested in London disguised in false clothes and imprisoned as a confident of the said queen. It is feared that something will have happened before the office can be performed.
Paris, the 24th October, 1643.
Oct. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
35. To the Secretary in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters with news of the battle and the increase of troubles in that kingdom. Approval of his services, especially with regard to the news from Holland, which it is necessary to continue. Expecting the reply about the currants and ascribe the delay to the occupations of the king and his ministers in consequence of the battle.
Ayes, 89. Noes, 3. Neutral, 7.
Oct. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
36. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The differences between the Generals Essex and Waller are outwardly settled, the latter serving under the former, but commander of the trained bands. Threatened by various penalties, including death, the citizens have at last decided to march, protesting that they will not be under the command of Essex who on the last occasion showed his resentment against them by exposing them to the greatest dangers, but under Waller. He has seized the opportunity with delight, because it chimes with his own inclination to keep away from troublesome enterprises and at the same time please the people here and lay them under an obligation, with their numerous adherents in the city, to sustain his reputation, as owing to the weakness of the enlisted troops Essex cannot promise the success of any effort without the assistance of this corps, which the other will manage for his own advantage.
Their forces united will amount to about 16,000 combatants, with which they propose to besiege Reading. This has been fortified and well prepared by the king, who has scattered his very numerous cavalry about the places in the neighbourhood, to hinder their intent, and to be on the watch for an opportunity of capturing Windsor, only 4 miles off, which blocks the Thames on the upper side.
In spite of all their efforts parliament has not been able to send more than 20,000l. sterling to Windsor, whence soldiers arrive every day to remonstrate, as they have taken everything from the inhabitants and sold it, in order to live. Vice Admiral Warwick has come back here and protests that there is danger of a mutiny in the fleet if they do not promptly provide the pay of the sailors. But all their efforts prove vain or too late, as everything provided is forestalled by ever growing demands.
The Earl of Manchester learning that there were 200 horse near Niuvarch, sent by a loyal gentleman at his own cost to serve the king, surprised them at night and took them prisoners. The news arrived when they were somewhat dejected and the citizens were refusing to march. So they offered thanks to God in all the churches and announced the success as a solemn victory to hearten the people. (fn. 5)
The capture of Dartmouth which I reported is a great gain for his Majesty, as they found 100 pieces of artillery and 40 ships of London merchants in the port, all of which have joined Peninton's fleet, which is now more numerous than that of Warwick. With it he is blockading Plymouth, while Prince Maurice invests it by land, and they expect its surrender soon. That will give his Majesty complete control of the West coast.
With the full moon an exceptionally high tide has overflowed one of the dykes at Uls. The water entering the quarters of the besiegers has obliged Newcastle to go further off, leaving some guns behind. He has promptly set to work to raise the banks with timber and hopes to return to his original position. He has made up his mind to attempt an assault, as the place is well supplied with food, and although the buildings have been demolished by the guns, yet the defenders and inhabitants hold out obstinately in huts and subterranean caves. His army numbers more than 20,000 combatants, and he recently sent 2,000 horse to reinforce the king. If he can free himself from there he need not fear his ability to offer a vigorous resistance to the Scots, especially with the help of the border counties, who have armed and are determined to dispute their entry.
That entry is strongly pressed from this quarter, where they well know that it is the only weight that can tip the scale in the present balance of affairs ; but they cannot find a way to raise the 100,000l. promised in advance. The king on his side does not neglect both by threats and by preparations to try and stop this disturbance or to make himself strong to resist. He has sent a proclamation to Scotland in which he annuls all the concessions made to the Scots in the last three years. At the same time he has sent to Ireland the articles for the truce, declaring rebels all those who refuse to accept it and swear to it, without distinction of religion, in order to make use of that people. This occasions an outcry here and rumours, even now in circulation, against the king and queen, that they already had a hand in the rebellion there.
The Ambassador Harcourt has gone to Oxford without being able to obtain Montegu's release, with a passport from parliament. In spite of this he had a difficulty in leaving the fortifications and was obliged to obtain a fresh order from the general to pass his baggage without search. His steward also had an affair here, as the ministers of parliament took 2,000l. sterling from him which he had raised from merchants for the use of his master. But this was restored and he deprecates the incident, comporting himself with the utmost modesty. He will begin his negotiations with the king and should be back here within a week. The Dutch ambassadors are also expected, and one member of parliament has moved that their expenses be defrayed, a treatment which they have not extended to the Count.
London, the 30th October, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. The surprise of Cirencester was on the 15-25 September.
  • 2. The French marquis of La Vieuville, the earls of Carnarvon and Sunderland and Viscount Falkland, secretary of state.
  • 3. Letter of Parliament to the Lords Justices of Ireland of the 30th September. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. VI., page 236.
  • 4. The decree of the 19th September. See No. 17 at page 19 above.
  • 5. The defeat of Sir John Henderson's troop at Winceby on the 11-21 October.