The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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"We have thought good to let you know that the Castle, called Camber Castle, neere to our towne is soe greatlie ruinated and broken that any man may goe in there and purloigne and take from thence the tymber and leade; and therefore it will be verie fitt (as we conceive) that some course may be taken that the leade and such tymber as may be easilie embeazeled be taken away from thence and put in safe custodie where you shall thinke fitt to appoint." Draft.
"Concerning the removinge of the lead in Camber Castle, the wheather hath ben so unseasonable that as yet there is but litle of it brought away but there hath ben a watch day and night for securinge it ever since order from you. And we intend, with all convenience, to bringe away the rest which when it is done you shall have spedie notice. We have received a letter from Nicholas Shinner, employed by us to convey our ordnance to Shorham which you sent for, referring him to us to pay the fraight and other charges, for that the last tax imposed upon our towne is not fullie paied in of which 53l. is paied in to the receivers at Battle and the residue cannot be collected by distresse, but by warrant from yourselfes to our collectors." Draft.
"We have this day receaved letters from the Committee at Lewes under the hands of Sir Thomas Pelham, Sir Thomas Parker, Collonoll Morley, and others, intimatinge that the Armey is in greate wante, by reason that the provision money is not sent in according to the time appointed. Wee desire you therefore with all possible speede to take such order that the said mony and all the arearages thereof may be sent to Mr. John Aylwine of Lewes." Signed and Seal.
"Havinge so oportune a messenger to writ unto you concerninge a former letter we sent of the 25th of January last about our proposition mony and plate, and two hundred powndes that was ordered by the Committee towardes the fortification of our towne, of which, receivinge as yet no answre, we have thought fitt to put you in mynd of, the rather for that our forwardnes to pleasure the countie alltogether hath disabled us to fortefie our owne towne. Our humble request therefore is that the said two hundred pounds which was ordered by the Committee, as we have been informed, for and towards our necessarie fortifications may be allowed us, either out of the leade of Camber Castle or some other way, that our forwardnes in partinge with our mony and plate be not prejudiciall to us." Draft.
"We have lately received a warrant from the Committee at Lewes concerninge an ordnance of Parliament for the Scot's loane beinge 13,500li. imposed upon our countie. We desire to be enformed from you whether the Portes are therein included, yf so whether there be no deference to be made betwen those that have been forward and others that have been backward. It is not unknowne to you what Rie hath done to the propositions beyond our estates, besides all taxes since. And the 200li. ordered to be deducted out of our porporsitions towards our fortifications hath not yet ben paied unto us, thoughe the Committee have been much importuned for it, nether are we any whit the more regarded for the 2,000li. worth of the leade of Camber Castle for which we were the only meanes to help the State to, which had been embeaseled had not our care prevented it. Our forwardnes hath exposed us to the verie scorne and obliquie of the county. We desire allso to be informed concerninge the Commissioners of the Rape of Hasting and there instructions, admyringe much that one put out of the Commission of the Peace above (as we heare) should be one of the Commissioners in so waightie a busines, who is the greatest enemie our towne hath and hath blamed us to our faces for taking so much. Yf noe care be taken for our poore towne we are like to be exposed to as great danger by our malignant neighbours as to a forren invasion which we expect dailie for our vesels which usuallie carry passengers for Deipe dare not adventure out for feare of surprisall." Draft.
"We have thought it our duties to signifie unto you that our towne of Rie beinge the ordinarie passage for Diepe where divers merchants of London and there goodes, merchant strangers and other passengers doe weekelie passe from hence thither, which bringes in a considerable somme of money to the State for custome and excise, latelie a barque of our towne was surprized by one of the Kinges men-of-warre of Waymouth, who had in her 3,000li. worth of goods, and persons of qualitie, two of them Mr. Arundell's sonnes, a member of the House of Commons, and Collonells Browne's son and heire, and divers merchants of good worth. We besech your Lordship to take this into your consideration and that you would be pleased to appointe a smale man-of-warre for the safetie of our passage barques to lie betwen our towne and Deipe Rode which will do good service for the State for there is store of ammunition weekelie shipt from Diepe for Waymouth by one Pinozeire." Draft.
"The greate distres that our poore fishermen are now in, because they cannot goe about theire callinge for feare of beinge taken by the Kinges men-of warre, havinge this summer allready lost one gainfull voyage to the north seas to take fishe, and now not daringe (this season) to adventure to Yarmouth to take hearinges: theise two voyages beinge the greatest meanes of the yeare for theire maintenance, which, if they should be deprived of both, would prove there utter undoinge, not being able to subsist the next winter. Theire necessities therefore beinge so greate and they fearinge (not without just cause) will be greater, are determined to petition the honorable Howse of Parliament that they would be pleased to let them have safe convoys to Yarmouth, and theire to staie with them all the fishinge season. Our request therefore is that you would not only advise them how to drawe theire petition (if the draught which they shall present do not like you) but allso to give them your best assistance and furtherance that this theire desire may be effected which will not only be adventagious to them but to the whole kingdome." Draft.
1645, September 7.—Writ from Charles I. to the Constable of Dover Castle, directing that whereas John White, lately elected a Baron for the vill of Rye to the present Parliament, being by Judgment of the House rendered incapable of sitting as a member, that therefore another Baron be chosen in his place.
"This morning two men of war who have lain in our Bay a long time have taken three or four boats, and our Yarmouth fleet being ready to come home, if some speedy course be not taken they will all be in danger to be surprised by those men of war. We beseech you that you would be pleased to take our lamentable condition into your consideration, and with all speed to dispatch a frigate for the rescue of our poor men who otherwise will be utterly undone."
"We have sent you a petition by the bearer hereof Nicholas Shimer for the procuring a frigate or two to lie upon our coast for the safeguard of our barques, boats and fishermen entering into our harbour from the King's men of war. If the officers which shall go in her be not of our town we shall be little the better for it."
1645, December 3.—Depositions by Frances Royall, wife of William Royall, that about four years ago about twelve of the clock in the night there came a hound to the street door and made a great howling, and she looked out of the window and called out but the dog would not go away and goodwife Hownsell came and knocked at the chamber door, and presently (the door never opening) the said goodwife Hownsell came to this deponent's bedside and took her left hand and said "Goody Royall you must go with me," and she asked "Whither?" and Hownsell answered "Home," and she said "she would not," then the said Hownsell vanished away and the deponent says that lately she came through a pane of glass while she was lying ill and afterwards departed in the same way.
I understand you desire to have Mr. Russell to be settled with you. There hath been a solicitation from the brotherhood to solicit for a renewing of your charter, I see other towns have written to their members here for the prosecution of it but as yet I have heard nothing from you. Seal of arms.
In the absence of Colonel Sydney, Governor of Dover Castle, I have received a warrant from the Council of State signed by the Lord President for the dispersing and publishing in all places within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports the Resolution of Parliament of 23rd of this month concerning such delinquents as have not paid in their fines according to compositions. Copy.